It was another day of indoor projects with scattered rain, drizzle, downpours and consistent mist. Above is Dr. Gredler finishing up painting one of our re-purposed containers that will be used in the American Garden Award (www.americangardenaward.com/) display to help feature and accent one of the four entrants in the program this year. Our other three containers also have colors that correspond to their specific entry. We've done this program for a couple of years and it's been lots of fun. While it's been darn damp for many days, this will only help us this summer if we have a drought. Once the sun peaks out and we get some warm days, all of our gardens will explode with color. We have been ducking out in to the gardens between rain showers. John and Terry (right) in the photo below were outside yesterday installing our large "pyramids" on the primary entrance garden slope. Note how these were constructed to accommodate that slanting garden.
Plant deliveries are arriving almost daily and the pace will increase dramatically as we head in to May. Cindy unpacked the plants seen both above and below. Above are some "Sub-Zero" rose varieties that were bred by Dr. Walter Brownell of Rhode Island many years ago. These hybrid, grafted selections were developed to withstand bitter winter cold and also extreme summer heat. We haven't tried Sub-Zero roses in the past but will give them a whirl as they are promoted as disease resistant as well. The small shrubs and trees below are from Broken Arrow Nursery (www.brokenarrownursery.com/) which carries some really neat, hard-to-find selections. While these are small, it will be nice to see them fill out over the coming years.
We had a nice crew of staff and volunteers today. Above are some shots from yesterday out in the soggy garden. Two photos up are the male catkins of the contorted European filbert (Corylus avellana 'Contorta') in the Scottish garden which is also called Harry Lauder's walking stick. You'll see catkins soon on members of the birch (Betulaceae) family including birches (Betula), alders (Alnus), hazels (Corylus), hornbeams (Carpinus) and hophornbeams (Ostrya). Directly above is another shot of our vividly green moss island in the fern & moss garden.
Grounds staff today included Janice, Big John and Cindy. Everyone worked on indoor projects and ultimately left early to save their time for outdoor activities when the weather breaks. I think we're all getting stir crazy with this "cabin fever causing weather". Our bench sanding Grumpies today included Ron Y., Bob C., Gene, Al and Dave T. I think the guys will finish the last of the benches on Monday. Del worked on various projects and Dr. Gredler continued some painting efforts. Gary worked on producing replacement plant labels (winter breakage) and some new signs that will be used with our 2013 Garden Art Project (suns). Pat came in to work on his pedestal/urn planters. Maury ran some errands and we also saw Bill O., Urban and many others. Directly below is the ornamental bark of the corneliancherry dogwood (Cornus mas 'Golden Glory') which looks neat, particularly when wet. The next photo down shows the old leaves from our hornbeam maple (Acer carpinifolium) in the Japanese garden. The fall color was average but this early spring shade of orange is neat and very reminiscent of true European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). The third photo down shows the backing for our newest memorial bench for longtime RBG supporter, volunteer and poet, Luis Owano. We'll place his bench in the gazebo garden in a position offering a beautiful view. At the bottom is another of our many sun projects that will soon go out in the gardens as part of our 2013 Garden Art Project.