Monday, July 9, 2012

Cooler But Still Dry

This morning was very pleasant with temperatures right around 70 degrees F. This cool start to the day was refreshing although it didn't take long to get back up to 93 degrees F this afternoon. It's interesting that a day like today would be considered a "hot one" but was not too bad when compared to the recent sequence of days over 100 degrees F. The top picture is the 'Indian Summer' gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) which is part of our All America Selections display and is also located in various flower beds around the gardens. I like this one for large, 6" wide flowers and that dark chocolate center. This annual (don't ever buy it as a "perennial") tops out around 36" tall in the full sun garden. Directly above is a tall flossflower (Ageratum houstonianum 'Blue Bouquet') in our reception garden and I'm impressed how well this annual has persevered through the heat wave. The flowers are colorful at a distance but the individual flower detail is quite fetching as you get closer. To the right is another tough annual called the Dahlberg daisy (Dyssodia tenuiloba 'Golden Fleece') which blooms non-stop amongst 12" tall, lacy foliage all summer long. This low annual is a RBG staple and while hard to find in garden centers, is in just about every seed catalog (easy to sow too!). To the left is the commonly featured dwarf morning glory (Convolvulus tricolor 'Royal Blue Ensign') in the reception garden. We've had lots of comments on this one and I can't stop taking photos of it!

Larry was in briefly to get some irrigation started and get ready for the Grumpies. He left quickly though as it was his official "4th of July" day off. The rest of us jumped right in to watering and gardening duties. Big John and Pat went mobile to pick up our last load of annuals which includes some important components of the Smelly Garden which we'll plant later this week. John then moved on to watering and fertilizing duties around the gardens and finished the day watering the yard (round #2). Pat took care of yard watering (round #1) and after his trip with John, spent the day hand watering various areas and weeding in the Smelly Garden which has a bumper crop of purslane (Portulaca oleracea). Marianne pulled a lot of weeds today and tidied up multiple areas. She also replanted some annuals, prepared her cutting display and watered as well. Marv and Terry set up their standard sprinkler array and moved on to two big projects. The guys started spray painting (silver) the 400+ ornamental onions (Allium) in the entrance garden and did about half of them until they ran out of paint. They then moved on to the arduous (but essential) task of shearing the boxwood (Buxus) hedges in the formal annual sections (see directly below). I organized the new plants that came in today, did some office work and spent the rest of the afternoon watering some thirsty garden areas. To the right is the showy foliage of the bloody dock (Rumex sanguineus ssp. sanguineus) which is a perennial with edible leaves! Don't let it bloom and drop seed though as you'll be in for a massive population increase. We had a super volunteer turnout today which included our Grumpies, one Grumpette and the group above from the Chestnut House. From left to right are Kayla, Victoria and Janice. Jordan was off camera although all of these volunteers worked with Janice to get all the new plants nicely watered out in the yard. Grumpies included Russ and Bob C. skimming and replacing gravel along the west road with later help from Del. Larry H. and Lloyd did a nice job sweeping up paths around the gardens and were later joined by Bill S. Bill helped me in the yard for a bit this morning and helped move and organize some plants for me. Dick H. went on a gas run and later helped our carpenters (Dave T., Bob, Vern and Jim) with progress on our storage structure (see directly below). The guys have been doing a nice job and also have some other odd jobs they've been chipping away at as time allows. To the right is a totally staged shot. I was watering in the reception garden and was rinsing the bird poop off of our druid statue and thought it would be a nice shot thru the water...(you decide). To the left is the perennial yellow scabious (Scabiosa ochroleuca 'Moon Dance'). The blooms are quite small and border on a creamy yellow but are showy en masse for sure.

Maury and Dick P. had some work at the other building and Maury then went on a supply run. Ron W. and Ron Y. did a nice job mulching in the North point garden while Ron B. continued his air edging project in the arboretum and at the Horticulture Center. Gary came in to produce some more perennial labels and will soon be making new bench labels for our memorial benches around the gardens. Many of the older labels are in need of this replacement and our new engraver (and Gary) should be up to the task. Winifred was our lone Grumpette and she did a nice job weeding and planting in the reception garden. We also saw Maureen (working on the veggies at the Horticulture Center). To the right is the dwarf wheat celosia (Celosia spicata 'Kosmo Purple Red') which is under 12" tall or so and has some neat, texural blooms above maroon-tinted foliage. At the bottom is one of our hanging baskets in the English cottage garden featuring the 'Rhythm & Blues' petunia (Petunia) which really looked good today as I wandered by this afternoon.

No comments: