Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rose Garden, Wedding Pictures Rained Out July Storms

The July rain storms over Southern Ontario are doing no favours for the rose garden, and even less for brides who planned to take their wedding pictures at Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens this month.

Saturday, after the second of two deluges so far that day, I did a fast walk through the gardens to see how they were faring. Here are some pictures and a video of the aftermath. Click on a photo to enlarge it, then click the Back Button to return to this page.

Waterfront Trail

This year's unusually heavy and protracted July rainstorms have turned the lower-lying lawn into soggy marshes, and saturated the lawns and flower beds, overpowering drainage systems and flooding the creek. This picture shows the runoff flowing over the trail.

Second View ~ Waterfront Trail

These pictures show the scene two hours after Saturday's second rainstorm; the water had been draining towards the creek for some time already, but was still heavy enough to flood the trail along the creek. This area is prone to flooding (the water table is already very high here), so it's to be hoped the drainage issues can be resolved.

Lawns West of Waterfront Trail near middle bridge

In the above photo, you can see the pools of water; What you cannot see is how this water is also covering the entire lawn area. Take a step off the paved paths, and you're in an inch or two of cold water.

Rose Garden After the Rain

Here's how one of the rose garden beds looked several hours after the second rainstorm. A large hosta bed rises to the north and drains down the slope past the rose garden. Although the rose beds have had proper drainage installed, these unusually high rainfalls are simply too much for it to handle.

Over watered Rose Beds

The grounds and flower beds are simply saturated with all the rain water; As I write this Sunday afternoon, it's raining again, though not as hard (yet) as it had been during the two-hour deluge this morning. On the plus side, the lawns, shrubs, and large and newly planted trees are unseasonably green and lush.

Captain Samuel Holland Roses in Bloom at BRG

This rose bed is on a slope, and also at the top of the slope, and the rose bushes are well-established. This bed of Captain Samuel Holland - a Canadian Explorer rose - seems to be doing the best of all the rose beds. Even Chuckles, down near the bottom of the garden, was looking a little woebegone.

With much of the Gardens saturated, soggy, squishy and downright muddy, the usual volunteer tasks like weeding and planting will have to be put on hold until it dries out.

Let's hope the heavy, daily rain storms end soon! Volunteers need to get tending the rose and lily gardens. Outdoor wedding party photos look better, too, when taken on a sunny summer day.

Here's a short iMovie video of the high water levels in the creek that runs through the Gardens along the Waterfront Trail to Lake Ontario: If the video won't play, click the YouTube After the Rain link.



Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rhododendron, Coneflowers, Hostas, Phlox, Daylilies ~ What's In Bloom at the BRG

Coneflowers, phlox, hostas and daylilies join a late blooming rhododendron at the BRG to brighten the greenery with pinks, whites and yellows.

Torrential rains the past week have taken their toll on Mississauga gardens, and the flower beds at Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens are no exception. But a fast walk through the other night shows that most of the flowers survived the July storms fairly well.

Rhododendron in Bloom in late July

I stand to be corrected, but I think the end of July is latest in the spring-blooming rhodo season that I have ever seen rhodos blooming at the BRG. Well, with the exception of one valiant rhodo that sent forth a bloom late last fall.

After the Storms July 2009 - Hostas in Bloom

Hostas across Mississauga are sending up their flower spikes to add a subtle shade of mauve to the gardens. This hosta bed next to the BRG office is looking particularly fine this year -- its first full summer -- thanks largely to volunteer Don who spent many of his springtime hours weeding this new bed.

Mixed Blooms Annual, Perennial

As usual, the mixed bed of annual geraniums, marigolds, canna lilies, etc. south of the parking lot on Lakeshore Road is filling in nicely. Perennial coneflowers are now in bloom, having joined the stunning lilies and hydrangeas already in full bloom.

Any day now, one of my personal favourites, annual but self-seeding cleome, will burst forth and continue send forth pink and white spiky flower balls till frost and beyond.

