Friday, July 3, 2015

Should Be A Busy Weekend!

With the impending Holiday weekend, we had a busy day tidying up the gardens and getting ready for the inevitable influx of visitors.  Today was extremely busy!  Nice shot above of the Russo Family Fountain with the observation pier in the distance.  I took this photo from the North path which connects the Japanese garden (via the arched bridge) to the gazebo garden.  This sunny day was a bit warmer than the previous couple and despite some areas starting to dry out a bit, we're happy for the heat which should prompt more growth and color from our vast annual beds.  We had another excellent crop of volunteers arrive to help out today although I was remiss in photographing them as I was caught up in some lengthy projects.  Regardless, the gardens continue to look great and will be headed for peak summer color over the coming weeks!  All photos in this blog were taken throughout the day today.

 the waterfall in the Japanese garden
 our red/orange/yellow theme in the entrance garden is filling out nicely
 feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) with larkspur (Consolida sp.) in the herb garden
 Queen-of-the-prairie (Filipendula rubra) - perennial
 German statice (Goniolimon tataricum) - perennial
 'Fanchion' daylily (Hemerocallis) - perennial
 'Hermitage Newton' daylily (Hemerocallis) - perennial
 'Midnight Rose' coral bells (Heuchera) - perennial

Nice shot directly above of bee balm (Monarda didyma) in the Thomas Jefferson Collection which is really filling out nicely.  Our volunteers were a huge help today.  Bill O. came in for his mowing duties.  Kathy and Eva tidied in front of the Parker Education Center.  Mary D. weeded in the sunken garden and was later helped by Kay who also worked on planting, watering and tidying her portion of the shade garden.  Cheryl P. did more weeding in the Japanese garden while Jumbo Jim and two RECAPPERS continued clean-up efforts in that garden as well.  Marv B. tidied up his two moss areas which look excellent.  Jan R. worked her weeding kung fu in the Scottish garden and we also saw Maury, Hal R., Polly and many others as well.

 delphinium (Delphinium sp.) with baby's breath (Gypsophila) in the background - perennials

Above are some of the color range of the fabulous 'Cheyenne Spirit' coneflower (Echinacea hybrida) which run the gamut of pinks, reds, oranges and yellows.  The grounds staff prepared well for the weekend.  Trevor worked on path repair and did all of the push mowing around the gardens.  Terry worked on watering, shearing, fertilizing and other tasks.  Cindy also fertilized multiple areas, weeded the terrace garden, checked over the Smelly Garden and watered the yard.  Big John ran irrigation, planted and continued his excellent work on path edging.  Janice watered, weeded and did the cutting display.  I was able to spray more herbicide, fertilize 50% of our lawns and continue to chip away at my desk work.  It was a great day and we should have a super weekend.

 popcorn cassia (Cassia didymobotrya) with 'Purple Majesty' millet (Pennisetum glaucum) in the back - both are seasonals
 'Cosmic Orange' cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) - annual
 'Pink Octopus' bellflower (Campanula hybrida) - perennial
'Bubble Gum' lungwort (Pulmonaria sp.) - perennial

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Headed for Our Best Year Yet!

Nice shot above in the fern & moss garden with the Azumaya structure in the distance.  The weather was again cool today at 72 degrees F but the sunshine helped make it a perfect day for gardening.  We saw plenty of visitors today and it was nice to see so many volunteers come in to help out today.  The gardens continue to fill in as our summer annuals gain more color although some additional heat would be nice as well.  We're right on track with our "July shift" to more fine tuning out in the gardens with work pending on more edging, mulching and other activities that help keep the gardens looking sharp.  Our planting is almost done although we always keep a "reserve" so we'll have plants to fill in gaps or openings as they occur.  All the photos in this blog were taken today.

 fragrant pinks (Dianthus hybridus) - annual
 double gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta 'Gloriosa Double') - annual
 'Overdam' feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) - perennial
 'Razzleberry' stonecrop (Sedum hybrida) - perennial

I know I'm going to omit some volunteers as I consider everyone I saw today between my meetings.  We had an excellent turnout which has become very standard for Thursdays.  Above is Del peeling/processing labels for later re-use.  Del also tidied up in the Horticulture Center where Dave, Jim and Vern kept busy with various carpentry projects.  Dick H. made some runs to the dump and helped with some indoor projects as well. Directly below are Kathy and Eva (in red) planting the Pea Patch garden which coincides with some of our programs and youth activities.  The ladies moved on to serious weeding in the Japanese garden and were joined by Vicki O. later in the morning.  The second photo down shows Mary Ann with Janice (driving) as they headed in to the Thomas Jefferson Collection for some primping.  That garden is looking quite sharp!  The third photo down shows Sandi (left) and Winifred clearing weeds near the Alphabet Jungle Garden.  The ladies shifted to the front slope to help Peg, Bonnie, Susie, Mary W. and Marilyn (fourth photo down) with similar weeding duties.  Ron P. (fifth photo down) continued replacing path gravel while Ron R. and Lloyd spread a lot of mulch near the Japanese garden.  Rollie and Dr. Gredler did their mowing and Maury ran more errands.  Hal and Doris were also on site to tidy up their beautiful garden space. The sixth photo down shows Shirley C. (left) and Mary W. before they headed out for weeding.  Stan was out working in the Japanese garden and we also saw Dr. Yahr, Gary and many others.

