Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Flurry Of Activity

It was another busy day around the gardens this morning with plenty of activity occuring including some pruning by L.P. Tree Service as seen above. L.P. did a nice job thinning the hackberries (Celtis occidentalis) in the gazebo garden to allow in some more light and remove "dead wood." They also worked on a large silver poplar (Populus alba 'Fialaspire') in the arboretum. These guys are top notch and take care of pruning like this that is out of our "range of reach". We also had some trees delivered from Wirkus Nursery (Clinton, WI) that we'll plant next week. The second photo above shows the nice soft needles of the white pine (Pinus strobus) which is one of the remaining varieties for our Spring Tree Sale Clearance that will be held this Friday and Saturday from 8 am until 1 pm. We still have thousands of trees (2-3 year transplants, 15"-24" in height, bare root) available and they are all only $1 each. Directly above is the showy foliage of our 'Goshiki' variegated Japanese zelkova (Zelkova serrata) near the zig-zag bridge. To the right is the subtle pink bloom of the 'Pink Lanterns' wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) in the woodland walk garden. I'll never get tired of planting and observing any and all columbines. I happened to be in the woodland walk garden and many other areas with Luis this morning as we were checking out further woody plant labeling needs (additions, removals, etc.). He has a great handle on what's going on out there and has done a superb job keeping everything organized. We still have plenty of labels to produce and install but the progress is still way ahead of schedule. To the left is the 'June Fever' hosta (Hosta) that really caught my eye in the shade garden today. Many of the hostas that emerged earliest have some leaf damage due to light frosts we've received. However, I think they'll all recover and we're already attempting to control the slug damage that can also be so devastating. To the right is the showy spring foliage of the 'Cherry Cola' coral bells (Heuchera) which is quite unique in coloration. Our grouping of three of this variety really glows in the shade garden and usually necessitates another photo. Directly below is the foliage of the variegated sweet iris (Iris pallida 'Albo Variegata') that will go well with the blue flowers that should appear in the coming weeks. The flowers are supposedly fragrant although I've not noticed that feature. I do like the foliage of this variety as well as the golden variegated variety ('Aureo Variegata'). The second photo down is the near silver leaves of the 'Looking Glass' false forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophylla) which offers some nice coloration in the partly shaded garden. Larry checked water features and then shifted to major clean-up mode after L.P. Tree Service finished pruning. We usually clean up the debris (to save on the final bill!) and Larry did a nice job with help from Dick H. Big John spent most of the day painting and priming although he helped stake some trees later in the afternoon with Larry. Pat continued his gardening efforts in the rose garden and finished excavating a "stubborn" hole that had some serious root issues. To the right is a shot of John and Pat (laying down on the job) a couple days ago painting the observation pier. It's looking quite nice thus far. Janice helped facilitate some tasks this morning and spent time weeding/tidying in the fern & moss garden among other duties. Bob C. and Del did some major mulching with shredded bark on the east end of the gardens while Ron W., Ron Y. and Gary composted the reception garden. Rollie was in to load up all the various carts with these material runs and Dr. Gredler mowed and worked on some other garden tasks. Dave, Jim, Bob and Vern continued working on their carpentry tasks, one of which will result in a cool "root box" for observing roots in the children's garden. They also reassembled our vertical planter. Maury helped with many projects and ran out for various supplies. Dick H., when he wasn't loading brush with Larry, took many loads of debris to the dump this morning. Suzy weeded with Janice in the fern & moss garden and was later joined by Mary D. Urban came in for some painting later in the day and Dr. Yahr was back this morning. We also saw Lynn, Mary (Exec. Dir.), Mary W., Mary Kay and many others. To the left is the eye-catching foliage of the variegated hedge maple (Acer campestre 'Carnival'). Despite the vigorous spreading of lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) and the ugly, late summer foliage that tends to get brown and dry....I love the fragrant little bells that appear in spring (see to the right). We also have the pink form although the flowers are VERY light pink (almost white). The variegated leaf form is interesting and there is now a golden leaf form as well. Directly below is the softly textured Davis' sedge (Carex davisii) near the zig-zag bridge. This clumping sedge is very fine textured and has proven to be a tough edging plant in this location. At the bottom is the bright yellow foliage of the golden Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata 'Fenway Gold') in the English cottage garden. This ivy, and many other woody vines for that matter, can become thugs and should be controlled, cut back and manipulated often so they don't become too bonkers out in the garden.

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