Friday, April 26, 2013

Plentiful Sunshine

It was another nice sunny day and there are more traditional signs of spring all around the gardens.  Above is the 'Metallic Blue Lady' hellebore (Helleborus x hybridus) in the gazebo garden.  I love this rich shade of maroon with a deep "blue" overtone.  This is a photo taken upwards from ground level in to this nodding flower.  Below is the early blooming, Grecian windflower (Anemone blanda 'Blue Shades') which is a fall planted bulb (actually a corm) that really has a lot of flower power with these 2" wide blooms (only 6" tall or so).  We have lots of this windflower in a nice clear white as well.  I was able to get around the gardens briefly this morning and then tried to keep up with various tours and orientations for new/returning volunteers.  Fridays are usually quite busy and today was no exception.  The second photo below is the 'Pink Frost' hellebore (Helleborus) in the woodland walk garden.  The next photo down is another garden hyacinth (Hyacinthus) perfuming the air.  These are nice as a cut or forced flower and will perfume a room nicely.  Janice has been using these in our cutting display too as they'll be noticeable to everyone walking in the front doors of the Parker Education Center.

We had a small grounds staff today and they sure kept hopping.  Directly below is Pat continuing to fill our horizontal PVC planters with potting soil.  There are seven of these in the All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden this year.  We'll have some fun plants trailing out of these and vines climbing up the supports.    Pat also did some push mowing out in the gardens.  Big John hauled out and stockpiled shredded bark all morning for Ron K. who kept busy mulching in the woodland walk garden.  John also hauled and spread compost, installed more tube planters and worked on some odds and ends.  Janice (second photo down) did a nice job planting up hundreds of unrooted cuttings (New Guinea impatiens and Gomphrena) from Sakata Seed which will be part of our plant trials this year.  Janice also helped with our volunteers and worked out in the gardens later today.  I had various meetings, a tour and was able to finish a couple tasks.  The day went quickly and it was nice to see more guests out in the gardens on this fine day.

We had a nice turnout of volunteers today. Directly below are Resa (left) and Cookie who are new to working as garden volunteers although Cookie has been involved at the gardens in the past.  The ladies will be assigned gardeners in the North Point garden but today helped pot up zinnia plugs with Janice and also tidied up in the fern & moss garden.  The three of us had a nice tour of the gardens too.  Dr. Gredler did a nice job mowing and Urban came in to transplant some small ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) trees in the Japanese garden.  Tom K. came in this morning to scope out some gardens to maintain as an assigned garden volunteer and Kay did a dynamite job with more select garden clean-up. Jim H. (second photo down) came in for some garden clean-up.  Mary H. and her daughter were in for clean-up in their garden and we also saw Maury, Dick H. (made a roadtrip for memorial bricks), Dave G. and many others.  Kathy and Tom H., our greenhouse donors, stopped by to give us some great advice on venting these greenhouses on these sunny days. The third photo down shows our morning tour participants which included most of the RBG staff, tour guide docents, garden ambassadors and general RBG volunteers.  I gave this tour with the goal of letting everyone know the 2013 collections but also various factoids regarding each of the garden areas.  

Directly below is a portion of our moss island.  Janice recently put this green netting over the entire area to thwart the persistent and consistent efforts of both squirrels and birds who are tearing up our moss island hourly.  She replaced this netting with a black tulle that was originally promoted by Dale S. ("Mr. Moss").  The moss is growing well but we need to check it daily for damage.  The next photo down shows a beautiful rain barrel that was decorated by one of our RECAPPER volunteers who is quite an artist.  Jumbo Jim brought it down and we'll use it soon.  The last three photos were taken at Pat H.'s house which is on one of our dog walk routes (six blocks from my house).  She has a wonderful garden that has been on our Home Garden Tour in the past and she has a beautiful "bulb lawn" with all sorts of goodies poking out of the turf.  Roughly, in sequence, is a miniature daffodil clump (Narcissus), glory-in-the-snow (Chionodoxa sp.) and Siberian squill (Scilla siberica).

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