We've had an 80% chance of showers all day and I've watched the "doppler" often to see storms both North and South of us. No action yet. I'm glad we didn't rely on the showers and ran irrigation, set up sprinklers and hand watered as needed. Although we may still get some rain tonight, I'm prepared for another round of watering tomorrow as our new plantings are getting thirsty! Above is the 'Ultra Crimson Star' petunia (Petunia) which is part of our All-America Selections (AAS) Display this year. This 1988 AAS winner is one of over 150 varieties in our historic (and aesthetic!) display that is also in the AAS Landscape Design competition for the second year. Visitors will be able to stroll through this garden in a chronological fashion and see the progression of winners from the 1930s all the way to 2013. It's filling in nicely too and we have some vertical planters that should add some interest as well. Below is the 'Moonlight' Japanese hydrangea vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides) which has such a nice silver patina with darker green vein highlights. Years ago we planted 30 or so of these at the base of all the large cottonwood (Populus deltoides) trees in the woodland walk. They are clinging and climbing nicely although I haven't seen any blooms (yet!). The next photo down shows one of our many delphiniums (Delphinium sp., unknown variety) blooming in the English cottage garden.
We had a great grounds crew today. Terry (above) did quite a bit of shearing and is very good at this type of work. He also set up sprinklers, rototilled, worked on smoothing out the primary gravel paths and watered containers later in the day. Big John also set up sprinklers and watered containers. He was also involved in composting, rototilling, installing signs, filling planters and other duties. Jenny planted more seeds in various locations, tidied the English cottage garden, watered the yard, etc. Cindy (below) spent more time weeding and preparing the Rainbow Garden for planting later this week or early next week. The only plant in there right now is curled parsley (Petroselinum sp.) which was planted to define the various color "sections" that also have the painted culvert pipe planters (also seen in that photo). Cheryl (second photo down, far left) spent most of her time today tidying up the gazebo garden beds which included scraping up all the cottonwood (Populus deltoides) seedlings that have germinated in that garden and cutting back more bulb foliage. Also in that photo is Patrea (far right) who helped with this process this morning. I placed more plants for installation both for today and tomorrow. The third photo down shows the blooms of the 'Magicien' (correct spelling) deutzia (Deutzia hybrida) which is an uncommon but tough shrub.
We continue to have great volunteer assistance out in the gardens and today was no exception. Directly above are Don and Pearl who came in early for another day of planting. Yesterday they planted that border seen behind them (with the lime obelisks). They made quick work of this corner planting and installed 300 annuals quickly including some larger tropicals and additional "hints of lime" to match across the path. Kay cut back bulb foliage in a large berm that we hope to plant this weekend. She then moved down to the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden and continued weeding and planting along the shoreline bed which certainly benefited from her attention! Patrea worked with Cheryl as mentioned above and not far away, Myrt (orange) and Mary (both seen below) planted a flower bed near the gazebo. Some of our Chestnut House volunteers also came in to work with Janice on planting some raised planters near the Horticulture Center. The second photo down shows Victoria (left) and Dawn planting a desk planter that the Grumpies built for Victoria last spring. Jenna can be seen in the next photo down planting a raised planter. The next photo shows Jordan watering our new trough planter that he planted nicely. Jenna, Victoria and Jordan all picked various plants from the yard and put together some nice combinations. Thanks to Janice and Dawn for the help. Dr. Yahr was in for some container planting and Urban came in for some pruning in the entrance garden in front of the Parker Education Center. We also saw Maury, Ray, Alice and Gary was in for more label.sign work. Further below are some additional plants seen today.
'Guinea Fowl' hybrid goatsbeard (Aruncus x hybrida)
variegated false sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides 'Loraine Sunshine')
arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)
another garden art project to enjoy (come see all 36 in person!)