We had another nice turn out of volunteers this morning at the Horticulture Center. While I'm still recovering from the WPT Garden Expo, it was nice to catch up some projects around the office today. While light snow started late this morning, the sunrise (bottom photo) was quite fetching. The top picture shows, from left to right, Kay, Marianne and Pat (new volunteer) in the office this morning. The ladies were helping write labels for our seed orders and did a nice job keeping everything organized. The orange labels correspond to our "bulk" and "miscellaneous" items and every tag will ultimately correspond to one flat of that variety. It sounds like all three ladies will be back tomorrow morning to finish the task. The next steps after this process is complete is to sort all the seed packets by grower, finalize the growing lists and deliver the seeds. We're still waiting for a couple back-ordered items but can't slow down our process at this point as we need to drop off the seeds very shortly. Directly above is the first batch of tree signs that Larry prepared this weekend. We've found that this size is perfect for offering some anchoring for these labels and we'll be able to install these easily by using a 3" diameter auger (on a drill) to start the holes. The cups peel away from the concrete quite easily. Larry will need to make about 30 more batches like this over the coming weeks to keep ahead of our label production. To the right is Larry sizing up our bowl planters which were addressed by Marv and Terry later in the morning (see below). This set-up, which will be on taller pvc pipes, will work nicely as we get them assembled and painted over the coming months. Further below is Marv offering Kay an opportunity for a new hat. While Kay and Pat were working on labels, Marianne also prepared my handouts for my talk tonight on Fragrant Annuals at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI). While this will be my seventh presentation in four days, I never get tired of talking about plants and promoting RBG. Janice was in for most of the morning working on preparing informative plant sale signs. She and Marianne also did a nice job organizing some of the office (which really needed it).
Larry and Dick H. unpacked all of our Garden Expo materials from our trailer early this morning. Larry moved on to other projects while Dick H. continued cutting and bending more aluminum stakes for our woody plant labels. Bill O. came in later to help Larry around the Horticulture Center. Urban was out pruning in the gardens all morning and we had Dr. Gredler painting large obelisks (dark blue). Dave, Vern, Jim and Bob continued work on repairing the trash and recycling bins and have plenty of projects lined up. Del and Dick W. continued work on the sleigh cutouts and have another two weeks or so of finishing up this project. We also saw Gary, Polly, Amanda and many others today. The winter images here were from my walk thru Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI) last Friday. They do such a nice job with their containers in general and winter is no exception. Note the use of not only greens but colorful dogwood stems (Cornus) and bittersweet (Celastrus) fruits.
Despite the long weekend at the WPT Garden Expo, it is always a great opportunity for us to share what we are all about to a large, captive audience. It's interesting to see event attendees shy away from the booth as they think we're trying to sell something. Well, we are to a certain degree. Despite such great "word of mouth" promotions of the gardens over the years, there are still many that have not visited or perhaps hadn't even heard of us yet. I like to think that if we get them to the garden, we'll have them "hooked"! Kudos to the WPT staff that organizes this event and we appreciate all that Shelley Ryan has done to promote RBG personally and professionally. Don't forget the Orchids for Everyone talk this Wednesday evening (6:30 pm) at the Parker Education Center.