It was a crazy day of deliveries for the Spring Plant Sale today with three trucks all arriving within 10 minutes of each other this morning. Beaver Creek Nursery came with a nice load of shrubs and small magnolias to start the morning. We then had two other suppliers of both herbs and perennials show up. We were fortunate to have a great team of volunteers readily on hand to off load these trucks although a couple guys decided to supervise (as seen directly below). Actually they were just taking a break from truck #1 finishing with truck #2 and #3 backing in to position. With the exception of picking up our basil (Ocimum sp.) order for the sale, we have everything here and will be restocking our bagged compost which we sold out of this past Saturday! Check out the plant sale on our website where you can also view lists of our vegetable and herb offerings.
There are plenty more flowers out in the gardens today and as I was strolling around the gardens taking these shots, I also had 4 gallons of herbicide on my back that I was using in some weedy "target areas." I have some new sprayers which is nice as the old ones have seen better days. Directly above is our pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) "hill" in the alpine garden. I so enjoy watching these flowers open up and they will continue to be colorful for many weeks and the wispy seed heads then become interesting as well and extend the interest. Directly below is the "corn-leaf" iris (Iris bucharica) which is quite tolerant of average soils and a partial shade. This species is punctuated throughout the shade garden which is still getting quite a bit of sunlight before the overhead canopy of leaves fills out. The next photo shows one of the Juno iris (Iris cycloglossa) clumps in the alpine garden. I find this one to be quite striking and much asked about by visitors. The next photo down was taken in close proximity to the iris just mentioned. This is a dwarf fritillary (Fritillaria michailovskyi) which I find charming. The fourth photo down shows one of our serviceberries (Amelanchier sp.) in full bloom!
The grounds staff really popped around between projects and everyone helped unload plants from the trucks. Cindy (left) and Jenny directly below did a nice job tidying up in front of the building and spent the remainder of their day helping organize, inventory and tag in the plant sale area by the Horticulture Center. Terry, next photo down, did some edging and sweeping in front of the Parker Education Center and moved on to container watering, rototilling, tree planting (with John) and myriad other tasks. Aside from the tree planting with Terry, Big John also rototilled, hauled compost, hauled shredded bark and helped with other projects as well. Cheryl weeded out in the Potter Daylily Collection and later helped with some plant sale preparations. Larry worked on some of the water features, watered, etc. and was recognized today by our Executive Director, Mary, for his 15 years at the garden (see second photo from the bottom). I spent most of my day working on the plant sale after my brief stint with the herbicide.
The parking lot at the Horticulture Center was full as we always have a great turnout of volunteers at the beginning of the week. As an encompassing comment, almost all the volunteers today helped unload plants when the convoy arrived. Above are Jim (left) and Ron W. spreading compost on one of our beds that will feature ornamental edibles and compact vegetables this year. Bob C. and Gene did more mulching near the rose garden while Pat was in to work on some paint touch-up on our gates to the fern & moss garden. Dr. Gredler came in for his mowing duties and Gary did a nice job finishing the signs for the garden art project pieces (suns) and is helping to organize our registers for the upcoming plant sale. Dick P., Dick H. and new Ron helped with various projects including assembling the new backpack sprayers. Dick H. also ran some loads to the dump. Maury was also around to help with various projects. Karen (directly below) and Stan did some nice clean-up in the Japanese garden. Mary W. and Shirley helped Cheryl with her weeding project in the daylily collection. Bob T. came in this afternoon to tidy up the edges along some of our flower beds. Vern, Dave T., Ron Y. and Jim (left to right in third photo down) did a nice job taking the pieces (second photo down) and creating the final product (third photo down) for the education department. This is a "jeopardy board" set-up that will allow for a rainy day option for youth participating in our programs. We also saw Mary F., Polly, Kris K., Chuck S., Bev D., Deb G. with her grandson Grayson and many others today.
At this point in the year, I shouldn't ever run out of plants to feature in this horticulture blog and had to "shoehorn" a couple more in to this one. Directly below is the colorful and vivid foliage of the 'Sunningdale Variegated' masterwort (Astrantia major) which will have light pink flowers in late spring through summer. Unfortunately, these colorful leaves will ultimately fade to green once the summer heat gets intense enough. The next photo down is the 'Valerie Finnis' grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) which is a nice, pastel blue and quite showy in clumps. The third photo down features the large white flowers of the Prairie Gem Ussurian pear (Pyrus ussuriensis 'MorDak') near the main parking lot. This should end up being a good-sized tree and the flower coverage is impressive and noticeable from a distance. At the bottom are Larry and Mary and at the bottom, our North Point Adirondack chairs waiting for some action.