Thursday, April 24, 2008

Back to April Weather

Hepatica acutiloba up above. It's a great woodland ephemeral. The temperatures were still on the warm side for this time of year but the winds and overcast skies allude to both more rain and falling temperatures thru next week. I took this picture of hyacinths ('Kronos') in front of our visitor's center. We did a collection of hyacinths years ago and displayed over 80 varieties. My favorite variety is this deep, blue-violet 'Kronos' which has a nice scent as well. Hyacinths, planted in October as bulbs, should be in areas where they don't get a lot of water/irrigation during their dormant time. They will last longer in those soils and come back for many years. They sure do pack a lot of "flower power" though for such a short plant.

The crew from Wisconsin Public Television came to shoot a segment of The Wisconsin Gardener. Shelley Ryan, the host came with Kerman, Frank and Greg. They are a fun group and despite some retakes due to wind, visitors and other distractions, we ended up with two pretty good segments on horsetails (Equisetum) and hellebores (Helleborus). These four work well together and have a great sense of humor. Shelley does such a wonderful job "on the fly" and we certainly had fun today (and beat the rain that started in the afternoon).

Boxes are arriving daily with plants for the gardens. The UPS and FedEX guys visit often this time of year. It's just like Christmas when we open these boxes and see what "goodies" have arrived. Of course, the "goodies" are immediately in need of repotting, labeling and basic TLC. It's always a juggling act to deal with plants that are shipped from warmer climates. Many times these plants are weeks ahead of where they would be in our climate. We don't like leaving this tender growth outside over night, so we'll move plants in and out during the day and pamper them until it gets past mid-May and they can be planted in the garden. Many plants will be coming in next week as well.

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