We had a skeleton crew today with most of the action occuring over at the Horticulture Center. The three images included first in this blog are from our first, returned oak leaf project and it really looks neat! This decoupage approach is quite striking and I liked both sides of the leaf. It will be nice to see all of these placed and installed out in the gardens this spring. The Grumpies originally made 42 of these leaves and I believe we still have about 16 left as part of our "art in the garden" project this year. Check out our website at www.rotarybotanicalgardens.org for more information and even if you don't have an interest in decorating one of these leaves yourself, consider sponsoring one ($40) for an art class, youngster or other aspiring artist as we would like to have all of them decorated and featured out in the gardens.
I had coffee with Kelli C. this morning and enjoyed catching up. I was also involved with a meeting with Polly, Amanda, Lori and Becky from Spotlight on Kids (SOK) regarding the Halloween Walk that will again occur at RBG as a joint venture between the gardens and SOK. In my 14 years at the gardens, I believe we've collectively done this event 11 times and it is always lots of fun. The event will be on Oct. 18th, 19th and 20th (5:30 pm - 7:30 pm) with a Sunday (Oct. 21st) component for smaller children at 1 pm. Information on this event will be on our website within a month or so as we finalize details. I also worked on some odds and ends and did an interview on WI Public Radio regarding our warm winter and implications for our gardens. I'll be finishing up the Wellness Garden plan this afternoon at home I hope. I can't believe there are some days next week near 70 degrees F!Dr. Gredler was here today to start repainting our cucumber supports (see above). These allow us to train compact cucumbers (Cucumis) upwards and many of the fruits become easier to reach under this framework. Of course Doc asked why we're bothering to paint them if they'll be buried with cucumber foliage. I mentioned that they'll look cool from April thru June out in the gardens and offer color before they are buried. I then told him to never question me again and docked his pay for the day... :) Janice was in to work on some projects and we also saw Chuck S. and Big John. Directly below are our 10 new signs that arrived yesterday from Baraboo, WI. These are a similar style and the same color as our garden area signs but these "smaller versions" will be used as labels/interpretation for our new parking lot island trees. These signs will not only include information on that tree variety but will discuss the history and implications of the Emerald ash borer (EAB) as it continues to spread and may soon become a reality in our immediate area. The signs and trees are funded thru a WI DNR Urban Forestry Grant and we're getting assistance from the Janesville Shade Tree Advisory Council as well as the City of Janesville Parks Department. We'll plant many of these new trees during our Arbor Day activities at RBG on April 27th. At the bottom is a batch of daffodils (Narcissus) that will be blooming by next week (4 weeks early). I'll be talking with the Janesville Area Herb Society tomorrow about our herb garden and will certainly recognize the help they've given over so many years in maintaining that space.