Monday, April 23, 2012

Back To Basics

I'm still trying to figure out this new blogging format which has my pictures moving all over the place and flipping around and occasionally disappearing. It's quite frustrating actually and hopefully I'll get the hang of it before I lose my considerable patience. Above are the beautiful blossoms and the start of the burgundy foliage of the Royal Raindrops crabapple (Malus 'KFS-KW5') which is really looking good this spring. There was a light frost again this morning that tinged a couple things out in the gardens (primarily foliage) but the crabapples (Malus) are still looking good and are just past peak at this point. Directly above is the neat foliage of the Coppertina ninebark (Physcarpus opulifolius 'Mindia') that is quite striking with prominent orange tones. To the left is a wood forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica 'Bluesylva') in the Scottish Garden looking quite nice. We had a great turnout of volunteers today which included Grumpies and many others. Directly below are Pat and Dick H. who were "lifting" some of our older tulips (given to volunteers). We'll plant new tulips in this location next year and it's interesting to note that they had to dig over 18" down to get to the bulbs on these! The originals were of course planted at a 6" depth but that was five years ago. Tulips (Tulipa) do work their way downwards and this display has been getting thinner over the past couple of years. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll continue lifting more bulbs as needed for the same reasons. The second photo down is a close-up of the bloom of the chocolate vine (Akebia quinata). Also called five-leaf akebia, this hardy, woody vine is planted in our English cottage garden and has done well with very little light. While the flowers aren't overwhelming, they are quite profuse and have the slightest hint of chocolate fragrance. There is also a white-flowering form although I also like the leaves on this species.

Dennis was in early to work with Big John as they took down the tree sale signs (sale is continued!, read below...) and moved on to the continuation of mulching (shredded bark) in the woodland walk garden. John and Pat are spending some time repainting out in the gardens and did much of that later in the morning and throughout the afternoon. Gary and Rollie also spread mulch as did Ron W., Del, Urban and Bob C. Bill S. worked on getting grass/weeds out of some of the gravel paths and Dr. Gredler was out mowing in various locations. Dave T., Jim and Bob A. continued on some of their carpentry projects which included some work near the gazebo garden. Our new volunteer, Ron, jumped right in to cleaning up the woodland walk garden which he'll continue to maintain as an assigned gardener to that space. Maury was in for various projects and he, Glenn, Gordy and I had a brief wrap up meeting regarding the Spring Tree Sale (we're continuing to sell the leftovers this Fri. and Sat. from 8 am until 1 pm at the Horticulture Center @ $1 each). Jan was back to work in the Scottish Garden and we also saw Rose, Tina, Kay R., Ron R., Mary W., Bill O., Marilyn H., Mary, Polly, Lori, Kelli and many others today as well. Luis did a great job placing his woody plant labels out in the garden and we'll install them very shortly. To the right is the showy color of the 'Stripe It Rich' golden Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra) that we have punctuated throughout the woodland walk garden.

Marv and Terry worked on removing more shrubs and perennials from our parking lot islands which is the start of the process to renovate all the plantings out there. The City of Janesville Parks Department came later with a handy auger (thanks Scott!) to start the holes for our tree planting later in the week. The guys also filled containers and worked on some other projects. Larry continued work on getting our sunken garden pond and fountain operational and unloaded our next batch of bagged compost. Marianne finalized some tree sale details and did a nice job tidying and weeding in some select locations. Pat dug tulips and painted while John's activities are mentioned above (also painting). Janice was in later to help with preparations for our Horticulture Therapy workshop (this Wednesday). Below is one of the three center planters in front of the Parker Education Center that is filled with 'White Triumphator' tulips (Tulipa).

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