Today was a pleasant day although we had some rain later on in the afternoon. Above are Kathy and Tom who donated the greenhouse seen behind them (and two others) to the gardens last fall. They were kind enough to come both Friday and today to help us secure a new shade covering on this house and to provide venting instructions for the greenhouses based on their 22 years? of experience. We appreciate their time (and donation)! I was able to get around the gardens many times today and it's amazing what the warm weekend encouraged in terms of blooms. Directly below is the marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) thriving along the shoreline of the Japanese garden near the zig-zag bridge. The next photo down shows a yellow garden hyacinth (Hyacinthus) that smelled wonderful as I passed by late this morning. The next photo down shows a lungwort (Pulmonaria sp.) in full bloom which is quite spectacular with the various gradations of pink and blue which is typical for most varieties. The foliage will then take over shortly and you can see hints of the silver spotting that will become quite visually interesting for this variety. There are many varieties out there that will vary in foliage and/or blooms. The fourth photo down shows the classic bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) in full, rich bloom. This is one of my favorite flowers this time of year and our large patches of bloodroot throughout the woodland walk garden are glowing with that pure white contribution.
The grounds staff was quite busy today and everyone was in today at some point or another. Above are Cindy and Terry bonding. They worked together all morning on some mulching and composting and did a nice job. Both branched off on their own after lunch to accomplish other projects. Big John did quite a bit of composting today and also helped with our kiosk project mentioned further below. John and Terry also picked up some newly engraved benches and both guys had plenty of other duties. Jenny tidied up the front of the building, along Palmer Drive and in many other locations. She also worked on labels during the afternoon spurt of rain. Pat was in as a volunteer this morning and "became staff" before the lunch hour. He did a nice job composting and mulching out in the gardens among other projects. Larry (directly below) had a full day with a major water line leak in the woodland walk garden. This involved plenty of digging through tree roots and he should be able to finish the repairs tomorrow morning. Janice came in this afternoon to work on compost and plant sale details and to attend (with Cindy), our Horticultural Therapy Committee Meeting. I had a busy day but didn't accomplish most of what I had planned on doing (which is typical).
It was crazy day with lots of volunteers around the gardens and at the Horticulture Center. It was a nice day to be outside and Gene (yellow bucket) and Bob kept busy mulching the old-fashioned roses near the French formal garden (directly below). Ron W. and Lloyd did quite a bit of composting and Dick H. helped Big John compost after he ran some loads to the dump. The second photo down shows Pat finishing the paint job on the gates that lead down in to the fern & moss garden. Ron Y., Vern and Jim D. (third photo down) spent the morning working on a project for the education department although they also helped Kris K. get situated with her May Pole (fourth photo down). The May Pole will be part of a program that Kris K. is offering this Wednesday (sponsored by Mercy Health System). Stan K. (fifth photo down) did some nice pruning work on a burning bush (Euonymus alatus) near the Japanese garden and Bev W. was back in action doing some nice tidying in the sunken garden. Gary continued his work on labels while Maury helped get some water features in order and ran errands. Dennis J. came in to work with John on relocating the information kiosk (sixth photo down) which we're donating to the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Dick H. and Ron W. helped guide John back to the Horticulture Center as his vision was limited. We also saw Chuck S., Rollie, Hal R., Bill O. and many others today including members of our Horticultural Therapy Committee (Mary W., Art H., Elaine W., Cindy, Janice and me). L.P. Tree Service came to do some light pruning near the shade garden and Nature's Touch continues to clean and prepare our water features.
With so many spring flowers in bloom now, I had to include more in this blog. Directly below are the fully opened Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) which are peppered throughout the woodland walk garden. The next photo down shows one of our 'Royal Star' magnolias (Magnolia stellata) in full bloom on the west side of the Parker Education Center. The third photo down shows the neat (and quite showy) blooms of a red maple (Acer rubrum) and note the little bee on top that was really working this tree over with dozens of friends. Of course, the heat has also encouraged the dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) which were blooming in March last year for comparison. At the bottom is another neat photo shared by Marsha M. of a local painted turtle catching some recent sunshine (thanks for sharing Marsha!).