Phlox in Bloom Edge of Peony Bed ~ Waterfront Trail

I recall volunteer David planting these phlox late last fall to provide not only a splash of summer color after the peonies were finished, but also to act as a buffer between the delicate peonies and the traffic on the Waterfront Trail. I for one am glad he did. Once the early summer blooming is done, the colorful phlox are most welcome!

Daylilies Frame Lake Ontario Scene

Another David Initiative is the row of daylilies now in bloom that so prettily frame the Lake views. This spot, where BRG meets Lake Ontario, is hugely popular with visitors, staff and volunteers; there are a few new and comfy benches where you can stop and sit a while.

David did a lot of work last summer and fall to clean out a profusion of overgrown vines, scrub brush and weeds that were encroaching on the nearby rhodo and azalea beds. The weeds and scrub, clearly annoyed at their removal, have mounted a counterattack. Volunteers, come defend our gardens!

Misty Views After Heavy Rains ~ Lake and Sky Blend

This is the view from the Waterfront Trail south bridge where the creek meets Lake Ontario. Following heavy summer rains, and the resulting rise in humidity, mist blurs the horizon; The less than perfect evening weather did not deter visitors.

Also in bloom are the gorgeous hydrangeas, and in the rose garden, the irrepressible Chuckles still blooming strong.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tiger Lilies, Lady Bugs, Weevils : BRG Lily Garden This Week in Port Credit

Here's a grab bag of pictures from Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens in Port Credit Ontario today, including one from David Culham: Tiger lilies, lady bugs (good) and red weevils (bad), and a note about Mississauga's naturalization policy.

To enlarge photos, click on the image, then click the Back button to return to this page.

BRG Lily Garden ~ Sunset

Dwarf irises ring the four-branch lily garden in this picture taken from the Lakeshore Road edge of the bed. See close up photos of the lilies on this page.

Tiger Lilies @ BRG

This tall rose-pink tiger lily has a brown or beige cast most noticeable on the buds, and on the underside of the petals, and is growing in a bed outside the main lily garden.

Pink Tiger Lily

These tiger lilies are blooming in a woodland setting, in the bed closest to Godfrey's Lane and Lakeshore (Port Credit village sign).

Tiger Lily Bloom Close Up with Lady Bug

A closer look at the six petals (one with a with ladybug) and the stem and leaf shape of this tiger lily. Lady bugs (also called lady birds) are a good bug and a gardener's friend, who will take care of aphids easily.

Close Up Red Weevil

Unlike lady bugs, red weevils are NOT a good bug and this one shown above can suck the life out of lilies in fairly short order. One way to control weevils is by hand picking; large infestations may need to be controlled with an insecticidal soap or Neem Oil.

Update: May 26, 2011:Red weevils overwintered in the soil and are actively eating the leaves of lily plants. We hope to be able to use natural source Neem Oil to try to control them at this early stage.

Weevil Damage Lily Garden

The weevils are doing what weevils do -- sucking the life out of the lilies in the garden.

Red Weevil Damage -- Lilies

And another view of the damage caused by lily weevils.

Volunteers at Work on Lily Garden

David Culham sends along this picture showing two of the volunteer gardeners hard at work in the lily garden at BRG. David himself devotes countless hours to making the BRG one of the loveliest of Mississauga public gardens.

Let It Be ~ Mississauga Goes Natural

It's a City of Mississauga policy to work with nature, not against it, so as much as possible, you'll find native species in a natural setting.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Roses : Brother Cadfael, Scepter'd Isle, Evelyn, Chuckles (and a Japanese Beetle)

update June 2010 : New pictures of roses.
At the BRG, fragrant David Austin roses are in bloom, including Brother Cadfael and Evelyn. Still to come is Austin's Scepter'd Isle. And a picture taken at end of day of a rose garden bed of Chuckles.

First, the pink, peony-like and very fragrant Brother Cadfael, in full bloom:

Brother Cadfael - David Austin Rose (pink)

I took this picture just after sunset. Not the best lighting, but with summer storms threatening, best to photograph when you have the chance.

