Although it was a cool, refreshing 50 degrees F today, the sunshine was certainly nice. There were plenty of flowers poking up in the gardens and this upcoming warm weekend should offer more encouragement for more aggressive "emergence". Above are some of the reticulated irises (Iris reticulata) in the woodland walk garden. They must have opened up overnight as I didn't notice them yesterday. Ron K. planted hundreds throughout that garden space last fall and they are a captivating shade of blue. I'm not sure what variety this blue is though... Below is another garden hyacinth (Hyacinthus) just starting to offer color and scent in the color rooms garden. The next photo down shows white Siberian squill (Scilla siberica 'Alba') looking nice and below that, the golden foliage (with reddish spring tinting) of the emerging 'Goldheart' bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis). Beneath the bleeding heart are the woolly buds of the emerging pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) which should be blooming next week. I've seen this perennial take plenty of frost and I'm always mesmerized by the unfolding furry buds, furry stems and large flowers (blue, pink, deep pink and white).
We had some great volunteer efforts out in the gardens today. Below is Ron K. continuing his tidying in the woodland walk garden. He also planted 10 'Claude Shride' martagon lilies (Lilium martagon) and a linden viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum 'Michael Dodge') which is a yellow-fruiting form. I have plenty of plants for Ron once we determine the remaining gaps in his well-tended garden area. Kay (next photo down) did a top notch job continuing clean-up efforts near the gazebo garden and in other locations. She is very thorough and note her use of a hand saw for cutting back grasses (very effective). Ron W. came in to secure more benches and Jumbo Jim worked with Stan K. and three RECAPPERS to tidy up in the Japanese garden. Dr. Gredler mowed most of the day and some of our lawns were in need of this attention. We'll probably get out the push mowers by late this week or early next week. Gena and Myrt came in to plant some pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) in our entrance garden and English cottage garden containers. We're adding a bit o' color as we have the big Bower City Garden Club Luncheon tomorrow. The tulips we historically plant in front of the Parker Education Center are timed for this event. Last year they bloomed five weeks early and this year they'll be 7-10 days late! We can't catch a break! Janice came in to work with our Chestnut House volunteers and they did a nice job seeding containers with a summer, vining spinach [Malabar spinach (Basella rubra)]. We also saw Bev F., Bev D., Mary W., Tina B, Marsh M., Jean S., Maury, Pat, Glenn, Dick H., Dick P., Chuck S., Denise and many others today.
Directly below is the 20' obelisk that Pat installed this week (with Grumpy help). This was the former "tower of power" during the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) and will now be part of our Giant Garden which will include lots of large plants with lush foliage. We're going for a "jungle look". Pat also took the initiative to secure hooks on this for the HLS later this year so it can go in to quick use. There are three wires securing this as well. The next photo down shows another shot of our south Japanese garden entrance. Further down are two more of our garden art projects out in the gardens. The second to last photo shows, from left to right, Janice, Jenny, John (the tall one..) and Cindy wearing their hair nets yesterday. These are actually the shipping sleeves for incoming trial plants but they are a fashionable look (although Jenny needs some help getting it on properly...). At the bottom is an acorn I found today on top of the soil just sending out that tap root.....How did the squirrels miss this one? Mother Nature is SO COOL.