Our rain gauge had another 2" or so of rain measured from last night when it came down consistently from 1 am until this morning. We had a brief respite from the rain for about 45 minutes around 7 am before it turned black as night and came pounding down again. The gardens have received 7.5" of rain over the past five days which is quite sufficient! The heavier rains have created some washouts, muddy puddles and other path issues but we've dealt with this all before. It became sunny and tropical this afternoon although it looks like more rain this evening and darkened up again in mid afternoon. While we did some path repair and clean-up today, much of that will be for naught once the rains come back. The bulk of our tidying will be done tomorrow. Nice shot above of the 'Flamethrower' coneflower (Echinacea hybrida). Below is 'Secret Passion' coneflower (Echinacea sp.) which will ultimately be a double form as it fills in....look at all of those petals! These are two of the many perennials that we'll be installing out in the gardens over the next couple of weeks.
The early weather discouraged and thwarted many of our Tuesday volunteers but we did have some action inside with Pat C. (above) working on labels at the Horticulture Center. Dr. Gredler came in for some inside work and Dick H. was around for some welding tasks. Bill O. also came in for some odd jobs and returned for some mowing out in the arboretum after the morning rains abated. Dr. Gredler was able to head out for some damp mowing as well. Shirley H. and Patrea W. both came in later to help Cheryl with some weeding in the terrace garden. We also saw Kris K., Chuck S. and some others today. Below is the 'Root Beer' coral bells (Heuchera) with a nice foliage color contribution. We've accumulated many of these newer coral bells and are interested in not just their vivid spring colors but what they look like during the heat of summer (and can they take a tough winter!). The next photo down is the 'London Fog' hosta (Hosta) which is an interesting "streaked and misted" variety that is filling in nicely. Further down are more recent shots of showy plants out in the gardens.
'Root Beer' coral bells (Heuchera)
'London Fog' hosta (Hosta)
golden weigela (Weigela 'Looymansii Aurea')
pink Maltese cross (Lychnis chalcedonica 'Pink Form')
The entire grounds staff, sans Terry, was here today and everyone hit the ground running right at 7 am. By 7:45 am though, it was a downpour. Jenny, Pat and John left to save their hours for better weather although Big John returned for some push mowing and perennial digging in the color rooms garden. Both Pat and Jenny did some gardening before the weather turned foul. Cheryl, Janice and Cindy all worked on inside projects which included lots of cleaning, organization and tidying. Once the weather cleared, Cindy did the cutting display and continued weeding progress on the All-America Selections (AAS) garden (looking neat and tidy). Cheryl weeded around the terrace garden and as mentioned above, had help from both Shirley H. and Patrea. Janice worked on some signage, research projects and headed out for afternoon gardening tasks. Larry spent most of the day working on equipment and cleaning up the mowers. This was the perfect rainy day for those activities. I tackled the bulk of my desk work today which should allow me to get back out in the gardens to place many of the donated plants (seen above) out in the gardens. We have many kind donors of plant materials (garden centers, nurseries, etc.) and these extras (picked up yesterday) will fill many of our voids and offer more color. The price was right for sure! Directly below are some of the new signs that will be installed out in the gardens that promote various opportunities and provide information with a scan-ready code for a smart phone. The bottom photo is one of the residences (Bendlin) on the RBG Home Garden Tour last year. We have eight great gardens this year and RBG will be the ninth site for this enjoyable event. Tickets ($10 in advance) are currently available at RBG, K&W Greenery and Patty's Plants (Milton, WI).