Saturday, June 7, 2008

One Of Our Best Workdays Ever!!!

The rains held off this morning and we had an awesome turnout for our Saturday planting day. Bev, Cathy and Mike above were three of almost forty volunteers that turned out to help plant. I estimate that we planted close to 20,000 annuals in four hours. We orchestrated the planting day well with crews planting five areas and shifting around as needed. Members of the Janesville Noon Rotary Club planted our entire terrace garden (no small feat!). Support crews picked up garbage, empy pots, flats, etc. and hauled plants as needed. Other volunteers tidied up the gardens for our four outdoor wedding today. I hope those weddings occurred despite some rain and heavy winds that passed thru in the afternoon. We had tornado sightings West, Northwest and Northeast of us. We had a group of "volunteers in orange" from the Rock County Jail that came and helped as part of a new program to utilize prisoners for charitable and non-profit work around the community. All sixteen were a huge asset and were very productive overall (see below).
We had many visitors coming thru the gardens today as well. A bus tour came thru and as we finished up, the start of outdoor wedding setups were occurring. It's nice to interact with visitors with questions and compliments regarding the gardens. I tend to see the weeds and the things that need to be done. I will say that this blog has allowed me to see more of the gardens and not miss the contributions of our exciting plant collections. Ed Lyon (our Director) lead a bus tour today to three area nurseries for a plant buying expedition. One of their stops was Song Sparrow Nursery just east of Janesville. Normally a mail-order nursery (amazing offerings by the way, look them up online or request a picture catalog), Song Sparrow allowed our group to shop on site. What a treat. I've gone in the past and it's hard to keep the wallet put away if you catch my drift. The 'Pink Spritzer' peony below was from Song Sparrow as peonies are one of their specialties. Note the beautiful wild indigo hybrid (Baptisia hybrida 'Purple Smoke') in full bloom as well. Some of our ornamental onions are just starting to peak. The bottom image is of Allium karataviense 'Ivory Queen' in our alpine garden. What a crisp look. The plant will essentially "disappear" as it goes dormant in 3-4 weeks. Plant this a bulb in October.

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