Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BRG: Annual Flowers in Full Bloom At Brueckner Mississauga

Annual flowers are in full bloom at Brueckner Rhododendron Garden, and the flower beds near the BRG and Port Credit signs at Godfreys Lane and Lakeshore Road West in Mississauga are especially stunning.

Yet if you usually enter Brueckner Rhododendron Garden via the parking lot or the Waterfront Trail, chances are you've yet to see one of the prettiest flower beds in the Garden.

As well as annuals such as coleus, lobelia, geraniums and vincas, there are perennials and shrubs, including a stunning PeeGee hydrangea.

And right now, all these flowers and plants are at their peak. Have a look:

BRG Sign at Lakeshore Road West and Godfreys Lane
 This annual flowers garden is on the south side of Lakeshore Road West (west of Mississauga Road and the Credit River -- see map). It marks one of three main entrances into Brueckner Garden. (The fluffy white area to the left of the sign is a PeeGee hydrangea. Other hydrangeas are located to the right of the sign.)

Perennial Grasses, Coleus, Chrysanthemums
Coleus in full bloom are truly stunning! While bright sunlight sets the colors ablaze, these stunners even glow on overcast days. There is a vibrant stand of perennial grass adding architectural interest. Chrysanthemums are still in tight buds, promising a good show in a few more weeks.

Coleus Full Bloom at Brueckner Rhododendron Garden
 Although rhododendrons and azaleas are the 'Stars of the Garden', selected annuals, (including these gorgeous coleus pictured above), and perennials, shrubs, trees and wildflowers play their parts in making the BRG an all-season garden. (Don't forget to check the Rose Garden for some late summer blooms.)

Lakeshore Road West Annual Flowers Garden
 In this view, I stood on Lakeshore Road West (south side) and looked west towards the creek, Waterfront Trail and parking lot (Main Entrance). This area between Godfreys Lane and the creek (Tecumseh Creek) is known as the East Garden.

BRG East Garden Rose of Sharon
Rose of Sharon is in full bloom in the former Lily Garden east of Tecumseh Creek and close to the Lakeshore Road sidewalk. Two footbridges connect this East Garden to the main Garden, as does the sidewalk along Lakeshore Road.

If you walk west along Lakeshore, you'll also notice more perennials, shrubs and wildflowers (native plants) as you near the Main Entrance. More wildflowers are in bloom along the creek as you walk south towards the Lake (see wildflowers pictures here).

Rose of Sharon, Waterfront Trail, Tecumseh Creek
 Lushly foliaged and covered in flowers, Rose of Sharon shows how well it responded to hard pruning last Spring (see prune Rose of Sharon details here). There are several of these late-summer bloomers in the Garden. Look, too, for the bright red, pink and mauve phlox in this area, as well as in the Peony Garden.

Coleus End of Summer Stars in the Annual Garden
Day lilies foliage makes a fine backdrop for the bright lights of coleus. This particular annual flower bed is also dressed up in spring with flowering bulbs, and even a fritillaria!

Perennial Grass, Coleus, Landscape Stones in East Garden BRG
 One final photo of the annual - perennial - shrub garden near the Port Credit sign at Godfreys Lane and Lakeshore. If you're out for a walk at Brueckner Rhododendron Garden, do take the time to visit the East Garden and take in the wonderful annual show!

Lake Ontario Lookout Brueckner Rhododendron Garden Port Credit
Located almost directly diagonal across the Garden from the Lakeshore-Godfreys Lane flower bed is the Lake Ontario lookout in the south west Garden. Though this wonderful spot has always been referred to as the Lookout, that will soon change.

Another Lake Ontario lookout is being established a few hundred meters east of here.

My thoughts are that the lookout (photo above) become known as the Top Lookout; the new lookout will become known as the Lower Lookout.  Right now, a split rail fence is being built at the Lower Lookout, and three new benches will be added to the concrete bases already in place.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tzu Chi Volunteers at BRG: Roses, Waterfront, Rhododendrons

Volunteers from Tzu Chi West Toronto Office cultivated the Rose Garden, cleaned up the Lake Ontario waterfront, and tended rhododendron and azalea beds on Saturday August 28, 2011.

Here are some pictures of this much appreciated group of volunteers who make such a difference to the look and health of the BRG garden beds.

Tzu Chi West Toronto at Brueckner Rhododendron Garden
Early yesterday morning, about 65 Tzu Chi West Toronto members (teens to seniors) gathered at Brueckner Rhododendron Garden, ready to begin a morning's work as volunteer gardeners. The sign in the left foreground marks their participation in the City of Mississauga's 'Litter Not' program, with the BRG as their special project.

What began a few years ago as a Garden and Lakeshore litter pick-up has grown into working in the rest of the Garden as well. Several times each year, members of Tzu Chi come out to the Garden, doing whatever tasks Para Kanp, BRG head gardener, asks of them. Their work in the Garden is just one of many philanthropic projects for this busy group.

Tzu Chi West Toronto in Rose Garden
The volunteers split into three groups. One group worked in the Rose Garden. Though the roses had been weeded a few weeks earlier, hot summer days encouraged weed growth as well as rose growth. Behind the fence, you will see another group who worked in the Heritage Rhododendron garden.

Tzu Chi Volunteers at Heritage Rhododendron Garden
Here's another look at the second Tzu Chi group working in the heritage rhododendron beds behind the split rail fence. The third group can be seen at the gazebo as they get ready to walk over the hill to clean up litter and debris on the Lake Ontario shore line.

