Friday, April 11, 2008

A Friday of "Productive Preparation"

We had a great Friday here at the gardens and typically get lots of work done in preparation for the weekend. We have a work day tomorrow but the weather forecast includes rain and/or snow... We dug up some bearded iris to divide and plant in pots for an indoor project tomorrow. Normally you don't divide bearded irises until late summer but these are specimens that we're removing from the gardens to sell at the spring plant sale on May 17. We don't like having any plants in the gardens that can't be identified and/or labeled. We are maintaining and developing our plant collections with the intent of being able to always identify all plants in our "outdoor musem."

I can't say enough about foliage. We all enjoy those first blooms of spring but seeing lush green foliage like this emerging (picture taken today) is a welcome sight. Most people confuse this foliage with that of daffodils (Narcissus). However, this is the foliage of the resurrection lily (Lycoris squamigera). This foliage will photosynthesize and store energy in the bulb portion of the plant. The foliage later dies down in June. In August, you'll see the leafless stems of this plant emerge, topped by beautiful pink, trumpet-shaped blooms. The flowers last about two weeks and this plant is reliably hardy to zone 5. Mulching will help with hardiness as well. These bulbs will form very long-lived colonies.

We're looking forward to an exciting spring and the gravel yard at our maintenance facility will soon be filled with over 100,000 annuals, 4,000 perennials and dozens of trees and shrubs, all looking for a home. Lots of neat things coming up and the busy time has hit full force. Summer teaser below:

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