Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunshine & Sixties (Finally!)

Although there were some earlier predictions for a rainy day, we had mostly sunshine and some nice weather.  Tomorrow doesn't look so nice.... Apparently the Earth Day activities at RBG over the weekend went well with over 850 attendees visiting Friday and Saturday.  Kris and many RBG volunteers did a great job facilitating a fun and educational event.  I gave some tours on Saturday for our Sunday Watering volunteers (see bottom photo) and our tour guide docents.  It was nice to see so many people out in the gardens.  I continue to notice more color daily which is one of the many reasons why spring is so welcome!  Above is the 'Mellow Yellow' hellebore (Helleborus) in the woodland walk garden.  The backlit daffodil (Narcissus) below caught my eye in the entrance garden (note the orange pyramid in the back!) and most of our daffodils are showing color.  The next photo down shows the dusky purple foliage of Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) continuing to emerge with the second photo down showing Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) just starting to bloom above lacy, blue-green foliage.  These flowers will be pure white shortly but have this nice shade of pink before maturing.

Directly above are just the start of thousands of grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) throughout the gardens.  We must have planted 40,000 of these over the years and they sure add a nice "cool blue" in the spring.  Directly below is the Danford iris (Iris danfordiae) which is such a cheery shade of lemon yellow (note the green throat patterns).  The second photo down shows the lesser glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa sardensis) that features electric, gentian-blue blossoms with a white throat.  I'm always happy to report a strong volunteer turnout and my only fear is that I forget someone!  The Grumpies were out in full force today.  Ron W. and Jim D. hauled more benches out in the gardens while Bob C. and Lloyd did a nice job cutting back more grasses and shrubs by our neighboring Lion's Beach (third photo down)  Bob and Lloyd also did quite a bit of mulching in the main parking lot.  Dick P. and new Grumpy Ron (in red, third photo down) installed our new front door while Dave T., Jim and Vern all worked on carpentry projects including the staining of our last bench (yay!).  Del and Gene (fifth photo down) started assembling our plant sale tables which will go in to action in three weeks.  Dick H. made many runs to the dump with the remainder of our winter debris.  Dr. Gredler aerated most of our remaining lawns which was timely with rains coming tomorrow.  Maury ran some errands and we also saw Rollie, Chuck, Bev F., Mary W., Stan, Karen M., Jumbo Jim and many others.  Bill O. came in this afternoon for some clean-up efforts too.

The grounds staff had a busy day.  Larry (above) helped Dick H. with loading the dump truck with debris.  This pile of debris is left from our winter pruning.  Larry and John also marked irrigation heads for our turf aeration program.  Pat (directly below) was here as a volunteer today and spearheaded efforts to get the 20' tall obelisk up and secure with some help from various volunteers.  Cindy and Jenny did a nice job finishing the clean-up down in the sunken garden which involved many cartloads of debris.  Cindy also tidied the color rooms while Jenny worked near the observation pier and in the greenhouse matching labels to newly arrived plants.  Terry (second photo down) installed four of these pedestal/urn combos in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden.  He also moved containers out to their garden locations with Big John, collected mulch and spent some major time making his custom soil mix to continue filling various garden containers.  John also mulched the main parking lot and helped with various other projects.  The third photo down shows our "rainbow" culvert planters ready to go (installed last Friday) and at the bottom, some of our Sunday watering team during our Saturday tour and orientation.

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