It was a hot one today with a high close to 88 degrees F. That's quite a jump and it was nice to see so many people outside today in general. Above is a classy species tulip (Tulipa humilis) called 'Persian Pearl' in the English cottage garden. Although small and short, this one will catch the eye with little difficulty. It looks like the rest of the week will have some chance of rain and there will be a bit of a "cool down" towards the weekend. I can't blog too much about the gardens as I was only there this morning and early evening for a meeting (Home Garden Tour with Bill, Linda, Janet, Jean, Tom, Sue and Barb). I spent the day being mobile and went on some area visits to our growers. I ultimately ended up in Madison and had a nice lunch with Shelley Ryan, recently retired host/producer of The Wisconsin Gardener on Wisconsin Public Television. It was great to catch up and "talk shop". I also was able to tour Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI) briefly and said 'hi' to Samara, Samantha and Phillip, three of the grounds horticulturists. They must have had 40+ volunteers cutting back grasses and doing some serious spring clean-up. They all wondered how I could get away and I said that we had been done with our clean-up for weeks and I couldn't believe they were still working on theirs... :) I took lots of bulb and perennial pictures at Olbrich and will share some tomorrow. Directly below is a close-up of a grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) along the side of my house. The details up close are quite striking and ours at the gardens will be peaking later this week and next. The second photo down shows the flowers of the sharp-lobed hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba) in the woodland walk which will be followed shortly by the emerging leaves. The next photo down was also taken in the woodland walk gardem and is a drumstick primrose (Primula denticulata) looking nice and colorful along the shoreline.
Our grounds staff today consisted of Larry, Janice, Big John, Pat and Cindy. Everyone had a full day of projects and we're continuing our clean-up efforts, mulching, composting and other duties. I only saw Kay in to help out as a volunteer before I left but I'm sure we had many others. Directly below is another species tulip (Tulipa tarda) which perennializes nicely and is a vivid yellow with white petal tips. I like this smaller tulip in nice clumps along the front of a border (8" tall). The second photo down shows the silver, emerging foliage of the 'Majeste' lungwort (Pulmonaria) that is a tough perennial in leaner soils and limited sunlight. The next photo down is the colorful foliage of the emerging 'Stairway to Heaven' Jacob's ladder (Polemonium reptans) which has some nice pink, variegated spring growth that later fades to a cream. The next photo down features some of the many thousands of daffodils (Narcissus) that are at full peak at the gardens. At the bottom is a dedication ceremony yesterday for long-time supporter, Board Member and volunteer Ruth Ann Potts. A contorted filbert (Corylus avellana 'Contorta') was dedicated to Ruth Ann and the people in the photograph include RBG staff, Board Members and members of the Noon Rotary Club as well. Looks like another nice gardening day tomorrow!