It was a frigid start to the day and needless to say, no one was out in the gardens working today! Tomorrow looks even colder although a warm up is inevitable. Of course it was mostly inside work today although Larry, Gary, Maury, Jim D., Del and Dick H. had to run an errand this morning involving hauling some materials out in the cold. They looked frozen thru when they got back! All these guys shifted to helping with other projects once they were back. Pat and Dr. Gredler continued painting obelisks (two shades of lime) and Del helped organize some things in the shop. Dave T., Jim, Vern and Bob A. continued work on the garden art project suns which should still be ready by the February 4th availability date (details on the RBG website soon). Bill O. came in to help wrap up cords and we also saw Rollie, Mary W. and Urban over here today. Above is the 'Crimson King' basil (Ocimum basilicum) which is one of the many offerings we'll have at our Spring Plant Sale (May 11th and 12th, 9 am - 4 pm). Directly below are the 'Gretel' (white) and 'Hansel' eggplants (Solanum melongena) which are both past All-America Selections winners and will also be available at the sale.
The blog title refers to making sure our spring events are on your calendar at home. Some items of note include the Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo (www.wigardenexpo.com) on February 8th, 9th and 10th as well as our Spring Symposium on March 23rd. We are currently selling tickets for the Garden Expo in the Cottage Garden Gallery (while supplies last). The annual symposium, Our Gardening Heritage, will include four great speakers, excellent food & snacks, a silent auction and all sorts of other neat things including a Market Mingle event the evening prior to the symposium (Friday). See the RBG website for more information on this always popular (and frequently filled to capacity) symposium including the complete itinerary and speaker biographies. The remainder of the photos in this blog also feature plant sale offerings including the 'Chilly Chili' hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) directly below which makes up for its lack of heat with impressive ornamentality. The next photo down is the 'Snow White' cherry tomato (Lycopersicon) which won our visitor taste tests twice in a row at the Garden Festival (Rock Prairie Master Gardener Association) and continues to be one of my personal favorites for flavor.
I had a productive day of ordering seeds from two catalogs and I finished preparing my next four presentations, three of which will be given at the Garden Expo. Next week I present on "Durable Shrubs for Foliage Appeal" at Olbrich (Wednesday evening). I continue to chip away at my catalog stack but feel good about the progress this month. Tomorrow evening is our Volunteer Soup Social (5 pm) which is a fun and effective way to connect with our volunteers over the slower portion of the year. We'll talk about upcoming events, collections, etc. and I'll also give a presentation on my trip to the Netherlands last April. Larry had no shortage of tasks today and continues to shift various things around the Horticulture Center to make room for our various tasks. Further below are just some of the herb offerings that will be included in the Spring Plant Sale. We typically offer over 100 varieties of herbs. Directly below is the 'Amethyst Falls' trailing oregano (Origanum hybrida) which is nice in a container or hanging basket. Further below are the golden sage (Saliva officinalis 'Icetrina') and silver garden sage (Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten). Both of these sages are great ornamentals in the full sun garden too!