Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Calm Before The Warm

At the top is a photo of the tricolor European beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Roseo-Marginata') near the gazebo which is one of my favorite trees for foliage coloration. I took the photo from underneath the tree and the pink variegation is quite prominent. It's important to have afternoon shade for this variety in summer so that the light pink edge doesn't get brown and crispy. Of course my blog title refers to the next two days of June weather that will see temperatures in the upper 90 degrees F. Today was fairly pleasant with a cool morning around 50 degrees F. Needless to say, the grounds staff did a lot of watering today as they'll do over the next couple of days as well. To the right is the showy flower plume of Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra) which is a showy native and looks a lot like a really tall astilbe (but likes full sun!). Directly above is Jenny's cart from this morning with just some of her deadheading results from our huge patch of lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina) down in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden. To the left is the emerging bloom of the 'Big Kiss White Flame' treasure flower (Gazania sp.) which is one of six entrants in the 2012 American Garden Award (www.americangardenaward.com/) program. Check out their website for more information as RBG is one of over 20 gardens participating in this unique display that involves voting for your favorite!

Jenny also worked on purging the yard, watering, label inventories, acquiring a bee sting and all manner of projects. Big John set up sprinklers, hand watered, fertilized, bloodied his shin on a rock (twice), dug out dead/dying forsythias and muscled the water lily pots (with Larry) back in to the koi pond. John (and Pat) also did containers. Larry orchestrated his irrigation, sprinklers and other watering duties as best he could although we had to adjust for a couple of tours that enjoyed the gardens today. There were a lot of visitors out there today and I had a nice chat with a fellow from Serbia! Pat fertilized, watered (containers too), weeded and kept out of trouble. Janice spent time in the moss areas today, watered significant areas, planted a bit and fertilized as well. I spent most of the day also watering and hauling hoses out in the gardens. We actually had every hose we own in use today and will do so again tomorrow I'm sure. I also spent some time in our yard sorting out our next plants for installation and helped consolidate and organize as needed. To the right is the showy 'Dolce Blackcurrant' coral bells (Heuchera) which really has a nice silver overlay on those dark leaves. Directly below is the 'Banana Cream' shasta daisy (Leucanthemum superbum) which is quite showy. The youngest blooms emerge this light creamy yellow although they ultimately mature to a white. We also had some great volunteer help today. Kay (directly above) finished planting our last large bed in the arboretum today and then moved over to another area near the gazebo that needed her weeding attention and skills. We hope to see Kay tomorrow as well during the cooler morning. Dr. Gredler was in for some mowing, overseeding (lawns) and other projects. Bill O. was in to do some shearing and he finished his task of clearing debris out of the pond that he started with Dr. Gredler yesterday. Mary H. and her daughter arrived to do some weeding in their assigned garden area which is filling in nicely. We also saw Chuck giving a tour today as was Polly and another volunteer. Magda was in to tidy up her area and her garden space is looking great. Ron K. spent the morning in the woodland walk and continues to keep up with the horrible onslaught of weeds in that space. We also saw Deb and Bev who continue to work on the oak leaf garden art project. Del also popped in briefly. To the above right is a close-up of the 'Field of Dreams' variegated corn (Zea mays) which I really think is neat. Years ago, we had Japanese variegated corn (Zea mays japonica) growing and as it formed ears, the raccoons decimated the plants. To the left is an extreme close-up shot of the blooms (1/2" diameter) for the 'Lavender Mist' meadow rue (Thalictrum rochebrunianum) which has huge clusters of these delicate flowers held above blue/green foliage. This perennial, preferring part shade, can reach heights well over 8' tall in one season if kept in moist soils and are great for early summer blooms. To the right is one of the new African daisies (Osteospermum ecklonis) called '3D Berry White'. While I like African daisies a lot, it can be challenging to keep them blooming thru a hot summer. This is one of the trial/display annuals from Ballhort (Ball Seed). We also feature and display varieties for PanAmerican Seed and Takii Seed (Japan). Below is a shot of some pale coneflower (Echinacea pallida) in our prairie. I don't go in the prairie often but made a tour today and it was "crispy dry". Considering how adaptable and drought tolerant prairie plants are out in the garden, it's disconcerting to see the degree of drought. At the bottom is a cluster of samaras (fruiting structures) for the 'Red Wing' Amur maple (Acer tataricum ssp. ginnala). These structures will become increasingly red and are quite conspicuous and showy. Tomorrow and Thursday will be tough on the gardens and all our gardeners but duty calls...

1 comment:

city said...

thanks for sharing.