Monday, July 27, 2015

On Vacation

On vacation but will try to blog as time allows.  I hope to see some other botanic gardens as well.  Great day today at the gardens with lots of volunteers and an excellent grounds crew.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Another Fantastic Friday

It was another excellent day out in the gardens.  What we thought was going to be a very muggy day was actually not bad with a decent breeze and overcast skies.  It was again nice to see so many visitors out in the gardens enjoying seeing plants like this 'Heartthrob' perennial hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos) seen directly above.  Talented volunteers along with our excellent grounds crew accomplished lots of projects and have the gardens looking spiffy for the weekend.  More photos from the gardens can be seen throughout this blog.

 'Samurai Sword' Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum) - perennial
 'Lion Fish' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual
'Red Coral' coleus (Solenostemon scutellariodes) - annual

Our dedicated grounds volunteers continue to accomplish so much out in the gardens.  Above are Kathy (left) and Eva in the fern & moss garden where they tidied up and planted 50 or so new ferns.  Kay (below) tidied up many areas and her attention to detail is second to none.  Karen, Cheryl P. and Carole K. tidied in the Japanese garden and Bill O. did his mowing rounds.  Jan R. continued her tidying in the Scottish garden.  Jumbo Jim and Deb G. brought in six RECAPPERS and these gentlemen did an excellent job out in the gardens.  Chuck and Ken took the cart out for some tour training and we also saw Mary W., Elsa, Jean S., Marsha M., Maury, Gary S. and many others.

We had VIPs in the garden today with Jessica (in orange) from Boerner Botanical Gardens (Hales Corners, WI) and Marian from the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (Milwaukee).  I had a great tour with the ladies and they took full advantage of the giant Adirondack chair in the arboretum (one of two!).  

The grounds staff was hopping today between many diverse projects.  Suffice it to say that Cindy, Big John, Terry, Janice and Trevor had a busy day start to finish.  Tasks included mowing, watering, fertilizing, pruning, planting, etc.  I wasn't much help outside but my pressing desk work is becoming a priority.  It was an excellent Friday!

 'Scarlet' kale (Brassica oleracea) - annual (yummy!)
 fragrant herbs in the Smelly Garden!
 'Jolt Pink' sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) - annual (fragrant!)
 'Mystic Illusion' dark-leaved dahlia (Dahlia hybrida) - annual
 wild petunia (Ruellia humilis) - perennial
'Yellowfin Tuna' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual
 'Alpha' pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) - annual
 Incrediball  smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens 'Abetwo') - woody shrub

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Heat Intensifies

It was another warm and sunny day with our high temperature climbing in to the mid 80 degrees F range.  "Bring it on!" I say as the gardens are responding well with plenty in bloom like the gayfeather (Liatris sp.) above.  This weather is more characteristic for late July and while I've enjoyed all the cooler days this summer, the heat should really prompt some color out in the gardens.  Every day I find something new blooming or reaching peak color and it's not hard to snap photos at all!  Our always productive grounds staff was joined by a slew of excellent volunteers today.  All the photos in this blog were taken today.

 fragrant peacock orchid (Acidenthera murielae) - annual
 common madia (Madia elegans) - annual (fragrant!)
 'Summer Beauty' ornamental onion (Allium angulosum) - perennial
 'Mystic Enchantment' dark-leaved dahlia (Dahlia hybrida) - annual
'Hot Lava' coneflower (Echinacea hybrida) - perennial

My Thursday blogs since May have described how well-attended our volunteer mornings are this time of the week and today was no exception.  There was a wide range of activities accomplished like painting by Gary (above) and obelisk construction by Bobby K. and Dick H. directly below (Dick to the right).  In lieu of the activity synopsis that I usually give, I'd like to recognize the contributions of Gary B., Bobby K., Dick H., Ron Y., Stan, Eva, Kathy, Bonnie, Mary R., Suzie, Ron P., Ed, Larry, Ron R., Dr. Gredler, Dr. Yahr, Rollie, Vicky, Mary W., Roy W., Hal R., Doris R., Bill O., Shirley H., Mary Ann G. and many others!  It was a great day for volunteerism at the gardens and note the captions seen further below under the photos....

