Today was very productive for me in terms of seed ordering. I don't mind rainy days at my desk although I would have preferred some snow instead of the 40 degrees F temperatures that have arrived (albeit temporarily). I'm going through some of the supplemental catalogs with a primary focus on 2013 collections and the vegetables for the spring plant sale. Above are some species tulips (Tulipa sp.) sprouting up already in the entrance garden although the flower buds haven't poked out yet which is fortunate as this foliage will take a beating for the next three months in all likelihood. Almost every seed order I place has some unavailable items or backorders that I have to consider as I progress with ordering. I categorize every selection based on the general collection that the variety will ultimately be part of (i.e. All America Selections, Fleuroselect, ornamental edibles, orange collection, etc.). These categories will then correspond to various colored labels that follow these varieties through seeding, transplanting and ultimately retrieval, organization and finally planting out in the spring garden. The three annuals below are three that will be part of our "Lime Collection" of foliage and flowers. In order, this is the 'Queen Lime' zinnia (Zinnia elegans), flowering tobacco (Nicotiana langsdorfii) and Bells of Ireland (Molucella laevis) respectively.
We didn't see a lot of volunteers today and Friday is usually quiet around the Horticulture Center. Dr. Gredler came in to process more drop cords and Bill O. came in to wrap up more of the larger cords for storage. Pat arrived in the afternoon to haul back some of our temporary spruces (Picea) for future chipping in to our mulch pile. Piles of trees like those in the bottom photo await relocation. Maury ran some errands for me this afternoon and that was most of the action for today. We had a productive staff meeting that covered some wrap up items for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS). We also talked about the looming Garden Expo sponsored by Wisconsin Public Television on February 8th through February 10th at the Exhibition Hall of the Alliant Energy Center (Madison). RBG will have a booth as usual and I'm giving four presentations (Trendy Annuals (twice), Annual Grasses and Vertical Gardening) over that weekend. The Expo is a great way to get a taste of spring with hundreds of vendors, demonstrations and seminars. See www.wigardenexpo.com/ for more details. Don't miss the RBG Spring Symposium this March 23rd (8 am - 4:30 pm) entitled Our Gardening Heritage. Check out our website under the Adult Ed tab and get more details on this popular, annual event. Below is another neat bench quote out in the gardens and further down, a heron trapped in the ice (only a sculpture, don't worry!).