Thursday, April 25, 2013

Impressive Collective Efforts

The Bower City Garden Club (BCGC) hosted their annual Spring Luncheon today and it was very well attended.  Above are the ladies looking at the silent auction items.  I gave a short presentation after lunch that included the gardens and an emphasis on the garden as a sensory experience.  I saw many RBG volunteers and people that I knew.  The BCGC has been very supportive of the gardens over the years both financially and with "hands on" projects.  This presentation involved me dressing up a bit (yes, a tie!) which unsurprisingly received a certain degree of "comments" from our grounds staff and volunteers.  It was a long day which started with our compost delivery semi-truck getting stuck in our quagmire of wet soil behind the Horticulture Center (see below).  We had to get this industrial tow truck (thanks Davis CITGO) to get him out.  The day was chilly with some sun and overall, a nice day to be outside gardening.  

It's nice to have more and more flowers to choose from each day for photographs.  I've been waiting for the corneliancherry dogwoods (Cornus mas 'Golden Glory') to start blooming as seen above in the Scottish garden. Though the flowers are small, they are numerous and will give this small tree a "haze" of yellow color before the leaves emerge in a couple weeks.  Directly below is one of the single pink hyacinths (Hyacinthus) just starting to open up with wonderful fragrance.  The next photo down shows our first primrose (Primula sp.) blooming along the edge of the Japanese garden.  I plan on planting many more primulas of various species and varieties this year as you simply can't overuse primroses. 

The grounds staff kept busy today.  Larry helped deal with our "compromised" compost delivery and repaired one of our garden carts which is now in good working order.  Cindy tidied the front of the building up before the luncheon and then spent most of her time collecting debris from the color rooms and Scottish garden.  Jenny tidied around the observation pier and in some other areas as well.  Both Cindy and Jenny did some light watering of our recently planted pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) containers and helped shift plants to our new greenhouses.  Big John dug in and leveled the new plastic tube planters (third photo down) along the front garden bed and started filling them with soil.  He also hauled mulch, plants to the greenhouse, etc.  He and Larry also set-up the uber-heavy umbrella stands out on the terrace garden patio.  Janice worked out in the gardens, refreshed the cutting display, worked on plant sale preparations and other projects.  We have more trial plants to pot up tomorrow.  

It was a great day with many volunteers.  Ron W. (left) and Ron Y. directly below hauled out and secured the remainder of our garden benches.  We are keeping spreadsheets on where these are located as we have so many (46?) of this general style (teak and cedar).  This doesn't include our 54 environmental quote benches (redwood). Gene, Del and Rollie finished assembling the plant sale tables and Del went out to do some mowing as well.  Dr. Gredler mowed all morning (third photo down) and the lawns, with so much recent moisture and a dose of fertilizer, are looking nice and green right now.  Bob C. spread shredded bark in the parking lot islands while Dave and Jim worked on carpentry projects.  New Grumpy Ron continued work on our new Horticulture Center door and worked on some other projects.  Dick H. took many loads to the dump and is keeping up with our fluctuating debris pile.  Dick P. and Maury worked on some repairs at the other building and Maury headed out for supplies too.  Pat did quite a bit of painting including the big gates that lead in to the fern & moss garden.  The second photo down shows Bev (far left), Deb (hidden) and her two grandkids working on the signs for the garden art project suns (35 of the 36 have been secured).  Pat R. came in to help Cindy with garden clean-up and we also saw Bill O., Urban and many others!

Below is one of our pedestal/urn combinations from last year.  Terry installed four of these in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden at waist height.  The garden theme in this space is "Pollinator's Paradise" and these containers will allow children of all ages to hopefully observe butterflies, etc. doing their thing. This will be a colorful summer garden although the spring color (mostly tulips) is all but nibbled away by rabbits. UGH!  The next photo down shows a portion of our blended mushroom compost pile that will be used to augment and improve the soils in many different garden areas.  This is a great product.  The third photo down shows the nice reseeding of the winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) which will continue to thicken this carpet of yellow in the early spring.  This colony is only 10 years old...imagine in 100 years!  The last three photos were shared by "Mr. Moss" (Dale S. from Waukesha, WI) and show some of his most recent moss container dabbling.  He's including a wide range of mosses including the silvery reindeer moss (which is actually a lichen).  Dale has lots of moss and dozens of containers like this.  He is quite artistic and his help renovating our moss island last year continues to much appreciated.

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