Brother Cadfael Bud

How did Brother Cadfael get its name? Brit TV fans will likely know, but for the rest of us, see wiki for the Brother Cadfael story, and the David Austin site.

Evelyn with Japanese Beetle

Japanese beetles have been a bother on some of the roses including Evelyn, above, in the BRG as well as home gardens this summer,.

Japanese Beetle Closer View

Wikipedia has more information on these beetles -- see Wiki. With our area's stringent pesticide/herbicide regulations in full force, the simplest way to combat these beetles is to pick them off by hand. Alternately, Safer's Insecticidal Soap -- approved for organics -- can be used, within guidelines. See also the new photos early August showing extensive Japanese beetle infestation.

Evelyn At Sunset

Evelyn was looking particularly lovely at sunset one day, with the long, golden rays bringing out her peachy-apricot side more than the pink (see more Evelyn pictures).

Scepter'd Isle -- David Austin

Scepter'd Isle is difficult to spot in the BRG rose garden; It's another pink beauty by David Austin. I took this photo the morning following a rain storm, with the rain drops clinging to the blossom.

A Rose Garden Full of Chuckles

One of the BRG volunteer admires a bed full of Chuckles, the result of hard work to keep weeds and beetles at bay.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blooming Hydrangeas Port Credit Ontario

Hydrangeas are now in full bloom at the Gardens in Port Credit, and they appear to have weathered the wind storm on Saturday. Hydrangeas are planted throughout the gardens, so watch along the trails and along Lakeshore Road near Shawnmarr, and you're sure to find a splash of blue, mauve, white or pink to brighten your day.

Hydrangeas at Port Credit

One part of the gardens that is perhaps better known to those who live in the area than those who don't is the gardens near the Godfrey's Lane and Lakeshore Road entrance (northeast corner). Visitors tend to arrive via the Waterfront Trail or the main parking lot, and often miss seeing this little enclave of annuals, lilies and hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas BRG Main Entrance

Though these hydrangeas are blooming right beside the main parking lot on Lakeshore Road, parked cars or wedding party limos can block them from sight.

Close Up Hydrangeas BRG Main Entrance

This garden area has benefited from new plantings this past year, including a number of azaleas, but it's the hydrangeas who keep the color coming all summer long.

Hydrangeas Near Brueckner Plaque

Another area of the gardens that is glowing with hydrangea color is near the Brueckner rhodo walk just south of the parking lot, looking west. Turn and look southeast, and you'll see more hydrangeas on the hill side opposite the rose garden.

New Benches Installed at BRG

This summer, shiny new black metal benches are showing themselves throughout the gardens, like this one in the picture. Notice how the bench is set at one end of the concrete pad, and the opposite end of the pad has a rail a few inches off the surface: This area is designed to accommodate wheel chair visitors to the park.

Mixed Flower and Shrub Bed BRG Entrance

The large flower bed just south of the parking lot has a lot of blooms to catch your eye, including the yellow lilies (Asiatic Butter Pixie) and tall white hydrangeas (Snowball). Any day now, cleomes and coneflowers will burst into bloom, and the annuals are filling in nicely.

Close Up - Mixed Flower and Shrub Bed BRG Entrance

Also look for the tall lily (Lilium Oriental Miss Birma) in this bed. See more lily pictures from the lily garden at BRG.

Many Hands Make Light Work Dept . . .
Now that they are done blooming for this year, the rhododendrons need their spent blooms removed (see deadheading rhodos), and volunteers are making some headway in removing them. If you'd like to lend a hand, or volunteer at the gardens, come by the gardens office weekdays, or leave your name with one of the volunteers, or leave a comment on the blog.

BRG Visitors Map July 2009
(click to enlarge)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Red, Yellow. Orange, White, Pink Lilies An Explosion of color at BRG Mississauga

The BRG lily garden is exploding with color -- red, white, orange, pale yellow and neon yellow, pink and pink with white -- and is a must-see garden in the Port Credit area of Mississauga.

