Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chipping Away

Nice winter shot above of the Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) in the main parking lot. This grass (30" tall) doesn't mind part sun locations and also gets a nice orange/tan fall color. We haven't had many heavy snows yet but this species is pretty good at standing up thru a tougher winter. Unfortunately this grass is not as available as it should be! Today was a lot more continued work on projects that have already been put in motion. There is an unbelievable amount of work that needs to be done before the spring season and I'm always amused by those that ask if we have anything to do in winter!? I spent more time on seed orders today and had a couple of meetings. Our Spring Tree Sale Committee met and this included many members of the Blackhawk Golden "K" Kiwanis club. Four of the members are also Grumpies (Maury, Dick P., Dick H. and Dick K.)! This will be the second year we partner together for this Spring Tree Sale (April 20th and 21st, 8 am - 3 pm, Horticulture Center). We've ordered 12,000 small trees that include Norway spruce, Colorado blue spruce, Black Hills spruce, Eastern arborvitae, white pine, Concolor fir, red oak, sugar maple and swamp white oak. Details on this sale will be on our website very shortly (if not already). To the above left is the compact corkbark fir (Abies lasiocarpa var. arizonica 'Compacta') in front of the Parker Education Center today. We actually have a very interesting assortment of choice dwarf conifers throughout the entrance garden that get "lost in the shuffle" with all the summer color out front but are very prominent in winter. To the right is a tough little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) specimen in the parking lot still showing some of that orange/pink dormant coloration. I'll continue seed ordering tomorrow and will attempt to finish the third of my three presentations for the WPT Garden Expo ("Eat Your Landscape"). Our gift shop is currently selling advance tickets for this event which is always a good way to beat the winter doldrums. To the right is the Harry Lauder's walking stick or contorted European filbert (Corylus avellana 'Contorta') which is always quite fetching in winter. This variety does need plenty of aggressive thinning though to maximize the appearance and minimize "stem congestion."

We had a great turnout of volunteers today. To the above left is Maury who is starting to prepare our pvc pipe planters for painting. Dr. Gredler was in to work on more obelisks (wood sealer). Pat and Urban were out doing more pruning in the garden and Larry was out there as well. Dave, Jim, Bob and Vern worked on more carpentry with the focus being on repairing the garbage and recycling bins. Del and Dick W. continued their carpentry work on the plywood reindeer cutouts. Bill O. was helpful for many with his assistance. Dick P. and Maury also tried to repair some plumbing issues at the other building. Dick H. worked on bending more of our aluminum stakes for the new woody plant labels (see to the left and right). We also saw Gary, Terry, Tom C., Jumbo Jim, Mary W. and many others. Marianne worked on processing seed orders, preparing plant stakes and tidying up the break room. Janice was in to work on preparing vegetable information for the plant sale. Tom & Nancy F. brought in some seed packets (recent donation to RBG) that they had inventoried and sorted for me. They then revisited their project from years ago which is organizing our flat files which contain lots of valuable information. Directly below is one of two recycling units that were just donated to us. These will be very handy in both the main office area and for rentals as well. We have so many wonderful corporate and individual donors that make a huge difference each year with their generosity.

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