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.

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