The grounds staff had a busy day of watering, tidying, planting and various odds and ends. Janice worked on watering, moss care, harvesting veggies (lots) and many other projects. She helped Lynn in the English cottage garden this morning as well. Big John set up multiple sprinklers and had those moving around the gardens all day. He also push mowed, planted lots of caladiums in the gazebo garden and watered in other locations. Pat push mowed, watered containers, planted, tidied and bounced between multiple projects. He also continued watering our new trees in the parking lot which is becoming a full time job! Larry had irrigation zones going early, set up sprinklers in various locations and helped Pat water containers. Larry also did some push mowing, weed whipping and some other tasks as well. I placed some plants for installation tomorrow and continue to catch up on some timely desk work. Tomorrow I'm involved with the Trial Garden & Plant Health Field Day at Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners, WI. Sponsored by UW Extension, this event brings in a professional audience and my topic will be on The Edible Landscape. To the right is 'The Blues' little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) which is one of my favorites for summer (and fall) color! Directly below is the the 'Punch Bowl' blanket flower (Gaillardia hybrida) which I've featured a couple of times but got a really nice shot of it this morning in the English cottage garden (which has never looked better!).Of course there is not a day of the week that we don't have great volunteer assistance at the gardens and today was no exception. With the hot afternoons, we understandably see more volunteers in the morning during the cooler hours of the day. Directly above is Kay who cast a wide net today for weeds and also did some planting in the shade garden. With so many beautiful women volunteers in the gardens today, it was only fair to feature all of them! The third photo above is the double gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta 'Gloriosa Double') which is looking sharp. I never fail to promote Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) which can be seen directly above Kay. That foliage is so unique and in a partly shaded composition, really catches the eye with that silver "overlay" on the foliage. To the left is Janet who continues to do a great job on the orange planting. This long bed (140' long by 6' wide) has seen many color schemes in the past but I think this orange really works. To the right is Mary H. who, along with her daughter, spent more time tidying up the area she has maintained diligently for over 16 years with her husband Dave. Mary is a great gardener and her area always looks nice.
Magda (to the left) used some elbow grease in her assigned garden area as she had a patch of rampant alpine strawberries (Fragaria) covering a huge space. She dug almost all of it out. We know we'll be fighting this vigorous groundcover for awhile but this was a good first step. Magda's garden bed is the perfect combination of woody plants, perennials and showy annuals. She has maintained this mixed border for many years and her previous career as a floral shop owner/arranger comes in handy with her creative combinations. To the right is Lynn who continues to improve the English cottage garden with her every visit. We had some nice comments about this garden from our tour today and there are some very interesting plants in this garden. Dr. Gredler was in for some late afternoon mowing and Ray was out working in the vegetable collection today. We also saw Bill O. early this morning. Directly below is the crested male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas 'Grandiceps Wills') in our fern & moss garden. At the bottom is our stacked PVC pipe planters (donated by www.theurbangrow.com) with cascading tomatoes that are filling in nicely. I did a talk tonight at Cedar Crest (a local retirement community) and showed some slides from my trip to the Netherlands this past April. It was a great crowd which included three of our past volunteers (Dave K, Gwen D. and Kay M.). It was a fun and engaging crowd. Off to Milwaukee tomorrow but I'll share some shots of Boerner Botanical Gardens (Hales Corners, WI) tomorrow night.