Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Good Day For Flannel

Today was frigid with highs around 6 degrees F (although the wind chill was a major factor too). Needless to say, there wasn't any action out in the gardens today but the Horticulture Center was quite active with about six projects going on at once. At the top are Dick W. (left) and Dick H. (smiling to the right) sporting their flannel shirts today. Directly above is an awesome winter shot that Tina B. shot yesterday. In fact, all of the winter shots in this blog and the "water color" shot of the gazebo at the bottom of this blog were shared by Tina today (thanks Tina!). Tina, Bill O., Kris K. and I had the first meeting of our Photography Contest Committee today that is working on some details for a fun photography contest this spring that will ultimately result in some awesome photos of the gardens being considered for use in our 2013 calendar. Details will be finalized by mid-February but we hope to really promote amateur photography as we know that many people take great pictures of the gardens and this is a way to share with others. We also hope to feature all submittals in some fashion and will include categories for children, youth and adults. Anyway, details to follow soon. To the right is the Bosbag which is a convenient and durable carrying contraption for garden debris, etc. I've been obtaining different products like this (as well as fabric type planters) as I want to evaluate these personally. In regards to this Bosbag, I want to observe durability and will greatly value the opinions of our volunteers. Many of the best garden tools we use at the gardens started as a demo that became more and more popular with our garden staff and/or volunteers. Directly below are more of Tina's nice shots. Sounds like we'll be adding a load of snow to these landscapes tomorrow (100% chance)! As I mentioned, we had lots of action going on inside today. Pat (to the left) and Dr. Gredler continued painting obelisks. The carpenters (Vern, Bob A., Dave and Jim) worked on repairs for our garbage and recycling bins and continued work on our new pvc pipe planters. Bob A. can be seen to the lower right smoothing out some plywood circles that are being secured in the ends of the 8" diameter pvc piping. This will hold the soil in and all these "pipe planters" will be painted next week by Rose (who also popped in with her "better half", Urban). Maury went on a paint run, replaced light fixtures and helped as needed. Dick H. helped with some of this work today and finalized repairs on the truck we'll be selling (hopefully soon!). Del and Dick W. worked on processing more plywood deer and sleigh cutouts and getting them ready for painting. Our carpentry shop was as crowded as ever! Larry and Bill worked on a bunch of project together including replacing the choke cable on our Grasshopper snowblower which will need to be ready tomorrow. The guys also picked up some nice donations from a local vendor that will be quite valuable out in the gardens next year. Marianne came in and worked on processing some seed orders, preparing woody plant stakes and lots of beneficial "purging" of outdated references, seeds, etc. from the break room. We also saw Janice, Gary and many others today. Mary Kay T. (MKT) came in early to talk to me about our recent DNR grant that will allow for new trees in our parking lot islands. MKT is associated with the Janesville Shade Tree Advisory Committee and will be spearheading some efforts regarding education on the implications of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in our area. MKT is also a RBG volunteer and Master Gardener. This discussion related to our grant but also some other educational opportunities that will be coming up this spring (Earth Day and Arbor Day). We had 21 attendees at the Bonsai Basics program last night and Karl Bethke did a top notch job. Don't miss Orchids for Everyone on Wednesday, February 15th (6:30 pm - 8 pm) at the Parker Education Center. Gary started officially as Interim Executive Director today and we appreciate his efforts and commitment to keeping everything running smoothly. I sure like Tina's gazebo shot at the bottom!

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