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 

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