As I type it's getting quite late so this will be a bit shorter on verbage then normal. We had a wonderful staff retreat today to Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford, IL. This garden is beautiful and is currently ranked the #1 Japanese garden in the Northern hemisphere. I don't doubt that assessment for a minute as the garden is awesome in appearance and scale. I had been to the gardens previously on a dozen occasions or so and enjoyed this one as much as any. I toured the gardens exactly a year ago and caught even more color. The weather was perfect and the fall colors were just starting to show. Thanks to Kathy (of Anderson Gardens) for arranging our tours with Jim (grounds) and a docent. Jim can be seen in the bottom photo with some of our staff. We had a nice tour and were then able to sit and chat about RBG. We then had a great lunch at a local Italian place (note John below with his new friend and the irony implied in the shot). The restaurant was quite fancy but we were all able to sit together in our own room and had an enjoyable lunch. Overall, a great day. Back at RBG, Kay and Janet worked out in the gardens this morning with Jumbo Jim and two RECAPPERS doing some work in the afternoon. The RBG staff can be seen above (sans Larry and Pat) at Anderson Gardens.
I had a presentation tonight at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI) on spring blooming bulbs that seemed well received. It was a long day but I was able to enjoy two other gardens. I arrived early at Olbrich and took plenty of pictures out in the gardens. It looked like they also received the light frost earlier in the week and had started removing annuals and poking in pansies, kale, mums and other goodies for fall color. The lighting was perfect and it wasn't hard to take a couple hundred quick pictures. Back to business tomorrow though.