Other volunteers included Kay who can be seen to the right with a sizeable assortment of plants to install in the gazebo garden. Kay planted these in short order then moved on to some tidying efforts in her assigned portion of the shade garden. Mary, Nancy and Myrt, seen left to right in the photo directly below, did a nice job planting another section of the gazebo garden in the late morning. They put in elephant ears (Colocasia 'Diamond Head') and over 500 impatiens in an area that will look great as it fills in quickly over the coming weeks. Bill O. was in all morning and did a top notch job of shearing a wide range of shrubs in the entrance garden. Dr. Gredler was in for some mowing duties as well. Mary W. helped water and did some significant clean-up in the herb garden as well. We also saw Mary D. and Janice helping with the Story & Stroll program which again seemed very popular. Lynn S. (second photo down) spent the entire day in the English cottage garden and planted a wide range of old-fashioned cottage garden annuals (hollyhocks, cosmos, zinnias, etc.) throughout her assigned garden space. I can't say enough on how nice this space looks right now and the summer color should be spectacular. We also saw Gary, Sally, Chuck S., Ron W., Dick P., Bev D. and many others, including a nice visit from Kathy and Tom of Jenka Blossoms (Lima Center, WI). I've truly never taken our grounds staff for granted. They are an awesome group of gardeners and while they are frequently under-appreciated (behind the scenes) and definitely underpaid, they are a dedicated group. They did a great job today multi-tasking and dealing with many issues as I was involved all morning with our youthful volunteer corps. Aside from their normal tasks, they were asked to help Mr.Moss, work around the contractors in the reception garden (and all the kids/parents from the Story & Stroll) and help guide a semi-load delivery of compost with a rookie driver. They also had many other minor challenges. Overall, all went smoothly and we had a productive day. To the right is the showy leaf of the 'Venus' coral bell (Heuchera). I've photographed and featured this one in the past and never pass up the opportunity to enjoy this variety (located near the sunken garden).
Marv and Terry ran sprinklers and irrigation all day but Marv also scraped up the second of our parking lot islands and really did a nice job cleaning it up for its "new look." This is no small task and we should finish it up on Friday. Terry helped Dale, roto-tilled (see to the left), watered and really bounced around today. Big John helped me prepare for the morning volunteers and went out to pick up one of our last orders this morning (Stonefield Plant Farm, Evansville, WI). John also watered, set-up sprinklers, removed a tree (juniper) and spread pre-emergent herbicides on some of our last remaining garden beds that will be planted soon. Pat was a weeding and bulb foliage removal machine. He cleared foliage and weeds out of two large areas and moved on to some watering at the end of the day. Marianne weeded and tidied multiple areas, worked on her cutting display, helped water plants in the holding yard and continues her ornamental onion (Allium) staking in front of the building. Jenny was in most of the morning and matched perennial labels (new) to perennials (new) that we still have to plant. She then worked with Pat on clearing our east border which used to have a healthy collection of thistles and other naughty weeds. To the right are the showy yellow blooms and golden foliage of the annual ornamental shamrock (Oxalis vulcanicola 'Molten Lava') which is one of my favorite annuals for part-shade. Directly below is the showy single bloom of the Rainbow Knock Out rose (Rosa 'Radcor') that we have planted along our Palmer Drive berm. We have a good 100+ of these in a huge drift and they look pretty good. This 2007 All-America Rose Selection winner is known for its insect and disease resistance and the beautiful coral blooms with a light yellow center. At the bottom is the golden spiderwort (Tradescantia x andersoniana 'Sweet Kate') which has the double whammy of bright yellow foliage as a backdrop for those clear blue blossoms. This selection is also known as 'Blue & Gold'. I love this variety (full sun or part shade, likes moisture) but watch out as it will drop seeds that germinate as green-leaved plants which then start to clutter up the original golden foliage. Cull out the seedlings to keep up the gold/blue combination. More planting tomorrow, Friday and a big planting day on Saturday.