Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Frivolity

This shrub rose caught my eye today. This is 'Sweet Fragrance' and it is one of the roses in our collection from Bailey Nursery (MN). This low-maintenance shrub rose (Easy Elegance Series) has hybrid tea-like blooms and a wonderful fragrance from blooms that have hints of coral pink, apricot and yellow. Mature height and width is between 3 and 4 feet tall. I wouldn't consider our rose collection to be spectacular yet but we're trying. It's a young collection that has dealt with a severe winter, monumental spring rains and now, Japanese beetles. Ugh. This variety really stood out though! Scent from a low-maintenance shrub rose? Sign me up!

There really wasn't much frivolity today but we had a great team that included the volunteers; Kay, Rolando, Dr. Gredler, Don, Thelma, Karen and Ellie. Fridays for the grounds staff can be pretty exhausting as we continue to water, yank weeds, plant, mow and prepare specific gardens for weekend weddings. The gang was kept hopping and I'm glad we still watered. It was overcast and it seemed like rain was looming. We always water even if it looks stormy as we've been "burnt" waiting for vital rain that never quite materializes. The grounds staff and interns from Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI) stopped by this afternoon for a tour. What a great group of people and Olbrich is a must-see botanic garden with lots of cool plants and garden features (including a conservatory). Good work Jeff, Samara, Mark, Christian, Sam and gang! Neat lily pads in our Koi Pond. The fish remind me of my cats at home. As soon as they see you, they think food is involved. A concerned visitor suggested that our fish were being underfed. He gave us a suggestion for some good fish food and we took his advice regarding a more aggressive feeding schedule. This visitor has plenty of experience with fish and we're very open to suggestions and constructive criticism. We have many water features and both plants and creatures associated with them. These garden elements need as much (or frequently more) attention than traditional plants and cannot be neglected. We're still learning too.

Below is another neat Helen's flower (Helenium autumnale) called 'Double Trouble'. This is the first double sneezeweed with a nice double row of lemon yellow petals and a green center that ages to yellow. This is a medium height perennial at 30" and falls in line with many of the mid-summer blooming Heleniums. I would plant these in larger groupings as it seems to be a "narrow" perennial. Showy though!!!

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