Gena, Myrt and Nancy, after tagging plant sale veggies, headed down to the sunken garden for some weeding on the south border of that space. Directly below are Gena (left) and Myrt hunched over weeding. Kay and Jenny were down there weeding as well and did a nice job along the north and east borders. We really had a great team down there which was certainly augmented by the dynamic duo of Bev and Ron (second photo down) as they dealt with some serious "carpet weeds" in the southwest corner of the sunken garden. Our overall "weeding attack force" of seven did a great job although we still have a bit to finish. Dr. Gredler was in for mowing and we also saw Sue M., Christine R., Deb G. and many others. Ed Lyon, former Executive Director at RBG, stopped by to pick up some vegetables for the Allen Centennial Gardens (UW-Madison) where he is currently Director. To the right is one of the many oak leaf art projects that continue to get positioned out in the garden. Janice and Marianne were entirely tied up with plant sale preparations today although Marianne broke away to compose a nice cutting display at the other building. This cutting display features 12+ samples of interesting blooms, foliage, etc. out in the gardens and Marianne locates these on a large map which is part of the display. I've seen these displays at other gardens and feel they have a lot of value for showing "What's in bloom?" or what might be of interest. Our display features the most samples I've ever seen and is refreshed very often. Bragging? Darn right. To the right is the textural but extremely hardy maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum) in the shade garden. We have this fern in many locations and I always enjoy the visual texture from a distance but also the exquisite foliage details from a closer perspective. Janice will direct the next batch of taggers tomorrow and hopefully we'll get some gardeners as well. We're positioned to have the sale ready to go for Friday morning.
Marv and Terry finished grading and composting one of our large parking lot islands. This is one of the two islands where we planted new trees this spring and we're looking ahead to a full "makeover" of both islands by fall. The guys also placed/secured obelisks and continued putting up the oak leaf art projects. Big John pressure-washed the arched bridge (next target for painting) and painted most of the day (back porch). This morning, Pat mulched with shredded bark and later helped with painting as well. Jenny, as mentioned above, hung out in the sunken garden and did her usual awesome job. To the left are the wispy blooms of the 'Lace Carpet' foamflowers (Tiarella cordifolia). This early bloomer also has nice foliage and is a great candidate for partially shaded areas or woodland gardens. To the right are some of our bearded irises (Iris germanica, unknown variety, sorry!) near the gazebo garden. You can see the gazebo in the distance. I love irises in bloom. Years ago when we displayed 600+ varieties of iris for the American Iris Society National Conference (Madison, WI), the irises were early and peaked about a week before the conference. This year, they would have been about three weeks early! Regardless, they are beautiful. Directly below is a photo that celebrates the bright "candle" stage of this Colorado spruce (Picea pungens). This variety, 'Rick's White Tip', is top notch for bright interest. Of course those needles will eventually turn greenish blue but that new growth is tellingly vivid. At the bottom is the bright yellow 'Dancing Queen' hosta (Hosta). This bright variety is in our shade garden where it really glows. We're looking forward to adding a couple hundred more varieties of hostas this year and enjoy our growing collection of this tough perennial. As a National Display Garden for the American Hosta Society, we want to continue to expand the collection but also need to make sure we have it properly labeled.