Thursday, December 27, 2012

Autumn in the Gardens: Mulch, Rhodos, Roses

As the year comes to a close, here are some photos of fall colour in the Gardens.

Pine Mulch for Winter

Each Fall, staff and volunteers spread pine needle mulch around the rhododendrons, azaleas and companion plants. It's a big job, given the large number of beds, but it's fairly easy work, as the mulch is light.

And in the midst of the fall mulching season, one rhododendron thought it was Spring.

Light mauve rhododendron in bloom off-season at BRG gardens in Port Credit.
David Culham and Para Kanp  ~  Rhodo in Bloom
David (volunteer) and Para (head gardener) on October 25, with a late, off-season blooming rhododendron. Mild fall weather can 'trick' rhodos and azaleas into flower late in the year.

Culham uses garden fork to move large pile of pine needles into wheelbarrow .
Moving the Mulch into Garden Beds
Pine needles are collected from around the area, and dumped into large piles around the gardens. From there, needles are moved by wheelbarrow into the various beds.

Volunteer uses rake to spread pine needle mulch around rhododendrons and azaleas.
Volunteer Spreading Mulch in South Main Gardens
After the wheelbarrows of mulch are dumped into the beds, it can be placed around the plants. This bed, with few plants, allows for fast work. Beds with many plants are best mulched by hand to avoid damaging the plants.

Bright red wheelbarrow pushed by volunteer David Culham has load  of pine needles for mulch.
Pine Needle Carpet 'Hot Dawn' Bed
Pine trees in some areas of the Gardens, such as here in the 'Hot Dawn' (Brueckner hybrid rhododendron) bed, drop needles in Fall and help mulch.

 David, photo, moves a load of needles into the bed. Hot Dawn is a newer planting, and located on a hillside sloping down to Lake Ontario, so somewhat exposed to winter winds.

Fall Colour in the Gardens

As the leaves change colour in Fall, they provide a new landscape to charm visitors and volunteers alike. Here are some photos taken in late October.
A splash of red leaves in the midst of greenery brightens a cloudy fall day.
Fall in the Forest at Brueckner Gardens
A bright bit of red foliage in a sea of greenery catches the eye in the Fall garden. 'Solomon's Seal' fill the foreground of the lovely woodland scene.

Burning bush and maples add dash of red to garden entrance of BRG at Godfreys Lane in Port Credit.
Godfreys Lane entrance to the BRG
Burning bush (middle left) adds to the Fall colours display at the Godfreys Lane (southeast) entrance to the Gardens. The lane is a city street used mostly for local traffic and access to the Waterfront Trail.

Fallen leaves on lawns, paved pathway leading to Godfreys Lane exit from BRG.
Waterfront Trail BRG to Godfreys Lane
Peaceful scene at the Gardens, on the Waterfront Trail section east of the south bridge leading to Godfreys Lane. Fall fog softens the view and muffles sound, giving the feeling of being cosily alone in the Gardens.

Man walking along Waterfront Trail among brightly coloured leaves of red and gold, in BRGardens, Port Credit.
Sunny Day Fall Colours Waterfront Trail BRG 
When the sun is out, the mood is different, and the colours 'pop'!. This photo is taken along the same section of Waterfront Trail at the Gardens as photo above, but gives a very different feeling. The copper beech are in glorious coppery orange against the blue sky.

Late Blooming Iceberg Roses

 These photos of the Iceberg roses were taken on November 15 this year. Even a few weeks later, after a hard frost, Iceberg lived up to its name and kept sending forth blossoms, though a little worse for the cold. Here are three pictures of this prolific and virtually trouble-free, long-season bloomer.

Iceberg Rose (white) in bloom in Gardens, mid-Autumn, Port Credit, Ontario.
Rosa Iceberg November Bloom Port Credit
White iceberg rose in full bloom in the Gardens in November.
Solitary White Iceberg Rose

Late blooming rose, Iceberg, a flash of white amidst autumn colours.
Full Bloom ~ Iceberg Rose in Fall.
A perfect white rose to contrast with Autumn's colours in the Gardens.

Today, with the season's first snowfall, the blooming is definitely over for this year. The plants  with their blankets of mulch and a cover of snow are all tucked in for Winter and promising a good show next Spring.

NB Photos with text included are courtesy of D.J. Culham.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Summer and Fall Garden Blooms BRG Port Credit

A busy summer of planting, weeding and cultivating at the Gardens in Port Credit paid off with one of the best blooming shows ever! Here are some pictures taken over the summer and into the fall. Annotated photos are courtesy of David Culham, stewardship committee chair and volunteer/ volunteer coordinator.

