Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hoarfrosty Day

Today was beautiful out in the gardens with hoarfrost everywhere. I wish I had actually taken more pictures as it didn't melt off much even by the afternoon. Above is one of our 'Blondo' Japanese silver grasses (Miscanthus sinensis) in the main parking lot with some frost. The ornamental grasses have stood up nicely this winter and haven't been challenged much by heavy snows (yet). Today was another day where I accomplished plenty but not any of what I had intended (except for this blog I suppose)! That happens often but is irrelevant as my duties today were fairly important any way. The juggling of projects allows me to bounce around a bit but I have some very time sensitive things to accomplish like finishing seed and plant orders. We had a long staff meeting which was vital as we're addressing a lot of planning that needs to be confirmed quite soon. To the right is the Rocky Mountain, blue weeping juniper (Juniperus scopulorum 'Tolleson's Weeping') near the Horticulture Center looking quite picturesque this morning. To the left is one of our oak leaf cutouts that are currently available for our "art in the garden" project this year. Forty of these became available yesterday and there are only 32 left! See the RBG website ( for more information on this fun project. These leaves, once decorated/intepreted by participating artists, will be secured out in the gardens for our visitors to enjoy. Last year the butterfly cutouts were dynamite out in the gardens and we had a positive response from visitors and those that bid on these art pieces at the end of the season (September). We had lots of volunteers here today although it's important to mention that my blog only references those volunteers I run across at the Horticulture Center or out in the gardens. There are many more volunteers helping daily in the gift shop, with education, committee involvement and providing plumber skills like Dick P. to the right. Below is Larry cutting down the last of our removals. This is actually an elm tree (Ulmus americana 'Valley Forge') which has been disappointing as it keeps splitting and had developed a horrible form. I truly don't like removing trees unless there is a good reason. I had hoped the best for this specimen but there "comes a time" as they say.Terry & Marv (with the fancy gold gloves) above helped haul off the remains of the elm tree and they were a couple of many volunteers that showed up today to help out. Larry, Bill O. and Urban were out in the gardens pruning today and Urban was back for some more painting duties in the afternoon. Dr. Gredler was in to re-stain some obelisks and will have no shortage of work in the coming weeks. Del and Dick W. spent time priming/painting the deer and sleigh cutouts and have made a lot of progress on this project. Dick H. and Dick P. worked on some repairs (like the plumbing mentioned above) at the Rath Center and Maury both helped them and also painted his last three pvc pipe planters green (see bottom photo). Dave T., Jim and Bob A. continued to work on repairing and repainting both our garbage and recycling bins. The photo to the right is a dwarf Himalayan pine (Pinus wallichiana 'Nana') in the entrance garden. This five-needled pine (like our native white pine) has such a nice soft texture and the hoarfrost just added to the visual appeal this morning. The stump to the left is just one of a dozen that we'll have "ground out" this spring. Our target trees are down and it's amazing how different it looks out in the gardens.

Marianne was in to process another seed order, assemble handouts (for the Garden Expo) and will be starting on plant labels very shortly. Luis came in and printed out the next couple of batches of tree and shrub labels. Gary's repair/cleaning of the laser engraver yesterday was successful and Gary was over to help Luis troubleshoot some of the issues. Janice was in for her Volunteer Committee Meeting and worked on the plant sale information sheets. We also saw Mark S. and others at the Horticulture Center today. To the right are some additional snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) from yesterday. You can see how they get their name and these aren't too far away from blooming either. A couple more warm days and these will be blooming strongly. Directly below are some Japanaese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) berries with hoarfrost. While colorful, this shot demonstrates the problem with barberries that have a heavy fruit set like this as the birds will consume and "disperse" these fruits/seeds far and wide.

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