Today was a great day in terms of weather with temperatures around 70 degrees F and plenty of sunshine. With all the rain yesterday and some light drizzle overnight, the gardens, containers and our yard full of plants were all damp enough today and required very little watering. This allowed us to work on myriad other projects and we had a great turnout of helpful volunteers as well. The top photo shows Kay (left), Shirley (white hat in distance) and Magda (far right) planting about 2,000 impatiens this morning. The ladies did a nice job and almost finished that berm planting. We'll complete it tomorrow as part of our Volunteer Planting Work Day (8 am until 12 noon) and have plenty of other areas to plant as well. We're hoping for a turnout of 25 or so volunteers and I'll be helped by Janice and Big John. Directly above is the spherical flower (umbel) of the blue globe ornamental onion which is known as Allium azureum or Allium caeruleum. This fall planted bulb usually blooms in late June but of course is early this year. In terms of scale, the sphere is about 2" in diameter but I should offer a warning that this species is one that disperses seeds all over the place. What a nice shade of blue as well as interesting "flower architecture" though! To the upper right is the orange globe flower (Trollius ledebourii 'Golden Queen'). To the left is the pink form of the Maltese cross (Lychnis chalcedonica 'Carnea'). This perennial is typically a brilliant red but I like this subtle pink as well.
We also had Lynn S. working in the English cottage garden today (see below). This is her assigned garden and she's doing a great job and helped plant containers in that garden today too! The delphinium (Delphinium sp., unknown variety) pictured to the right is also in that garden space. Lynn will soon be adding more perennials and many old-fashioned annuals to complete this space next week. Cora came in and planted a good 30 or so containers around the gardens and I believe we only have eight of our sixty or so containers left to plant. Cora's work was very timely as we have four weddings tomorrow and the containers really needed some color. Hal and Doris came in and spent the afternoon planting their assigned garden space with annuals. They always do a nice job and have been volunteering since "before my time" at the gardens. Dr. Gredler spent the day mowing and we also saw Urban, Maury, Barb C., Mary W., Elsa, Lois and many others (including our youth education volunteers). Beneath the photo of Lynn planting containers below (note that her jacket is color-coordinated with the plantings!) is a nice scenic shot of the observation pier and arched bridge in the distance. The grounds staff had a fun (I hope!) and productive day. There is something liberating about knowing you wont have to drag hoses around all day! Above are Janice and Terry planting one of the two vertical pallet planters that Terry built this winter. Janice spent most of her day planting the Ornamental Edible & Compact Vegetable Display. She also checked on the moss island. Terry and Marv rototilled and prepared three more areas for planting, installed the last signs for our oak leaf garden art project and started to clean up the edges on the garden seen above. The guys do a nice job. Terry also push mowed and took the backpack blower around this afternoon to tidy up before our Saturday weddings. To the right is Marv running our edger and putting a crisp edge on those thirteen narrow beds. The PVC pipes (see the green one in the distance) are all planted and we look forward to cascading vegetables as well as heirloom beans climbing up the supports. Big John finished working on the sunken garden pond, weeded, did some significant planting in the sunken garden, planted containers and push mowed. Marianne, to the left, tidied up the rose garden for the weddings, did her cutting display and started staking our fading ornamental onions (Allium 'Mt. Everest') in front of the building for an experimental design element...more on that later! Pat was also in most of the day and spent his time painting the gazebo. Pat has been splitting his time between garden work and painting over the past two months. I hauled plants out almost all day in preparation for Cora and the work day tomorrow. To the right is the first of hundreds (literally) of breadseed poppies (Papaver somniferum) that will be blooming in the English cottage garden very shortly. The silvery foliage of these reseeding annuals is as showy as the blooms in my mind and Lynn has nurtured these along nicely. Directly below is a scenic shot of the west entrance to the Japanese garden. Note the showy Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata 'Ivory Silk') in the distance. Stan, Jumbo Jim and Karen have done a nice job pruning and tidying up this garden space in recent months. At the bottom is a shot of blue sky thru the overhead arbor in the North point garden.