As seen at the top (photo courtesy of Marsha M.), there were about 60 combined RBG staff and volunteers that came to the morning break today to help celebrate my 15 years at the gardens. My wife, two daughters and the smother-in-law were there as well. I had a vibe that something was afoot when I came back from a plant pick-up and saw so many people. Thanks to Mary F.P. and those responsible for coordinating the cake and festivities. Above are the cool blooms of masterwort (Astrantia major 'Sunningdale Variegated') outside the reception garden. This variety has neat, golden variegated foliage in spring (fades to green) but the flowers are always prolific and the "flowering window" will extend throughout most of the summer. Directly below is the 'Hummelo' wood betony (Stachys monieri) which has these nice, upright, "bottlebrush-like" blooms for about five weeks. The wood betonies (same genus as lamb's ears incidentally!) are great mid-height perennials for full sun or part shade. Further down are some dwarf snapdragons (Antirrhinum sp.) and foliage of the 'Wetumpka Red' Japanese maple (Acer palmatum).
There were so many volunteers coming and going today, I'm sure I'm going to miss some. However, they did a lot of work and we had a great Monday. Above are Larry H. (left) and Gene adding more mulch to the main parking lot islands. Russ and Bob C. were out digging up some weeds along paths and sharpening the path edges where adjacent weeds have infiltrated. Dave and Jim (below) were joy riding but did size up some other projects that will include Ron Y. and Vern (both here today too). Shirley (second photo down) was out weeding and tidying in the reception garden as was Kay in her assigned section of the shade garden. Both ladies are extremely thorough! Don and Pearl C. came in to tidy their border and Eva helped the Grumpies with some path clean-up and other tasks. Pat (third photo down) continued work on this espaliered apple (Malus) on the side of the Rath Environmental Center. Ron W. was involved with path clean-up and other projects while his better half (Bev) weeded her section of the sunken garden. Jumbo Jim had two RECAPPERS and they did a nice job tidying up both the Japanese garden and the alpine garden. Stan K. and Karen M. also accomplished lots of work in the Japanese garden today. Nice to see Ron B. back in action today too as he sorted our plastic flats out. The fourth photo down shows Maury, Dick P., Rollie and Ron P (left to right) working on our automated east gate which was having some problems. Dr. Gredler (next photo down) was out mowing and Bob T. continued working on air edging. We also saw Sue M., Glenn E., Kris K., Mary, Gena, Patrea, Christine R., Maggie, Denise, Sandy C., Magda, Marleen, Deb G., Mary D., Gene B., Little Jerry, Audrey M., Arnie D., Alys, Bill S., Ellen T., Bev D., Georgie, Dolores D., Lori, Art, Tina B., Marsha M., Hal R., Mark S., Barb M., Denise, Mary F.P., and many others! Crazy day.
The grounds crew had a full day of work including weeding which Jenny is doing in the photo above in the entrance garden. The trick is to collect the weeds in the gaps before there is no way to get in those narrow openings. We're targeting all of our new plantings over the coming weeks to address these "gap weeds" before they become a tougher challenge. Jenny also matched labels to some new plants that arrived and has them sorted and ready to head out to the gardens for planting. Terry sheared boxwoods (Buxus) in the woodland walk garden and formal gardens, collected more bulb foliage and watered all the yard plants. Big John continued digging/potting up perennials that we'll save from the color rooms garden as the precursor to renovating that entire garden space. John also watered containers with Cindy and was involved with other projects. Cindy had more weeding patrol before her watering duties with Big John. Larry push mowed, worked on water line repair and bounced between some other projects. I had two plant runs and am catching up on looming special events, particularly the Home Garden Tour on July 20th! See details for this event and our Garden Gala (July 13th) on our website. Below are more shots from today, identified underneath the image.
German statice (Goniolimon tataricum) in the formal gardens
'Bowles' Golden' sedge (Carex elata) in the fern & moss garden
one of fifty-four of these nifty quote benches around the gardens (ignore weeds underneath...)
cool bridge shot from this morning