Friday, March 30, 2012

Our Neighbor To The North

We had some nice overnight rain and sprinkles in the morning today. I saw Kay, Pat, Magda and Dr. Gredler this morning but will be departing soon for the Art In Bloom - A Tribute to Art & Flowers event at the Milwaukee Art Museum. With a short day for me at RBG, I thought I'd share some of my many photos of Olbrich Botanical Gardens (OBG) that I took this past Wednesday evening. I really caught the perfect timing for some of these spring bloomers and was thrilled to have my camera with me. The image directly above is the OBG gravel garden coming to life. OBG is a wonderful garden that I visit multiple times during the year. See for more information and directions I usually try to catch all the seasons and have done some major photography here as there is a wide range of labeled plants. The staff does a great job and Jeff Epping, Director of Horticulture, is quite talented and has assembled a great batch of horticulturists. I caught a picture of Jeff (at the bottom) recently at RBG. I've come to know most of the grounds horticulturists including Mark S., Christian H., Samara E., Samantha P., Philip S. and Aaron W. They all do a great job and of course there are other staff involved as well. All the photos here were taken at Olbrich with the exception of Epping's photograph. To the right is the white checkered fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris 'Alba') in the meadow garden. We need more of these at RBG for sure. We've not tried this one in our "bulb lawns" but may in the future. To the left is the always beautiful, native trout lily (Erythronium americanum) in the woodland garden. We have a couple of these at RBG but I haven't gotten a good photo (until now). Their woodland garden was looking quite colorful with plenty more to yet bloom. Our woodland walk garden at RBG is becoming increasingly more colorful as we add more of the spring ephemerals. We'll also have a significant planting of other perennials (hostas, barrenwort, etc.) this spring as we still have some real estate in that garden to address. To the right is the hybrid trout lily (Erythronium 'Pagoda') and I lucked out with the backlighting on that shot. While strolling thru OBG I was impressed with all the "minor" bulb massing around the gardens. Directly below is a huge patch of Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) that carpets a small woodland planting area right along Atwood Avenue. Understory perennials then fill in later. This is a great spot to let the squill run wild and that electric blue can be seen at 35 mph along Atwood. Further below is a nice carpet of glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa luciliae) used under some deciduous trees. As these trees later leaf out, these bulbs are going dormant. Why not add some early color in locations such as these that will later transition to different interest? The photos further down highlight the meadow garden with bulbs that will also go dormant, leaving the short meadow grasses (no-mow) to fill in as the soil warms up. Further below is also an inquisitive Robin wondering if it is truly May yet!?

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