Today felt like a return to early April with chilling winds and drizzle all morning. It was fairly brutal although the rain never became heavy enough to force us inside. Overall, it was a productive day that turned sunny after lunch although the high temperature was only around 60 degrees F. Above is the variegated Japanese kerria (Kerria japonica 'Picta') with single golden flowers above nice, white-edged foliage. This is a durable shrub for sure. Directly below are the white flower clusters of the native nannyberry or blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum lentago) which also has colorful fruits and a showy fall color. We have a couple specimens out in the gardens and they will become small trees in time. The next photo down shows the fresh spring foliage of the tricolor European beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Roseo-Marginata') which catches the eye from a great distance. We positioned ours to receive afternoon shade which helps protect (and extend) the light pink edges of the leaves throughout the summer. The next photo down shows the nice maroon foliage of the 'Rosita' European filbert (Corylus avellana). The maroon will fade a bit with the heat of summer but the spring color is quite rich. Unfortunately, Japanese beetles enjoy the leaves as well and they wont look this good late in the summer. Ugh.
The weather did understandably affect our volunteer attendance but we still had some tough old salts like Gene and Bob (below) that hauled mulch out around the gardens. Pat M. was also in for mulching. Dr. Gredler and Bill O. did much of the riding mowing for the weekend and Dick H. (second photo down) helped with many projects including hauling debris to the dump. Vern and Jim D. worked on some carpentry projects and Ron W. was in to help secure benches among other projects. Sue C. was our sole "Grumpette" and she helped Janice pot up some impatiens (third photo down) for our trial garden and later moved to some planting out in the gardens. Bob T. worked on more air edging. Dick P. installed more bricks and Gary worked on some labeling projects. We also saw Maury (ran errands), Chuck S., Bill F., Mary F.P., Rose N. and many others. Dale S. ("Mr. Moss") was in today as well and installed more moss and tidied up the Fern & Moss garden. We appreciate his expertise and commitment to the gardens.
The grounds staff didn't have to do much watering although we had hoses out and poised in case of need. We did water some new plantings however. Janice (above with Sue) worked with "Mr. Moss", tidied in the gardens, watered, etc. She had a full day. Big John helped get hoses set up, installed more obelisks, went on a plant run, edged and worked on myriad other projects. Larry finished repairing the damaged water line, push mowed, ran irrigation and worked on other projects as well. Cheryl was in for a half day and did a nice job weeding in two areas near the Parker Education Center. Jenny did a dynamite job organizing all of our All-America Selections (AAS) varieties for our AAS Display Garden (seen below). This collection will be heavily promoted and should be a nice historical representation of 150+ varieties of AAS winners. This collection is also entered in a design competition hosted by AAS and we're interested in keeping our 1st place title from the same competition last year. Jenny and I placed these flats in a chronological order based on their year of introduction. This space will be quite colorful and Jenny's organizational skills are second to none. We will plant these on Saturday as part of our volunteer work day (8 am until 12 noon). I bounced between various tasks including some desk work as well. Further down are some other fun sights out in the gardens. Note the last two photos shared by Marsha Mood. Both were taken at the gardens. Thanks Marsha!
hybrid false indigo (Baptisia hybrida 'Carolina Moonlight')
'Silver Falls' Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum)
pansy containers in the English cottage garden
Lunch is served! Courtesy of Marsha Mood
Cute! Courtesy of Marsha Mood