Late-blooming Black-eyed Susans add splash of deep golden yellow to BRG Lakeshore flower bed.
BRG Lakeshore Road Entrance Garden
Last year's transplanting of perennials from other areas of the Gardens paid off this season, with the Black-eyed Susans deep yellow complementing the mauve sprays of Russian sage.  Tall and lush canna lilies add height and more colour.  Head gardener, Para Kanp, has been cultivating a number of canna lilies for several years, and their large size is testament to their age.

Deep pink clusters of Chuckles roses bloom all summer and into fall.
Chuckles Rose Blooms June to October in the Rose Garden.
Chuckles is the most prolific bloomer in the rose garden, with a mass of deep pink flowers filling its bed from June until today (October 20). Other roses are still showing blooms, but none so lush as the reliable Chuckles.

Late summer coleus, marigolds, zebra grass and more brighten an annual flower bed.
Annual Bed BRG on Lakeshore Road near Godfreys Lane
Coleus and marigolds and other annuals and perennials give a splash of color in the Port Credit bed, the annual flower bed at Lakeshore Road West at Godfreys Lane. This area of the Gardens includes azaleas, canna lilies, zebra grass and hostas, and many more shrubs and plants chosen to provide colour and / or interest all year long.

Marigolds, mums, coleus and other annuals at Port Credit garden.
Another View of Annual Garden Bed Lakeshore Road
Note the location of the brown Brueckner Gardens sign in this photo and the one immediately above to show the different views of the Port Credit bed. A mid-October frost knocked back the annuals, so the show is over for this year. The zebra grass and shrubs such as the hydrangea (middle left) are still doing their best to carry the load.

Mid October fall colours in East Garden Bioswale, meadow at BRG, Port Credit.
Bioswale East Garden at BRG
The tall grasses and bullrushes mark the bioswale in the East Garden at the BRG. Several new trees were planted in this meadow area after the loss of several large willows a few years ago. See Fallen Willows post.

Busy as a bee ? Large bees nest-building in the soil of a rhododendron bed in the East Garden, BRG, Port Credit.
Bees Building in East Garden at Brueckner.
As we were edging the rhododendron and azalea beds, and spreading pine needle mulch in the East Garden, we noticed these busy bees building a nest in the loose top soil. Intent on their task, these bees didn't bother us, and we took care not to disturb them.

Hosta and rhodo bed at base of tree gets a neat, clean edge to keep the grass at bay.
Newly-edged Hosta and Rhodo Bed at BRG
Neat clean edges around shrub and flower beds give a manicured look to the Gardens. An added bonus is that the lawn crews can easily see where the grass ends and the plants begin. And lawn crews have responded with precision lawn edges that really set garden beds apart from natural areas. As time, weather and tasks allow, all garden beds will be edged.

Another View of Edged Garden Beds.
These beds are just west of the trail along Tecumseh Creek between the South bridge near the waterfront and the Middle bridge to the East Garden. As well, many beds nearest Lakeshore Road and Rhodo beds in the East Garden have been edged. With attention now being focused on getting the Gardens ready for winter, further edging will likely have to wait till next Spring.

Bright annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees greet visitors at BRG in Port Credit.
Main Annual Bed near entrance of Gardens
The main annual bed gave a great show all summer, ending when the heavy frost a week ago knocked them down and out for the year. Also shown are the tree hydrangeas (right, front) and hostas at the Kennedy Memorial Plaque.

Canna lilies form backdrop at annual bed in BRG.
Another view of Main Annual Bed BRG
This picture was taken standing directly in front of the Annual bed, and shows the enormous canna lilies that backdrop the annuals. Regular cultivation after planting, aided by regular fertilizing, and irrigation during the dry summer months, gave the annuals good deep roots.

Light purple Russian sage edges the east side of the main Annual bed at BRG.
Annual Bed with Russian Sage, Hydrangeas and Shrubs
This picture shows the Annual bed from the east side, where perennials such as light purple Russian Sage and shrubs such as white hydrangeas give summer-to-fall colour.

Though winter preparations (adding pine mulch for rhodos and azaleas, installing snow fencing, etc.) are well under way, and the frost-bitten annuals have been removed, there is still much to catch and delight visitors: Some of the spring-blooming azaleas are sporting a few fall blossoms, as are some wildflowers and perennials.

