We've had close to 5" of rain since last Friday and the ground is quite wet. That was a thorough soaking and we had another .2" this morning as well with more on the way. Some sunshine and heat will help get our summer annuals filling out but it looks like more chances of rain throughout the week. Hard to believe the difference a year can make with this time last year already being considered drought-like conditions. While the rain sure saves us time with the hand watering and irrigation, we know the weeds will be responding well to this too! Directly above is the 'High Tide White' flossflower (Ageratum houstonianum) which is one variety in our flossflower collection this year. Butterflies love flossflower and while the color range is narrow (white, blue, pink), the flowers are long-lasting and great as a cut flower as well. Directly below is the large and fragrant, pale yellow bloom of the Beijing Gold tree lilac (Syringa pekinensis 'Zhang Zhiming') in the color rooms garden. This variety is always impressive and has coppery, exfoliating bark which is quite showy as well. The next photo down shows the odd/interesting flower bud of the Armenian basketflower (Centaurea macrocephala) which will open shortly in to a bright yellow flower cluster like a thistle. I'll post the photo shortly but thought this stage of the "pre-bloom" interesting. The third photo down shows one of our Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger') clusters looking nice and bright. However, they do like to colonize and send out "root runners" as seen in the foreground!
The grounds staff had a busy day although I was gone all morning picking up plants for the gardens. With morning rains, the grounds staff kept busy with indoor projects and later headed out in to the gardens. Jenny (above) headed out for some weeding including the Flossflower (Ageratum) Collection seen here. Jenny will finish her spring with us in two weeks although we'll have her back briefly in fall. She is a dynamo at anything she does. Thousands of the moss roses (Portulaca sp.) have reseeded from the collection last year and we're "culling the herd" as seen above. Terry and John were going to shear boxwood (Buxus sp.) hedges but it was just too damp. Terry worked on weeding, container watering, etc. while John ran some errands, repaired path washouts and dug up perennials for relocation. Larry spent time tidying up the area around our newly widened Japanese garden bridge. Cindy worked her impressive weeding "kung fu" this morning after the rain cleared and continues to tidy up our All-America Selections (AAS) display garden that is really filling in nicely. I caught up on some projects after my plant run and was a bit out of tune with what volunteers were here this morning. I know Jim, Vern, Dave, Ron Y., Maury, Dr. Gredler and many others were here as well. We also saw Dr. Yahr and Bill O. this afternoon. Our Horticultural Therapy Committee (Janice, Cindy, Linda, Mary W., Karen, Art and Elaine) also met this afternoon. Hopefully we'll have some dry weather to finish up some planting in select locations and job security is assured with weeding over the next couple of months! UGH. Below are more plant shots from today.
blooms of the "baby lilac" shrub (Leptodermis oblonga) - not a lilac!
'Sea Foam' rose (Rosa)
'Thunderbird' foamy bells (xHeucherella)
'Little Swain' daylily (Hemerocallis)
underside of 'Blazin' Rose' bloodleaf (Iresine hybrida) leaf (annual)