The grounds staff started back today and we had a nice orientation, tour and lunch. Above is our team (Larry O. and I are missing from the shot) which includes, from left to right, Larry G. (newbie), Terry, Pat, Big John, Janice, Cindy B. (newbie) and Jenny. We chatted about plans for 2013, goals, collections and lots of other grounds related topics. It was nice to have a "veteran" perspective for our "newbies" and there were lots of good questions, comments and advice today. After lunch, Terry and Pat went out to bring in more displays from the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) while Big John went out to bring in our pedestal/urn containers from last year. Larry worked on some equipment and started the day by unloading 20 pallets of compost that was delivered for our upcoming Spring Compost Sale (starts this Saturday, April 6th, from 8 am until 12 noon at the Horticulture Center!). The compost is available in 1.5 cubic ft. bags (45 lbs or so) and are $5.50 plus tax. RBG members get 10% off and that same member discount extends throughout the Spring Plant Sale too. Cindy, Janice and Jenny did a great job with organizational projects and tidying around the Horticulture Center which really needed some attention after a busy winter. I spent some time on other projects and am spending time on our Spring Tree Sale date shift (more info to follow soon!).
We had a great volunteer turnout today and I wish I had taken more photos! Jumbo Jim (above) brought in his garden sun project (really cool) and he joined Stan and Karen in discussing the Japanese garden and doing all three did a tour of the gardens. Ron W. was out cutting back willows (Salix) along the west bank and we had a full contingent of Grumpies in the Horticulture Center sanding, re-staining and doing other projects. I saw Vern, Dave, Jim, Ron Y., Del, Dick H., Gene, Bob C. and others. Maury and Dick H. took some of the garden sun projects to Utzig's Carstar in town to get them clear-coated before they're installed out in the gardens prior to Mother's Day. Mandy F. cleaned up our houseplants nicely and we also had Mary F.P. (RBG Executive Director) over to talk with the grounds staff. I also saw Tina B. and Marsha M., two of our great photographers, today. These ladies take great shots of the gardens and kindly share them with us too!
Below are just some of the "smaller statured" dahlia varieties that I saw this past summer. I'm becoming more smitten with dahlias each year and we are currently focusing on short and mid-height varieties for the mixed border. When I started at the gardens, there was a nice dahlia collection that while beautiful, was a lot of work and eventually was removed. There are so many neat varieties out there and a couple years ago I saw a "dahlia show" at the Chicago Botanic Garden that was unbelievable in terms of color and varieties. More garden clean-up tomorrow!
'Dahlinova Hypnotica Dark Night'
'Dahlinova Hypnotica Coral'
'Dahlinova Hypnotica Bronze Bicolor'
'Dahlinova New York'