And, while weather permits, many trees are sporting their fall colours leaves, bright berries and red fruits, all providing a good show. See fall colours post.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Annuals, Plaques, Rhododendrons Spring-Summer 2012

Flower Beds, Plaques Mark Mississauga's First Public Garden

Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens (BRG) is Mississauga's first park-like area to be designated a public garden. And as a garden rather than a park, staff and volunteers are working hard to set it apart from the City's sports and picnic parks.

 Formal beds, memorial plaques, new benches, and donations of plants and time all contribute to the concept of the BRG as a public garden: A place for quiet contemplation, taking photos of plants and wildlife; a peaceful refuge in a busy city.

Thanks to David Culham, chair of the BRG stewardship committee, who sends these pictures of the garden that show how the Gardens is growing.

Salvia, Canna Lilies, Lilies, hydrangeas bloom in the annual plantings bed at BRG.
Annual Bed Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens
This is called the annual bed (though it contains a few perennials and shrubs), and it's the first flower bed most Gardens visitors see as they enter off Lakeshore Road West in Port Credit.

This year, Salvias contribute the main color (red), with help from Cleome and Canna Lilies. The annual bed has been 'adopted' by a family who cultivated it each week this spring.

Head Gardener, Para Kanp, advises regular cultivation after setting out bedding plants to help get the soil enzymes working.  Once the annuals begin actively growing, and filling in as they are now, there isn't enough room between the plants to actively cultivate.

Hostas in foreground, rhododendrons in background border standing plaque in BRG, Port Credit, Ontario.
Volunteer Gardener at Rob Kernohan Plaque
Hostas and rhododendrons frame the Rose Garden, where a volunteer (me) stands at the newly installed plaque that marks Robert Kernohan's contributions to the Rose and Peony gardens at the BRG.

These fantastic hostas are thanks to the work of Para Kanp, who sourced them from The Netherlands and designed the layout. As well as being a showpiece garden in and of themselves, these hostas are an ongoing 'nursery' for new plantings elsewhere in the Gardens.

Many of them are being planted as a natural boundary around rhododendron beds: 'free' hostas for years to come.

Engraved plaque from City of Mississauga recognizes contribution of Rob Kernohan to BRG.
Close-up of Kernohan Plaque Overlooking Rose Garden at BRG
When David Culham took this photo of the plaque, the Rose Garden was yet to bloom. Though as of now, the first, glorious flush of new roses is past, the roses are still putting on a good show, as they usually do all summer and into the fall.

The plaque was positioned to overlook both the Rose Garden (foreground) and Peony Garden (background), as Rob Kernohan donated (and planted) most of the plants in both garden beds. (See a video of Rob pruning the roses on Youtube.)
It should be noted that though installation of this plaque was undertaken last summer, Rob Kernohan has since passed away. In effect, it's now a memorial plaque.
Rhododendrons and azaleas  blooming at BRG in Mississauga Ontario.
East Garden Rhododendrons and Azaleas at BRG
The East Gardens have the most recent plantings of rhododendrons and azaleas, some 10 different beds across the bridges on the east side of Tecumseh Creek.

These East Garden beds were the happy recipients of weeding and cultivation by Tzu Chi of West Toronto volunteers. Tzu Chi attend the gardens en masse several times a year, and make a huge difference in the health and well-being of many areas of the Gardens. 
See also this post for more photos.

New paved path to Kennedy Memorial Plaque at BRG.
Pathway to Kennedy Memorial Plaque at BRG
New this year is a small paved path from the main trail to the Kennedy Memorial Plaque near the Lakeshore Road entrance, on the way to the Heritage Rhododendron beds that he was instrumental in establishing.
(See the video of the dedication of this plaque on Youtube.)

Healthy pink rhododendron in bloom in Mississauga Ontario springtime (April).
Blooming Pink Rhododendrons a Springtime Delight in the Gardens
Though the rhododendrons have finished blooming for this season, here's a nice picture of one that was taken the end of April.

 Thanks, David!

Coming into Bloom

Look for these flowers now coming into bloom at the Gardens:

  • Lemon Queen (5'-6' tall, yellow flower)
  • Brown-Eyed Susans
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Lilies
  • Hydrangeas
  • St Johns Wort 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Roses in Full Bloom at Brueckner Gardens

Roses are in full bloom this week at the Gardens, and the first flush of flowering is always the showiest. I photographed the roses that are labeled, and included a few more from the Mixed (test) bed.

Ten beds of roses at Brueckner in Port Credit, Mississauga, Ontario.
Rose Garden at Brueckner Overview
Walk up the hill path to get this overview of the rose garden layout. To the top right is the hosta garden, also a good show this summer. The building is the garden staff office (public restrooms open April to November).

