Today was another hot day with a heat index near 100 degrees F. It's a bummer to start sweating by 7:30 am but we have some tough people around here. Above is a shot (from the top of a 15' ladder) of our All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden which is filling in nicely north of the arboretum. Tina B. was in also to take photographs of this space and individual varieties as we're keeping track of the progress of this chronological collection (1933-2013) for the Landscape Design Contest sponsored by AAS. We won first place (in our category) for our display last year and are hoping to have a repeat victory this year with a different display "twist". The upright structures (4x4 posts with horizontal PVC pipe planters) have 'Kentucky Wonder' pole beans (also an AAS winner!) climbing up the supports and aluminum plant (Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls') trailing down from the pipes. This garden will continue to look great for many more weeks. Below are some other winners from the collection.
'South Pacific Scarlet' canna (Canna hybrida) - 2013 winner
'Gloriosa Double' black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) - 1961 winner
The grounds staff had a tough day out in the heat but managed to accomplish a lot of work including plenty of watering. Above is Cheryl tidying up the Flossflower (Ageratum) Collection. She also tidied up the North point garden (wedding tonight out there) and worked in many other areas including significant watering in the sunken garden and greenhouse. Big John ran irrigation all day and had sprinklers running in many areas. He and Terry also took care of watering our many containers throughout the gardens. John also mulched a good-sized area and worked on hand watering and other projects. Cindy was in for a half day and did a nice job tidying and watering in the English cottage garden. Terry also had sprinklers running in many locations. He also started staking the 100 or so green love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus 'Viridis') plants (see directly below) along the lime wall planting. These tall annuals (4-5') tend to get top heavy with the trailing flower clusters and Terry's staking will help thwart flopping! I helped get our volunteeers going this morning and spent some serious time outside with herbicide. This hot, dry weather, while not fun to be out in, is ideal for herbicide applications. We are totally replanting the color rooms garden this fall and much of my herbicide attention is in that garden space right now. I'm also finishing up tasks related to the Home Garden Tour this Saturday (get your ticket for $10 in advance, see our website for more info!).
Our volunteers all came and went by 12 noon to avoid the afternoon heat. Above are Kay (left) and Eva planting another area with "ornamental edibles". The flats I had placed yesterday in this space were visited by the deer last night and nibbled quite severely. The ladies did a nice job and had time to plant another area as well. Betty and Shirley came in to work in their areas near the arboretum and continue to do a nice job weeding and primping their two berms. Below is Bob T. who came in for some air edging duties. He does a nice job tidying up the edges around the beds that are adjacent to turf areas. Dr. Gredler came in for mowing duties in many locations. The second photo down shows Gena, who along with Mary and Myrt (next photo down, Mary kneeling), planted in the sunken garden today. They did a nice job despite the challenges of heat and mosquitoes. We'll continue to plant here and there over the coming weeks to provide filler in various locations. The yard should be purged by August hopefully! We also saw Dick P. and Ed L. (former Director at RBG, now Director of Allen Centennial Gardens on the UW-Madison campus) with four of his interns. Ed and crew were visiting various gardens today including ours. Further below are some additional shots of interest from today (identified under the image).
mini-pumpkin variety (one of many) at the Horticulture Center on support structure
Potter Daylily Collection starting to peak near the arboretum (300+ varieties)
'Night Raider' daylily (Hemerocallis) in Potter Daylily Collection
'Biota' sculpture in area tended by Hal and Doris R. (nice job!)
RBG prairie restoration looking good
"dog vomit" slime mold (on much of our mulch, not unusual)