Weekend iris and peony celebrations at Royal Botanical Gardens’ Laking Garden include live entertainment and tours

Burlington ON, June 1, 2018 — Visitors to Royal Botanical Gardens’ (RBG) Laking Garden will be with mesmerized by brilliant colour combinations as its iris and peonies collections reach peak bloom. Visitors can explore the peony collection, perennial borders and the hosta walk at the Laking Garden. Blooms are accentuated by live entertainment, tours, and a turtle tutorial about RBG’s resident turtles.

Planted in 1947, the iris collection was RBG’s first herbaceous collection of importance with the main focus on tall bearded iris. There are approximately 250 species of wild iris found around the world and several are planted here. The name iris derives from Greek meaning rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species and cultivars. RBG’s collection includes award-winning bearded iris and hundreds of others including miniature bearded, dwarf bearded, intermediate bearded, border bearded, tall bearded, Siberian, spuria and wild species iris.

The garden also features a broad selection of tree and herbaceous peony cultivars, as well as several ancestral wild species. The Greeks referred to peonies as ‘the Queen of all herbs’ while the Chinese considered them ‘the King of all flowers’. Over time, peonies have been used ethno-botanically as a medicinal plant, as a spice, for making tea, as a perfume and the seeds were even used as jewelry.

Peonies are divided into three groups. Herbaceous peonies, which die back to the ground each winter, Tree peonies, which are one- to two-metre tall woody shrubs that bloom ahead of their herbaceous cousins, and the latest introduction of Intersectional (Itoh) hybrids, a cross between the two. The herbaceous peony collection is predominantly on the lower terrace near the gazebo while tree peonies are found on the upper terrace.

About Laking Garden


RBG’s Laking Garden (located at1260 Spring Gardens Road, Burlington) is set on a fertile terraced plain, formerly a market garden, and is home to RBG’s herbaceous perennial collections. The belvedere at the end of the path offers a panoramic view over the entire garden. This garden, overlooked by a small cottage, offers the visitor an insight into the depth and breadth of perennial plants.


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For a full schedule of activities, please visit www.rbg.ca/events

John Best had enjoyed a lengthy media management career, in television and radio and now print. As Vice President, News at CHCH in Hamilton, John oversaw a significant expansion of the news operation. He founded Independent Satellite News, Canada’s only television news service providing national content to Canadian independent TV stations. John is a frequent political commentator on radio and television, a documentary producer and author of a book and numerous articles on historical and political subjects. John is a past recipient of the New York Festival’s award for writing in the International TV category.

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