Today Maury went and picked up a generous donation of surplus, spring-blooming bulbs (above) from a local vendor. This is probably another 6,000 bulbs or so and I'm hoping we can plant these over the next two weeks. It's certainly not too late to plant although the weather could turn sour very quickly. Surplus bulbs like these are typically tossed out at the end of the season. However, we've received donations of this nature in the past and always strive to take full advantage of this additional spring color! The price is certainly right. I'll see what sort of help we get next week (shovel-work) to accomplish this task.
It was quieet at the Horticulture Center today. Dr. Gredler came in to transition more containers from white to this brilliant orange (above). These containers are made of structural foam so are quite light and this is probably the fourth color we've painted on them over the years. I seem to remember red, yellow, white and now orange. There are five of these and they'll be out on the terrace as that surrounding garden space (terrace garden) will echo the orange/maroon theme in the entrance garden in 2013. Urban was also in for some painting duties on the PVC pipe planters. He said waiting for the paint to dry on these pipes was a lot like "waiting for paint to dry." Some of the recent colors that Doc and Urban have utilized can be seen below. Urban later went out to prune some crabapples (Malus) near the Horticulture Center. Pat was the only one to head in to the gardens where he continued his pruning efforts for most of the morning. Aside from Maury mentioned above, we also saw Gary, Big John, Bill O and a delivery of lumber. Although the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) doesn't start for the public until next Thursday, December 13th (see our website for all the dates and times), we have to turn the lights on for some functions at the Parker Education Center over the weekend. We're keeping an eye on the weather and have our snowblower (second photo down), shovels, etc. ready to go. A little snow covers the cords nicely and sure adds to the effect.
I had a productive day of 2013 preparations. I continue to go thru our seed catalogs and am starting with those that we order from most frequently. I'll probably have perused 40 catalogs by the end of the month. As we finalize collections for next year, our seed and plant orders will very accordingly. The Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden will have a new theme in 2013-14. The Smelly Garden theme in that space was very well received for the two years we featured that collection. However, the new, two-year theme will be called "Pollinator's Paradise". Our displays in this space will focus on attracting pollinators by providing nectar food sources as well as supporting plants for the larval stage (i.e. butterflies). This garden should look beautiful and will have plenty of educational value for all visitors. One plant we'll be sure to include is the perennial butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) seen below. It will be neat to experiment with this theme and I'm interested in seeing the fun activities that Kris K. (RBG Education Coordinator) develops around this collection.
The last photo down shows bundles of our C7 lights ready to be strung out for 1/2 gallon milk jug luminaries. This is an older photo as Marianne has already prepared all the luminaries out in the HLS. However, this photo is meant to help promote attendance at the garden lecture next Wednesday evening, December 12th from 6:30 pm until 8 pm. I'll be talking about the HLS in detail and we'll have a "behind the scenes" discussion regarding our displays and set-up. We'll also end up outside to view the HLS in greater detail.