Lake Ontario Shoreline Clean Up Tzu Chi Group
Here's a closer look at the Tzu Chi group busy cleaning up the western part of the BRG lake shore. Lake Ontario has high water levels due to summer rains, so to get around the large rock breakwater, this group had to walk back up the steep bank to continue with the clean up of the eastern area.

Rhododendron Azalea Bed Clean Up
Their cultivating and weeding in the Heritage Garden completed, this group of Tzu Chi volunteers moved across the garden trail to work in the hillside rhodo and azalea beds that overlook the Rose Garden. Morning mists lend an ethereal look to this shady hillside.

Rose Garden Tended by Tzu Chi West Toronto
Behind a large pile of weeds and pruned rose canes (lower right, photo), Tzu Chi volunteers work steadily in the Rose Garden. After the rose garden weeding, there were about a dozen of these large weed piles waiting to be removed by City staff.

Para Kanp (right), David Culham Thank Tzu Chi West Toronto
Para Kanp (far right), and David Culham, chair of BRG Stewardship Committee (BRGSC) (shown here standing near white pail) thanked the Tzu Chi group for their hard work, done cheerfully. He expressed appreciation for their contribution to the overall appearance and health of the Garden, and applauds their giving back to their communties.

Tzu Chi accomplished in a few hours what would take a few volunteers several days, he said, adding, "Many hands do indeed make light work." 

Tzu Chi West Toronto is a fine example of the volunteerism and community participation that are hallmarks of Canadian society, said Culham.

BRG Mixed Bed Rose Garden Before Weeding
Here''s a picture of the Mixed Bed in the Rose Garden before Saturday's weeding. Though weeded only a few weeks earlier, the soil is barely visible through the prolific weeds.

BRG Rose Bed After Weeding
Here's the same Mixed Rose Bed after Tzu Chi completed weeding and cultivating. This is great preparation for fall compost and in-fill rose planting in the Rose Garden. (The dark lines on top of the soil in the photo are drip irrigation lines.)

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Rose with Japanese Beetles
The volunteers noted the presence of Japanese beetles, shown here on Tess of the D'urbervilles red roses. Where possible, these beetles were hand picked. Persistent beetle control seems to be making a difference, as many healthy buds are evident.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Red Rosebud Blooming
With the weed removal and cultivation, it's hoped the Rose Garden will continue to attract visitors over the coming months as Summer moves into Fall.

Thanks again to Tzu Chi West Toronto Office for another job well done!

Read how to volunteer at BRG here.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hydrangeas Blooming Brueckner Rhododendron Garden : Rhododendron Companion Plants, Mississauga Ontario

Hydrangeas, companion plants for rhododendrons, are in full bloom now at BRG. Look for them throughout the garden, including the heritage (Brueckner) rhodo beds, the woodland areas and the entrances off Lakeshore Road West at Shawnmarr and at Godfreys Lane.

PeeGee Hydrangea Godfreys Lane at Lakeshore Rd. West Mississauga
Look for PeeGee hydrangeas throughout the Garden. This hydrangea is at the BRG sign near Godfreys Lane, at the large annual bed. Opposite this PeeGee are the pink hydrangeas in the picture below.

Pink Blooms Hydrangeas
Pink hydrangeas at the large annual bed near the Port Credit and BRG sign south of Lakeshore Road West at Godfreys Lane. This area is considered part of the East Garden, so if you are parked in the main lot at Shawnmarr, walk across the bridge or along the Lakeshore Road sidewalk to have a look. (see bottom photo)

Pale Pink Hydrangea Blossom Close Up
Close up of large pink hydrangea blossom.

White Hydrangeas Interim Place Memorial Plaque Garden
Just east of the main parking lot at Lakeshore Road West, look for the memorial garden in honour of Interim Place original location. Stop and rest a while on the benches located here.

Standard PeeGee Annual Bed Main Entrance BRG
Look for this standard PeeGee hydrangea in the main annual bed just south of the parking lot entrance to the Garden. It's in a sea of pink geraniums.

Blue Mauve Pink Hydrangea Brueckner Heritage Rhodo Garden
The hydrangeas in the main heritage Brueckner beds on the west hill side are easy to spot from the main trail as you head into the Garden.

White Hydrangeas BRG Heritage Rhododendron Beds Mississauga
Walk through a gate in the split rail fence to enter the hillside garden. The rhododendrons won't be blooming again until next spring, but their companion plantings -- hydrangeas, holly, Pieris Japonica (Japanese andromeda) are stepping up to the Blooming plate.

Blue Pink White Hydrangeas Split Rail Fence Rhododendron Garden
This is the view of the hydrangeas behind the split rail fence, and below the hillside garden, near the Rose Garden (The Roses are now signposted according to type.)

Annual Garden Lakeshore Road Godfreys Lane Mississauga ON
Annual flower bed at Port Credit, Brueckner Garden sign, Lakeshore and Godfreys Lane. Though referred to as an 'annual bed', the plantings in this area include roses, lilies, shrubs and grasses. The coleus are truly amazing this year. This photo doesn't do them justice!

The recent heat wave --- all of July and into August -- coupled with good soil, irrigation and fertilizer has set the weeds into a massive growth spurt as well.

Weeding is underway throughout the Garden, but if you'd like to volunteer your help, please do drop by and pull a few (hundred).

I also took a short video of the Japanese beetles that are finishing off the meal they made of  the rose garden.