Wednesday, June 5, 2013

120 Extra Hands Today

My blog title refers to the fact that we had over 60 garden volunteers here throughout this overcast day.  This morning we welcomed our fifth school group of the spring to come help work at the gardens.  We had over 40 seventh graders from St. Paul's in Janesville and the group also included nine adults (including a past neighbor of mine).  The photo above and two photos below show some of the hard work that this team accomplished.  The first project was to plant the larch wall bed with our lime color theme (seen above).  The group made quick work of this project and we then moved to the gazebo garden where we worked this garden over to target and pull the multitude of hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) seedlings that came up as a "bumper crop" this spring.  This group has come to the gardens for many years now and we greatly appreciate their help and thank their teacher, Jim K., for coordinating this work day.  The students had breakfast out early, worked at the gardens and then went bowling after lunch.  School is out for them tomorrow.

The grounds staff welcomed Jeremy to the team as he will be helping out for the next month as temporary "garden muscle".  He dove right in to our projects after a quick tour and was of immediate assistance.  Terry worked with Jeremy early on hauling, spreading and rototilling compost in the entrance garden slope which is our target planting area for the the Volunteer Work Day this upcoming Saturday (and the next!) from 8 am until 12 noon.  Jeremy worked on the front slope all day and finished by raking everything smooth and edging the bed to contain the recently worked up soil.  Terry, after his composting involvement, pruned four good sized shrubs and helped water containers at the end of the day.  Jenny helped finalize the area for the lime-themed planting early this morning.  She also helped bring extra supplies for my volunteer group and prepared our back up project (pulling seedlings) nicely.  Jenny also weeded/cleared three other areas, watered the yard plants and continues to accommodate matching labels to our newest plants or anything that needs a new label.  Cheryl finished tidying up the shade garden section which was later planted today by volunteers.  She does a nice, thorough job and moved on to two other areas.  Big John finished preparing our newly renovated gazebo garden bed, composted, rototilled and helped water containers at the end of the day.  Janice was in as a volunteer and took Victoria (front seat), Jordan and another volunteer (can't remember her name...) on a tour of the gardens in our new cart (seen below).  All three are members of the Chestnut House volunteer team that comes and helps out every week at the gardens.  I worked on various projects but ultimately spent most of my time placing plants and keeping ahead of the planters!  The second photo down is the hybrid magnolia (Magnolia sieboldii x tripetala) still blooming nicely near the zig-zag bridge.

Aside from our large morning crew, we had solid help from  many others out in the gardens.  Above is Patrea who was later joined by Terri in the reception garden where they finished planting the last of our annuals for that space.  Roy (directly below) and his lovely wife Mary did some serious planting in the west end of the shade garden that Cheryl had finished tidying up.  Kay spent time cutting back bulb foliage, weeding and tidying in both the shade garden (her assigned section) and down in the sunken garden.  Mary and Nancy arrived in the afternoon and did a thorough job of clearing out bulb foliage from two garden areas.  Rose came in to size up more painting and we saw Urban as well.  Maury and Dick P. stopped in to check on our major water leak repair efforts.  Everything is fixed and irrigation will go back on tomorrow if we don't get the rain we were promised.  We just had some wimpy, "on and off" drizzle throughout the day.  We also saw Gary, Kris K., our new education intern, Dick H. and many others.  The plants further below all have identification under the image.  The bottom shot, from yesterday, shows the pond when all the "cotton" drifts down from our female cottonwoods (Populus deltoides).

Siberian iris (Iris siberica), unknown variety
bowman's root (Gillenia trioliata)
Chardonnay Pearls slender deutzia (Deutzia gracilis 'Duncan')
'Briant Rubidor' golden weigela (Weigela florida)

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