Thursday, October 11, 2012

AAS Landscape Design Award

RBG received some great news yesterday.  We received first place in the All-America Selections (AAS) Landscape Design Contest that we entered this year.  We have been a display garden for AAS for many years now (10 years?) and for 2012, they organized a fun contest for interested display gardens that involved featuring AAS winners and following some specific criteria.  You can view the details of the contest at if you are interested.  We were in category III which was for gardens with over 100,000 annual visitors.  The three photos above are three that I submitted as part of the contest.  You can see the end results, but more importantly, the role that volunteers played in planting and maintaining these beds.  Our grounds staff did a great job too with their involvement and lots of watering.  This was a fun contest and we'll enjoy the bragging rights for a bit as the year winds down.  In the AAS press release, their comments included... "First and foremost, the photos that Rotary submitted highlighted their expertly designed garden beds that were bursting with color coming from the AAS winners.  The judges loved how engaged Rotary's staff and volunteers were in this project and it resulted in an impressive amount of publicity in the area's media.  Rotary featured the contest in numerous press releases, blogs and Facebook posts.  Plus, they used an impressive 127 AAS winners in their landscape design - the highest number of any contest entry."  What a great honor and we look forward to our continued relationship with AAS in the future.  Kudos to the RBG team!  Press releases regarding this honor will expose Rotary Botanical Gardens to even more potential visitors, supporters and volunteers!

I had a crazy day (meetings, appointments and a presentation) and this became one of the few days that I never entered the gardens proper!  The volunteer photos below were from Janice and the plant shots were from yesterday.  It was another chilly, windy morning but the afternoon wasn't bad at 65 degrees F.  Two photos up is the 'Redbor' ornamental kale (Brassica oleracea) which really darkens up nicely with cooler temperatures and will look good for many more weeks.  I like that ruffled margin too.  Do take a closer look at the details on all your plants.  The photo directly above is the "post-bloom" stage of the seven-sons flower (Heptacodium miconioides) which already featured fragrant, creamy white flower clusters in late September.  These calyces are now turning this bright pink which gives extended interest to this large woody plant (15'+) that also has nice, ornamental bark (exfoliating).  Look this one up as it is a neat, smaller-scale, multi-stemmed tree well suited for our climate (no insect or disease problems). 

Aside from Marilyn (directly above) threatening everyone with a knife today...the volunteers did a great job out in the gardens.  Our Thursday crew is always sizeable and motivated.  Jim, Bob A., Vern, Rollie and Dick H. went out to pick up another donated greenhouse.  Dick H. then spent the rest of the day hauling debris to the dump.  Del and Eugene collected leaves and debris in the garden (directly below).  Bob C. went with Larry and Big John on a trip for pumpkins (for our Halloween Walk) this morning and later helped out in the gardens.  Our Women Weed Warriors (WWW) were our Women "Hosta-Cutting-Leaf-Raking" Warriors today and included Mary R., Suzy, Marilyn (the knife wielder) and Sue.  Glenna and Amy came later to join the ladies.  Mary W. (second photo down) and Roy tidied up their portion of the shade garden and have one more round of removals left.  Mary W. (#2) and Elsa did some work around the gardens later in the afternoon.  Dr. Gredler was in to mow and Gary came in to help with labels.  Pat worked on removing more plants out in the gardens.  Jumbo Jim had three RECAPPERS and they did a great job raking/collecting leaves in the Japanese garden.  I've probably missed some volunteers with my schedule today but we had lots of great help.  Suzie K. (third photo down) was one of the many education volunteers facilitating a fun educational experience for some school groups today.  Here they are out in the RBG prairie restoration.  In that same photo, note Shirley S. with the white hat with kids in the distance.

The grounds staff of Larry, Big John and Janice all had a busy day.  Big John and Larry picked up pumpkins with Bob C. this morning and next week, they'll be carved in to Jack-o-lanterns for the Halloween Walk which starts next Thursday evening (see  Larry had some equipment repair, push mowed and worked on some other tasks.  John also had mowing duties as well as more removals of frosted annuals and some watering.  Sounds like we'll have a good frost tonight.  Janice helped get our volunteers going this morning and worked with our Chestnut House volunteers this afternoon as they began removing our Ornamental Edible & Compact Vegetable Collection.  They did a great job.  Janice also processed some of our new lights for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS).  Directly below are some fall color shots from yesterday afternoon.  Many hostas get some nice golden fall color like those below.  These were cut down this morning as we like to cut them when the stems are firm and not mushy (after some hard frosts).  The next photo down shows the golden fall color of the royal fern (Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis) which really glows this time of year.  The third photo down is the clear yellow on the unique leaf of the tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) near the arched bridge and at the bottom, the leaf of the 'Autumn Moon' fullmoon maple (Acer shirasawanum) in the Japanese garden.  The summer color is a light yellow on the leaves but they get a deep golden coloration in October.  The red spots were previously just common leaf spots/discoloration on the leaf that turned this red.  I've seen this neat effect on this specimen for a couple years now.  Pretty cool.


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The botanical garden is the one which is having all the types of plants, trees, and flowering plants,. The botanical garden is useful for the people publically, these, the people will use for walking and others,

Samudaworth Tree Service said...

Thats fantastic!!!! Congratulations on winning the award, you definitely deserve it!! Your garden is 10x as much beautiful as mine, easily. My love for gardening won't be dying anytime soon, you inspire me

-Ken Nicely
Tree Pruning Brooklyn

Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture, Rotary Botanical Gardens said...

Thanks Ken! We appreciate your comments. I can't say enough about our awesome volunteers and hard working staff. As you know, it was a crazy year for weather but we're glad our displays turned out well. Thanks again!