The grounds staff had a great day despite the increasing heat over the course of the afternoon.  Janice helped coordinate volunteers, fertilized, worked in the Thomas Jefferson Collection and bounced between some other odd jobs.  Big John pruned more boxwoods (Buxus), moved around a lot of sprinklers, pruned and had some other tasks.  Larry ran irrigation, watered containers and had some other duties.  Nolan (half day) worked with Trevor on some pond cleaning duties and path work.  Nolan also did some string trimming and Trevor continued with path improvements throughout the afternoon.  I had some meetings and have no shortage of stationary projects at my desk unfortunately.  Overall, it was an excellent day though!

 Ron P. (left) and Ed air edging in the Smelly Garden
 Ron R. (left) and Larry H. tidying paths
 Shirley making more progress in the reception garden
 Mary and Roy in the shade garden
 Mary Ann G. in the Thomas Jefferson Collection
 Peg above and Bonnie (left) and Suzie below...

 Dr. Gredler above doing his mowing rounds
 Vicky O. tidying nicely (above)
 Kathy (left) and Eva 
Doris R. (sans Hal)
 'Glow Select Blue Stardust' petunia (Petunia) - annual
 'Bengal Tiger' tickseed (Coreopsis) - perennial
 'King Crab' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - Under the Sea Series - annual
 'Unstoppable Upright Fire' begonia (Begonia boliviensis) - annual
 'Alpha' pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) - annual
'Cherry Brandy' gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) - annual

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wonderful Wednesday

It was another gorgeous day out in the gardens.  It was one of our five scheduled FREE days and we saw an excellent crowd of visitors enjoying the gardens.  The views (like that above in the gazebo garden) continue to look gorgeous and our seasonal collections are filling in nicely with all of the recent heat.  I can look back to my seed ordering in January and realize the culmination of selecting, ordering, picking up, planting and encouraging so many of our plants has reached the peak time for visitors to enjoy the summer color!  The weather was not unbearably warm (84 degrees F in the afternoon) and we still have nice cool mornings.  Our grounds staff was very productive today as were our many volunteers.  All the photos in this blog were taken today.

 Plectranthus argentatus peaking out of 'Lacinato' kale (Brassica oleracea) - both annuals
 'Golden Torch' cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) - perennial
 'Sunshine Daydream' double sunflower (Helianthus x multiflorus) - perennial
 'Gnash Rambler' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual
 'Arizona Sun' blanket flower (Gaillardia aristata) - perennial

Our volunteer crew was excellent today. Kathy (above) and Eva (below) worked in about three different areas and focused on some serious weeding.  While the first wave of weeds was decimated over the last couple of months, we continue to comb through every garden area and do our best to hold the weed population in check.  These ladies are excellent at what they do!  Kay was in for a good portion of the day as well for weeding, tidying and a significant planting project just outside the English cottage garden.  She worked along a narrow border that has needed help for years and it looks fabulous.  The second photo down shows Marleen (left) and Magda working in their assigned garden space.  These ladies are excellent gardeners although they get a bit chatty at times....beautiful smiles though!  Pat C. came in for label repair and inventory.  She is quite organized which is a huge help in regards to our plant records and labels!  The third photo down shows the Chestnut House volunteers working with Janice at the Horticulture Center for yard projects and tending their raised planters.  The fourth photo down shows our afternoon crew of (left to right) Patti, Gena, Mary and Myrt.  The ladies also weeded with a heavy focus on the woodland glen, Palmer Drive peony bed and elsewhere.   Dr. Gredler came in for some afternoon mowing and we also saw Joe M. (watering), Marsha M. (photography) and many others!

The grounds staff kept busy today and made lots of positive comments about the number of visitors out in the gardens - always great news!  Cheryl did some tidying in the rose garden crescents to start the day and transitioned to more weeding and tidying in and around the Japanese garden.  Cindy did some planting but spent the bulk of her time keeping the Smelly Garden theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden looking excellent.  Nolan worked on weed whipping and fertilizing while Trevor worked on fertilizing and gravel path upgrades.  Terry and Big John pruned a lot more boxwoods (Buxus) and moved on to watering projects and other duties.  I was able to place plants for installation, collect some debris, install plant signs and catch up on desk work.  Another excellent day during peak garden season!

 spider flower (Cleome hassleriana) - mixed colors - annual
 zinnia (Zinnia hybrida 'Profusion Double Deep Salmon') - annual
 'Pegasus' begonia (Begonia hybrida) - annual
 'Cheyenne Sky' switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) - perennial
 'Red Cathedral' love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) - annual
chameleon plant (Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon') - perennial (spreading!!!)