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Monday, March 5, 2012

BRG Second Lookout Over Lake Ontario

The BRG has a brand new lookout near the south east entrance off Godfreys Lane where visitors can 'stop and sit a spell'. Here are some pictures taken last August and September when the new lookout was under construction, a great reminder of warmer times on this cold March day.

Lookout at BRG near Godfreys Lane
 City staff had earlier laid three new concrete pads for the new benches and seating area overlooking Lake Ontario. As well,  a clump of dead trees (formerly located near the front of the buggy in the picture) were also removed. This lookout is across the Waterfront Trail path from the Gardens nursery, and just east of the southernmost bridge across Tecumseh Creek. Another Lake Ontario lookout completed last year is west from here, across the bridge. (See this post for the 'top' lookout)

Southeast Garden New Lookout Preparations
 Here is another view of this new lookout, facing east towards Godfreys Lane. Several new tamarack trees were planted to complement the lovely, mature tamaracks (larch) already well established in this area. Large copper beeches (burgundy color in background) create a nice contrast in foliage colors.

Fence Posts Added to New BRG Lookout
Work on the new lookout was well under way before I had a chance to get back to the Gardens to take pictures. This split rail fence is consistent with same natural look fencing in other areas of the Gardens, like the other lookout on Lake Ontario and the fence at the Brueckner heritage rhododendron beds.

Split Rail Fence at Lower Lookout BRG
Although this second lookout, which, unlike the first Lake Ontario lookout, is only a few feet above the beach, it still needs a fence so visitors won't inadvertently walk over the edge. And, like the first lookout, the fencing provides a nice backdrop for flowering  plants and shrubs.

BRG Lookout Split Rail Fence Completed, Grass Seed Sown
With the split rail fence posts trimmed, topsoil added and grass seed sown, this new lookout shows a glimpse of the wonderful addition it will make to this part of the Gardens. I would like to note that this project was handled from start to finish by City of Mississauga staff, and I, for one (and there are many others) say they did a wonderful job!

BRG Lake Ontario Lookout : Park Benches in place
With this work being done in late summer andearly fall, the newly sown grass seeds soon grew and filled in the area. This past season was one of the best in recent memory for successfully seeding new lawns. In this picture, you will note that the wrought iron benches have been installed.  Yellow tape alerts visitors to keep back from the new grass.

BRG New  Lower Lookout Construction Complete
And so, yellow tape removed, new grass grown, split rail fence built, and benches in place on their solid concrete bases: The new lookout is complete. Notice the split rail fence posts: Flowers and shrubs were transplanted from other areas of the Gardens to soften the fencing and frame a vignette of Lake Ontario. Memory may not be serving me as well as it could, but I believe the new plants are Rudbeckia (Brown Eyed Susans) and Purple Coneflowers.


Name the Lookout(s)
But there's one thing that needs to be done: These lookouts need a name. Before this second lookout was built, staff, visitors and volunteers alike were able refer to the first, and only lookout as simply 'The Lookout' or the Lake Ontario lookout, and others would understand.

 Now that there are two, a distinction should be made. I propose that the simplest way is to henceforth call the first lookout the Top Lookout as it is located just south of the top of a hill, with a steep drop off to the beach. This second lookout is only about 3 feet above the beach, and located in a lower, flat area of the Gardens; I dub thee Lower Lookout.

(Of course, I am open to suggestions for alternate names, and would not object should one of the lookouts (the top one, preferably) be named after moi!)

Spring is Nearly Sprung!
Despite this cold spell the past few days, Spring is definitely in the air, with long days,  swelling buds on trees, and snowdrops already in bloom last week, earlier than usual. [Note on the previous link there are also photos of this part of the Gardens, with tamaracks in Autumn.]

 Do drop by the Gardens over the next few weeks to watch the fat buds on the magnolias, the rhododendrons and azaleas start to open. And keep watch for spring blooming bulbs throughout the Gardens, particularly the hundreds of tulips planted last Fall along Lakeshore Road West entrance.