 Dr, Gredler to the left supervising and Dick H. and Larry napping on the job
 The Convoy of Grumpettes
 "A Rose Between Two Thorns" (Terry, Kathy and Big John, left to right)

The grounds staff kept busy all day.  Above is Nolan (left) getting ready for pond cleaning training from Larry.  Nolan also weed whipped, fertilized and is working on gravel paths to freshen them up.  Larry also ran irrigation, push mowed and helped with various repairs and tasks at the Horticulture Center.  Terry was in for a bit to finish some edging and shearing.  Big John worked significantly on path edging but also fertilized and bounced between myriad projects.  Janice helped organize and lead the volunteers this morning, worked in the Thomas Jefferson Collection and also had fertilization and watering on her to-do list as well.  I was able to go through some of  my desk work today but was able to get outside for herbicide use and other tasks.

 'Fairytale' speedwell (Veronica spicata) - perennial
 a "river" of Canadian ginger (Asarum canadense) - perennial
 variegated giant reed (Arundo donax 'Versicolor') - annual
 'Kilimanjaro' snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata) - annual
Quickfire panicled hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Bulk') looking good today

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Another Cool Day

The weather today was delightful but reminiscent of May with a cool evening followed by temperatures around 70 degrees F today.  Tonight is going to be around 50 degrees F which is unseasonably cool!  The recent moisture is still around which has been nice but some warmth would really help our summer displays get some momentum.  The Story & Stroll program seemed to go very well as there were lots of kids and their parents out in the gardens today.  We also saw many other visitors and were happy to see lots of color right now out in the gardens in advance of our summer peak.  Above is the 'Carnival Peach Parfait' coral bells (Heuchera) which has nice foliage coloration, particularly on the newest and youngest leaves.  We had another excellent coordinated effort out in the garden with both staff and volunteers and are shifting towards more weeding as the planting is winding down this week.

'Visions' false spirea (Astilbe chinensis) - perennial
'Bengal Tiger' hybrid tickseed (Coreopsis hybrida) - perennial
fairy candles (Cimicifuga ramosa) - perennial

We had a steady flow of volunteers helping out at the gardens today.  This included our gardening volunteers of course but also the many volunteers helping with the Story & Stroll program and at the Parker Education Center.  Above are Eva (driving) and Kathy headed out for some weeding near the gazebo garden.  The ladies do a nice job and shifted between two areas.  Directly below is Kelley F. working in her section of the shade garden (shared with Sue M.).  The next photo down shows Shirley C. (left) and Mary W. working in a planting berm in the arboretum (Shirley's assigned garden).  The ladies weeded and planted that space nicely.  Nearby was Betty (third photo down) planting the remainder of her berm with another 200 or so annuals.  Pearl and Don (fourth photo down) came in to tidy up their area which gets lots of attention with a strong yellow theme at the end of the shade garden.  Dr. Gredler came in for mowing and Maury ran errands.  The fifth and sixth photos down show Roy and Mary in the formal gardens where they did a nice job of hoeing the "carpeting weeds" that were starting to emerge.  They also weeded another area as well.  Kay (seventh photo down) did a nice job planting around the pool/fountain in the sunken garden and moved on to weeding near the gazebo garden.  The eighth photo down shows Cheryl P. and Karen (left) in the Japanese garden working on some pruning of yews (Taxus).  Corky, Joan and Rose N. were in to tidy up the beds at the Horticulture Center and Janice was in to work with the Chestnut House volunteers.  We had an excellent turnout today and also saw Gary, Bev D., Pat M., Marsha M. and many others.

The grounds staff had a wide range of duties.  Nolan worked on weeding and running the string trimmer this afternoon.  Trevor weeded and shifted to skimming and replacing gravel on the paths.  Cindy (half day) planted in the Smelly Garden and did more tweaking in that increasingly colorful  (and fragrant!) space.  Cheryl had a full day of weeding and tidying and also watered all the yard and greenhouse plants.  Big John removed a massive stump, edged, watered, planted and had quite a few other projects.  Terry and I ran an errand and he continued his tidying efforts in the formal gardens.  I placed more plants for installation, sprayed herbicide and continue to finalize details for looming events.  Get your Home Garden Tour (July 11th) tickets in advance for $10 ($12 the day of the event) right now at K&W Greenery or RBG.  More colorful photos from today can be seen below...

'Mystic Illusion' dahlia (Dahlia hybrida) - annual
'Ostrich Plume' false spirea (Astilbe x thunbergii) - perennial
one of the many colors of the 'Cheyenne Spirit' coneflower (Echinacea hybrida) - perennial
blanket flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora) - perennial