We had some rain last night which was welcome but only amounted to about 2/10 of an inch. Today was breezy and sunny but pleasant at around 70 degrees F. With more leaves floating down each day, the gardens look to be transitioning nicely to Autumn although there is still plenty of color out in the gardens. To the left is the showy and colorful 'Defiance' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides). The format for creating my blogs on BLOGGER has changed again so the layouts will look goofy for a bit as I figure out the "improved" version.
We had a wonderful volunteer turnout again today and really appreciate everything that our volunteers do for the gardens. While this horticulture blog mentions our gardening volunteers often, it's important to note how many other volunteers are involved at RBG in other capacities such as gift shop help, tour guides, education volunteers, etc. It is certainly a team effort. At the top is Shirley coming back from her many forays out in to the gardens for debris. Directly above are Karla (left) and Suzy who worked with Mary R. in the reception garden today removing spent annuals and weeding. Glenna and Amy showed up later and joined the crew with Mary W. Hal and Doris cleaned up their area which involved the removal of some fading annuals. The Grumpies were well represented today with Larry H. and Bob C. tidying up paths while Pat (a Grumpy today) finished clearing debris from his project yesterday and he also did a nice job composting the three demonstration garden beds. Dick H. ran a couple of debris loads to the dump. Dave T., Jim, Bob A. and Vern finished up some carpentry projects and did a nice job starting to move items to the new shed as they consolidate their materials and tools in the carpentry section of the Horticulture Center. Janice and Mary W. worked with a large group of volunteers (12?) from the Chestnut House this afternoon. The group picked vegetables at the Horticulture Center and did a nice job collecting a wide range of vegetables. Dr. Gredler was in for so mowing too and he continues to repair the gazebo garden lawn after Tueday's tree removal. We also saw Dr. Yahr, Maury and many others. Directly below is the colorful foliage of the 'Sparkler' ornamental hot pepper (Capsicum annuum). The fruits on this variety ultimately age to a red which is showy against the foliage.
We had a smaller grounds staff today but they were very efficient. The recent rains have been nice as we haven't had to run much irrigation or set-up sprinklers like we've done so often over the last couple of months. To the left is the 'Wetumpka Red' Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) in the Japanese garden. While the leaves are normally maroon thru the summer, they are getting a brighter red right now. Larry ran out for supplies and spent most of the day weed whipping around the gardens. He also set-up some signs and did various odds and ends. Big John dug up some elephant ears (Colocasia sp.) for storage, composted and spent some time picking produce out of the Ornamental Edible & Compact Vegetable Display. John and Larry took care of watering all the containers as well. Despite the recent rains and cooler temperatures, the windy days have made it a necessity to check all containers for moisture needs. Jance worked on getting our WWW (Women Weed Warriors) going this morning and moved on to some other tasks. After working with the Chestnut House volunteers, Janice moved on to some watering and other duties. Janice also took an inventory of many new plants that were planted in the alpine garden this past weekend. We'll have Marianne prepare the new labels which are slightly different than our standard label formats. I had a meeting and gave a tour to a fun group from Rockford. Directly below is a clearwing hummingbird moth at the gardens. Santos, our volunteer photographer, caught this shot out in the gardens. At the bottom is the 'Double Zahara Fire' zinnia (Zinnia marylandica) which is still a nice eyecatcher out in the gardens.
I am the Director of Horticulture at Rotary Gardens (Janesville, WI). Along with a talented grounds staff and dedicated volunteers, I enjoy being involved with this wonderful botanical resource. My educational background is in landscape architecture and urban forestry but it didn't take long to become a plant enthusiast and find a lifelong career.