Pale peach pink rose Abraham Darby.
Abraham Darby Rose
 One of many David Austin roses in the garden. See this rose in 2009, when the rose garden was being planted.
David Austin rose Iceberg (white) at BRG Mississauga, Ontario.
Iceberg Rose (White)
 Iceberg is one of the most reliable long-season bloomers in the Gardens. Several Icebergs are planted among the brilliant red Tess, shown below.

Tess of the Durbervilles deep red David Austin rose.
Tess of the Durbervilles Red Rose.
 Tess is one of the deepest red roses, another David Austin winner. Several Iceberg (white) rose bushes are in this bed, to mark the colours of the Canada flag.

The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild (David Austin rose)
 See more photos of and information about The Ingenious Mr Fairchild (and Tess) on this page.

Eglantyne rose at BRG, David Austin Rose.
Eglantyne Rose at Brueckner Gardens
 Always lovely Eglantyne, another of the David Austins.

Crown Princess Margareta Rose
 The Crown Princess Margareta was one of the first roses to bloom this spring,  and one of the first to finish. See pictures from the start of blooming here.

Chuckles rose in bloom.
Chuckles  Red Rose White Center.
Chuckles is a great favourite in the rose garden. At blooming time, Chuckles opens up one innocuous-looking flower, as seen in the photo above. That's a harbinger of the explosion of blooms to come.
Captain Samuel Holland rose, hardy Canadian shrub.
Captain Samuel Holland Red Rose (Canadian)
 This is a very hardy Canadian rose, Captain Samuel Holland. It's not only gorgeous to look at, but its dense growing habit helps protect the more delicate roses from wind. It generally has one good bloom at this time of year, and that's it.

Pale peach, pinks and apricot colors the Evelyn Rose.
Evelyn Rose
Evelyn is not the hardiest of roses, and the afternoon shade in its current location is not helping. Plans are underway to move Evelyn to a sunnier bed in the rose garden, likely in September.

Pink Rose Brother Cadfael blooming in Port Credit.
Brother Cadfael Rose
Brother Cadfael is a gorgeous rose, with a gorgeous bud to match. See a photo of this rose blooming  in late fall here.

Rosa Scentimental named for fragrant scent.
Scentimental Rose at BRG
 Scentimental is one of those roses that seems to have no two blooms alike. It's also one of the most fragrant of the roses.

Sutton Place rose in Mixed bed at BRG Port Credit.
Sutton Place Rose
 Sutton Place has no bed of its own at Brueckner, and can currently be found in the Mixed Bed as well as at the end of Evelyn's bed.

Name of this orange rose unknown, but a gorgeous bloomer.
Orange Rose (no name)
This is our famous orange rose, whose name we do not know.  It came with Chuckles roses, then surprised us with showy orange blooms. It has been moved into the Mixed Bed as well.

Bring your Cameras!

Photographers in the Garden abound during June, with good reason: The roses are at their loveliest! Make plans to take your lunch or coffee breaks at the BRG this week.

Also in bloom, the first of the hydrangeas, and large day lilies at the top lookout, the first of the coneflowers in the Perennial Bed. And of course, the large hosta garden is picture-perfect!

Use the search box top of page to find more photos of plants in the Gardens.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Yellow Tree Peony, Yellow Austin Roses in Bloom Now

Everything's coming up roses (and peonies) at Brueckner!

Three years in the making, the yellow tree peony is now in bloom! If nothing else, gardening teaches patience, a lesson we've learned well at the BRG. The Gardens' one and only yellow tree peony can be admired in its full blooming glory at the edge of the annual bed across from the Kennedy Memorial Plaque near the main entrance.

Large yellow tree peony in full bloom has faint red veins showing through. This peony can be seen at BRG in Port Credit, On.
Yellow Tree Peony Full Bloom Port Credit's BRG
The long-awaited blooming of the only yellow tree peony in the Gardens pays off, with this first blossom so large it needs a bit of support from a forked branch.  There are about 10 buds and flowers on this peony, and staff and volunteers alike are hoping that this year, passersby will refrain from picking these gorgeous flowers. See this post about the yellow peony from last spring.

Clear bright yellow tree peony flower with deep green leaves blooming in Port Credit at the BRG.
Smaller Yellow Peony Flower at BRG
Here's a second yellow peony that is just opening its petals today. The tree peony is showing its age -- about 4 years old -- and getting quite lush and large, with buds all around its ample girth.

