Today I was ordering more seeds both for the gardens and the Spring Plant Sale (May 11th and 12th). There are many offerings in the plant sale that we ultimately use in the gardens so I order extra seed of those items, particularly for our Ornamental Edible Display. This display has been one of our most popular over the past two years and we're going to make it bigger and shift it to a new location this year. However, hot peppers (Capsicum sp.) continue to be not only popular at the sale but are great ornamentals out in the gardens when the fruits continue to get more vivid coloration later in the season. So many of these are true ornamental edibles with both beauty and taste. Many varieties are developed specifically for showy fruits and or foliage but ultimately the fruits (many are scorching!) are still edible. Keep in mind that calling a plant an ornamental hot pepper doesn't mean it can't be used in a culinary fashion. The converse is true as well. Standard hot pepper varieties ('Jalapeno', 'Scotch Bonnet', 'Habanero', etc.) are all very ornamental as the fruits "color up" as well! We usually feature 20+ varieties of ornamental hot peppers out in the gardens and as I went through my 2012 photos, I pulled just a small fraction to share in this blog. There are so many other varieties with most ranging in heights from 6" to 30" with all types of showy foliage, fruit colors and limitless potential in the sunny garden border or container. Short of describing every variety in detail, I'll list them off briefly. Three of these will be offered at the plant sale. Directly above is the All-America Selections (AAS) winner (2002) called 'Chilly Chili'. Directly below, in order are 'Super Chili'. 'Purple Flash' (look at that foliage!), 'Explosive Ember', 'Black Pearl' (AAS winner from 2006), 'Parancho' and 'Loco' respectively.
Our work today was mostly inside. For me, it was behind my computer. Dick W. (below) was taking lights off of our pvc arches all morning and was later helped by Ron and Bev W. Oddly enough, it was Ron and Bev that put the lights on all these arches out in the Holiday Lights Show (HLS). They've come full circle. Larry (second photo down) and Bill worked on wrapping up cords and have a nice "jig" (developed by Bill) also seen below for wrapping the cords nicely while saving the shoulders from doing it the old-fashioned way. We also saw Big John this morning and Maury ran some errands and picked up more paint and supplies for upcoming projects. Dr. Gredler worked on unwrapping lights from obelisks (three photos down). When I took this photo, I said, "Doc, would you like to give a facial expression that relays your enjoyment level of this task?". His response, with that smile, was for me to go to H-E-double hockey sticks. He says it with such sincerity! :) At the bottom is what a finished garden art form (sun) will look like once primed and assembled. This sample still needs another coat. These should provide some decent surface area for our participating artists to explore and interpret. We're looking forward to the fourth sequential year of this art project/display out in the gardens.