It was a beautiful day with sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70 degrees F. There is a chance of rain both tonight and through Saturday. We'll see what materializes. The gardens are still saturated and we wont have to worry about irrigation until next week (thankfully). We will be checking all of our containers though! Above is the 'Purple Rooster' bee balm (Monarda) in the English cottage garden which is a popular, mildew-resistant variety that actually originated at our local Flower Factory Nursery (Stoughton, WI). I've been impressed with it as have the bees and butterflies. We had a nice tour today from Indianapolis that enjoyed the gardens. Many were associated with the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) which is a great museum but has awesome gardens around it as well. The grounds staff took a trip out that way years ago and we had a great tour of the gardens at the IMA. These tour participants had been up at Olbrich yesterday and were headed to Anderson Japanese Gardens (Rockford, IL) after their visit to RBG. They were a fun group.
We had a nice turnout of volunteers today with many converging on the "Giant Garden" seen above. Cookie and Resa weeded and tidied up the North point garden, their assigned garden first, then ended up weeding as seen above. Kay (foreground above) tidied her portion of the shade garden first then ended up also weeding in this area. Roy and Mary were installing more plants in this same berm and Eva helped here as well after finishing her planting project in the gazebo garden. Jan. R. did a fine job weeding in the Scottish garden and Bill O. came in early for mowing. Dr. Gredler mowed as well and Stan spent significant time in the Japanese garden. Ron K. spent time in the woodland walk garden weeding and planting another 30 or so perennials. Chuck S. and Dave B. were out training on the new cart for mobility impaired guests and continue to refine and improve the suggested routes (also based on where this cart can and can't go). We also saw Dr. Yahr, Maury, Mary W. and many others. Further below are four zinnias looking quite nice out there and most are part of our All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden which is arranged chronologically by the year of introduction.
'Gold Sun' zinnia (Zinnia elegans) [AAS 1979]
'Red Sun' zinnia (Zinnia elegans) [AAS 1978]
'Magellan Pink' zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
'Zowie! Yellow Flame' zinnia (Zinnia elegans) [AAS 2006]
The grounds staff had a full day which included planting, watering and other clean-up tasks before the weekend. Above is Cindy doing some planting near the larch area. We continue to install annuals and will do so over the coming weeks to finish our major areas and put in filler for any gaps. Cindy also worked on weeding/tidying the AAS garden which is arranged in 13 long beds and watered the holding yard later in the day. Big John and Pat were both here for a half day. John hauled gravel to continue repairing path washouts, planted and worked on some other projects. Pat push mowed, weeded and continued tidying the east border (removing bulb foliage and weeding). Terry also push mowed, sheared boxwoods (Buxus 'Green Velvet') in the herb garden, did blower rounds in the wedding gardens, etc. I set out more plants this morning, gave my tour and had a meeting with Ron W. and Mary F.P. later in the day. Below are some more plants looking good out in the gardens.
'Avocado' plantain lily (Hosta) in the woodland walk garden
flowers of the purple catalpa (Catalpa x erubescens 'Purpurea') near the shade garden
ripe fruits of one of our serviceberries (Amelanchier sp.) just getting targeted by the birds!