Yellow and Orange Lilies

To see the larger view of any of the pictures on this blog, click on the image, then click the Back button to return to this page. Not my idea, but that's how blogger works :-)

Asiatic Snow Crystal White Lily; Red Lily (Lilium Monte Negro)

Asiatic Lilies Snow Crystal (white) and Monte Negro (red) bring to mind poinsettias! But a lot showier!

Red-orange Lilies

Denia Pixie Asiatic Pink Lily - Wide Shot

Denia pixie is an Asiatic lily with evenly pink blooms, yellow stamen.

Lollypop Asiatic Lily --Pink Lily

The honey bees were absolutely loving this pink lily -- Asiatic lily Lollypop. (See picture below.)

Honey Bee in Lollypop Lily

Here's a close up of the bee in the Lollypop lily blossom.

Hot Orange Lilies - Gold Dwarf lilium asiatic

Q: How gorgeous are these flowers? A: Very! A visitor to the lily garden asked how we managed to get these lilies to bloom so lavishly. Was it a special type of lily? Did we use a special fertilizer? The lilies in her home garden were not blooming at all. While I couldn't give her an absolute answer, I did ask her if they were in a sunny location, and to check the variety, as maybe they were later bloomers. (Para, where are you when I need you ?)

Neon Yellow Lilies : Connecticut King

We think that these lilies -- just this side of neon yellow -- are Connecticut King, an Asiatic lily. In the bright sun, they are stunning!

Lemon Yellow Lily

These yellow lilies are a cooler shade, an icy yellow. A nice counterpoint to the more vibrant shades. All in all, a promising premiere of the newest garden at BRG.

Not all lilies have been identified, but as names become known, this page will be updated.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

BRG New Lily Bed: Layout to Summer Blooms (Bring your camera!)

Along with the new Rose Garden and Peony Beds at the BRG, the new lily bed is coming into bloom this summer. Here are some pictures to show it from the starting layout to coming into full bloom this summer.

Fall 2008 Rototilling the Lily Bed

Late last fall, city staff worked hard to prepare the site of the lily garden bed. Volunteers worked alongside and independently to lay out the shape of the future garden, and then plant the hundreds of lilies before winter. See the leaf blowing in spring video here and rototilling lily bed video here.

Cross Shaped Design New Lily Garden Bed

Once the garden area had been tilled, new top soil was added to prepare the bed for planting. As with any collaborative undertaking like that of the BRG city staff and citizens, a few compromises occur, either by design or by happenstance. Once such compromise is the shape of the lily garden. While mostly true to the original design concept, minor inadvertent variations did alter the shape. This can easily be amended as the bed matures.

The Shape of Lily Bed to Come

In the above picture, the lilies had all been planted, and the lily bed was being edged with dwarf irises. Though early December is a bit late in the normal gardening season, volunteers were able to take advantage of the warm-ish weather to plant the irises around the perimeter.

Summer 2009 Lily Garden Coming Into Bloom

I took the pictures of the lily garden coming into bloom just at noon, the worst time to take pictures, but the best time to catch the lilies without too much shade. ( Click on the picture to see larger size, then click the Back button to return to this page.)

Blaze of Orange, Red, Pink, Yellow and White Lilies

The photos simply do not do justice to the blaze of vibrant colors of these lilies! Warmed even more by the clear sunshine, they are truly lovely! The city mowers had been at work a day or so earlier, so the grass was nicely trimmed. But I noticed that it's time to get weeding the lilies!

That this is a new garden is shown most clearly by the proliferation of clover! Following a rainy week, the soil is damp and makes for easy weed pulling.

Lilies and more along Lakeshore Road

Along Lakeshore Road, near the Port Credit sign and the annual beds, you will notice that new benches are in place in the flower beds close to Godfrey's Lane. Most of the lilies in this garden, too, were newly planted late last fall, and they, too, are now in bloom.

I took some pictures of the individual varieties of lilies, and posted them here. Now, garden gloves and hoe in hand, I am heading over to the BRG to pull out those weeds!