Friday, February 3, 2012

Seed Orders Dwindling...

While I'm not quite done ordering seeds, I did complete orders for all of our fun plant sale vegetable offerings. Looks like we'll have 30 varieties of tomatoes (Lycopersicon) although we'll have an additional 15 or so tomato varieties that lend themselves well to containers (compact) or hanging baskets (trailers). Included in these selections are some of the favorite heirloom varieties from previous sales. We'll also have 30 varieties of bell peppers (Capsicum) and lots of hot peppers for both ornamentation and/or the kitchen! Many basil (Ocimum) varieties will also be offered with a wide range of herbs. This spring sale (May 12th & 13th, 9 am - 4 pm, Horticulture Center) should be our best yet and RBG Members can come to the "pre-sale" on Friday, May 11th (also 9 am - 4 pm). RBG Members get 10% their purchases during the entire duration of the sale (fall plant sale too!). We'll have our plant sale lists and other sale details on the RBG website very soon. The picture above (from Tina B.) is the 'Autumn Colors' gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) which is just one of the 500+ flower varieties that I've already ordered as seed. The sorting and labeling process will begin in earnest next week with Marianne. To the right is some spinach (Spinacia) that has been growing all winter along the warm front of our Horticulture Building. It has grown well recently and had toughed it out well.

It was another nice turnout of volunteers today. To the left is Dick W. continuing his painting of the deer cutouts. He has been in almost daily over the last couple weeks to work on this project or help outside as needed. Dr. Gredler has moved on to painting obelisks a dark lavender after finishing his orange ones. Doc was here all day as were Urban and Rose who completed two of the three pyramids and should finish that up by Monday. My younger daughter came in to work with me this afternoon and worked with Rose on some obelisk painting too. Maury was in for the second and last coat of green on the pipe planters. He also ran some errands for me. To the right are some of the many hand tools that we'll continue to clean-up and sharpen over the winter months. Little Jerry and Del had already done much of that work but with recent work out in the gardens, we'll make sure all the tools are serviceable and ready to go for spring. Marv and Bill O. were in to work on a project together and we also saw Mary W., Bob T. and some others too. LP Tree Service was in to do some work for us today and I'm always impressed at how efficient they are with any project they tackle. True professionals. To the left are the labels Marianne will be using as we coordinate the seeds. These labels have been very handy for sorting seeds by collection. For instance, any flat of flowers that comes back in spring from the grower with a blue label will be grouped with "like labeled" flats and ultimately is part of the same collection and/or will go in the same area. These labels are also used for pricing in our spring and fall plant sales as the colors will correspond to a standard cost. We collect the labels for re-use as we process plant sale purchases. Marianne has stream-lined this whole process. I just ordered another 10,000 of these labels to augment our diminishing supply.

I spent the morning finalizing some seed orders and also developed some details and guidelines for our imminent 2012 Photography Contest (for amateurs). Details will be on the website very shortly. Essentially, participants can submit up to three high resolution photos (taken at RBG) that will be considered for our 2013 RBG calendar. We'll have 12 "winners" for the month shots (and cover) and 12 "honorable mentions" that will be smaller inset photos in the calendar. We're finalizing details and I appreciate the efforts of our committee for this contest (Lisa, Tina, Bill, Kris and Sue). Below are some the offerings for the spring plant sale. Directly below is holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) and at the bottom is the 'Mariachi' hybrid pepper (Capsicum) which is great for a container and these peppers have a bit of spice/heat to them as well. The bottom photo is courtesy of All-America Selections (AAS).

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