With any luck, any light-fingered visitors will leave the flowers alone, as it's attracting a lot of well-deserved admirers.  The blooming period should last a few weeks, so drop by with your camera!

Stakes and string support large red bush peonies in full bloom at Mississauga public garden.
Red Bush Peonies Perennial Garden BRG Mississauga
 The perennial garden just east of the main entrance parking area is ringed with a border of red bush peonies now blooming with abandon. The heavy-headed peonies have been given a bit of support with stakes and string to keep them upright and off the lawn.

Red, white flowering bush and tree peonies blooming near gardens office building beside Waterfront Trail in Mississauga, ON.
Brueckner Peony Garden Beginning to Bloom.
 The Peony Garden, renovated last Fall, is looking good as it comes into bloom this week. The transplanting last fall did set the peonies back a bit, but the new bed offers them much better growing conditions.

See rejuvenating the peony garden post.

Peony Garden Brueckner beside 
Peonies, especially new plantings, are fragile and easily damaged. By raising the bed last fall, one of the side benefits, it was thought, would be that the higher level would make visitors be more aware of it, and discourage them from walking among the peonies.

But each day, there are more broken stems with unopened buds, so signs will need to be posted to reinforce the reasons to stay off the peony garden. As the bed matures and the peonies become well established, they will support each other, and be less prone to damage.

BRG Rose garden new addition David Austin Crown Princess Margareta yellow blossoms.
Crown Princess Margareta BRG Rose Garden
 A new addition to the Rose Garden at Brueckner is this David Austin yellow rose Crown Princess Margareta that is just beginning to bloom in the same bed with the Canadian rose Hazel McCallion.

Yellow Rose Bush ~ Crown Princess Margareta at BRG
 This early blooming rose is a fine addition to the Rosa Hazel McCallion bed. This rose seems both hardy and a prolific bloomer. This picture shows the buds just beginning to open this week.

Crown Princess Margareta yellow rose fully opened shows its cabbage style flowers.
Cabbage-type Rose Blossom Fully Opened at BRG
 When fully opened, Crown Princess Margareta shows its cabbage style yellow flowers with deeper, almost apricot center.

 See also blog posts on other roses at the BRG.

Scentimental, Abraham Darby and Captain Samuel are also ready to bloom, and Sutton Place (that shares a bed with Evelyn) is also opening its buds this week. Most of the roses in the BRG are David Austin old-fashioned scented roses, so they smell wonderful!

Para Kanp, head gardener at Brueckner Gardens, planting annual bedding plants.
Para Kanp Planting Annuals at BRG Port Credit
 Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens head gardener, Para Kanp, shows his planting skills as he and staff made short work this week planting the hundreds of annuals that add to summer and fall colours in the Gardens.

 This annual and perennial bed is just south of the main entrance off Lakeshore Road West. The other main annual garden is at the 'Port Credit' sign at Lakeshore and Godfreys Lane.

Dozens of new bedding plants in annual garden bed at Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens in Mississauga, Ontario.
Main Annual Bed Planted at Brueckner Gardens.
Here's how the main annual bed looks this week, with dozens of low maintenance annuals nicely planted. The yellow tree peony can be seen in the middle of this picture, in front of the still-blooming rhododendrons and azaleas.

 If you visit the Gardens, take note of the standard tree roses that flank the yellow tree peony. These standards were grafted by Para, who's planted a number of them in several locations in the garden. As well, canna lilies that were over-wintered in this bed survived beautifully, and will be a spectacular backdrop in the annual bed.

As well, several lilies (green plants lower left) grow in this bed, and the annoying and damaging red weevils are already making a meal of them. See this post on the (late) lily garden. The lilies were spectacularly unique for one season only, and survive only in memory and pictures.

Sadly, vandals still senselessly target the Gardens

Many peonies were uprooted last Christmas (though why anyone would want to uproot peonies and leave them lying on the ground is beyond knowing). And every so often, the main garden building, washrooms, signs and bridges get marred with a scribble of paint. A decorative bike with plants in basket that a Port Credit citizens committee placed at the BRG was stolen outright.

Visitors can take note if they witness any activities that are harmful to the Gardens, but are asked not approach anyone. To report issues,  tell one of the city staff in the Gardens weekdays, 8-3 p.m.

Or phone the City of Mississauga :

  • To report graffiti, vandalism and litter, call the 24 Hour Hot Line 905-615-4060
  • To report activities such as alcohol consumption, property destruction and suspicious behaviour - call Peel Regional Police 905-453-3311.