Today was very productive in the office for me. I spent some major time on our Spring Tree Sale (more details below). We did have some nice volunteer help this morning with Dick W. coming in and heading out in the gardens for the last of the larger ornamental grass cutting. He has been using a new hedgetrimmer (donated to RBG by him!) on these grasses and it was a "hot knife thru butter" for this cutting. He did run in to a metal sign (hidden in the grass) earlier in the week which created some excitement but this power tool has paid for itself in saved labor already! There are still many smaller grasses and perennial remnants from last year that we'll work on next week. Rose and Urban were in to continue painting culvert pipes (white) and started painting some of our containers for the terrace garden which will also be white. The terrace garden (behind the visitors center) always echoes the annual color theme of the entrance garden (silver/white/light blue). Dr. Gredler continued repainting our Adirondack chairs for the North Point garden and children's garden. We also saw Gary, Bill and some others today.
Above is a shot looking up in to our beautiful, native white pine (Pinus strobus) which is one of nine (9) selections that will be available at our second annual Spring Tree Sale this April 20th and 21st (8 am until 3 pm both days). We'll also be having some Earth Day activities those days and admission to the gardens is free both days. All the photos in this blog are of our "offerings" for the sale. I did have to pillage some images from the internet but most are mine. To the left is the Black Hills spruce (Picea glauca 'Densata') and to the right is the fall color of the Northern red oak (Quercus rubra). Directly below is a row of Eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) which are great as a shorter windbreak or hedge. This shot is from the internet (as is the Black Hills spruce). Of course, I would be ethically remiss if I didn't mention that deer find this evergreen particularly delicious...as evidenced throughout RBG.This is the second year that we've offered this tree sale and are doing it again in conjunction with the Janesville Blackhawk Golden "K" Kiwanis club here in Janesville. Details regarding this sale, as well as more detailed information on all nine selections, can be found on our website at www.rotarybotanicalgardens.org under the EVENTS section. The sale last year went very well and we've expanded our selection as well with the inclusion of three deciduous selections. All of these are offered as bareroot, 2-3 year old transplants which are typically 15"-18" in height. We bag these up in groups of five and keep the roots moist and they're ready for direct planting and we provide planting instructions as well. All trees will be $1.85 each (plus tax) although orders of 50 or more trees (any combinations) will receive a 10% discount. See our website link for information on how to pre-order after April 1st. Sponsored by East Point Sportz Pub and Woodman's Food Market, this sale is a fundraiser for both organizations (RBG and Golden K) with our share applied toward the continued operation and improvement of RBG. To the upper left is a good-sized Norway spruce (Picea abies) not far from my house. Look how wide these can get but I like the upswept primary branches with dangling secondary branchlets. That is a neat look and this species is ideal for windbreaks and is considered the most disease-resistant for our area. To the right is a Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens var. glauca), although to be accurate, this is the variety 'Fat Albert'. Younger Colorado blue spruces look nice in the landscape although we've all seen the older specimens thinning from various fungal issues. These may be overplanted in our landscapes but still have some value with their adaptability in a windbreak as well as that contribution of blue in the landscape. To the left is the start of fall color on a nice looking sugar maple (Acer saccharum). This native tree has plenty of value in the landscape and the fall color is awesome but can be variable. I photographed this specimen a couple years ago on Bascom Hill on the UW-Madison campus. To the right is the adaptable and underplanted white or concolor fir (Abies concolor). This is the variety 'Candicans' but the straight species has a nice blue tone as well. This is considered the best fir for the Midwest and I've seen some nice specimens around this area. This specimen is located on a slope just west of the Parker Education Center. At the bottom are the very late (November?) leaves of the swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor). These leaves were a nice golden yellow in fall. I like this oak a lot and we have four at the gardens. They are quite adaptable and can take a wide range of soils and moisture despite their native range of bottomlands and streamsides. Of course, wildlife value (food, shelter, nesting sites, etc.) for all of our tree sale options is a consideration as well.