It was nice to be back to work today and the gardens look great after a week of rainfall and cooler temperatures. It was extremely cool last Friday and Saturday (60 degrees F) but today will get in to the upper 70 degrees F. Above are the beautiful blooms of the Blue Velvet St. Johns wort shrub (Hypericum hybrida 'CCF-LPC1') which were covered with bees. This summer blooming shrub is quite tough in the full sun border. I did a comprehensive tour of the gardens and was very impressed with how well everything looked and the recent rains I'm sure have been helpful. We had some improvements made to our irrigation system last week which should allow for a better system of irrigating the gardens efficiently. Today was mostly "catch up" for me although I was able to meet with volunteers, staff and place some plants for installation out in the gardens. Below is one of flower beds in the terrace garden which also echoes the orange theme in the entrance garden. The next photo down shows the spheres (umbels) of the 'Summer Beauty' ornamental onion (Allium tanguticum) which really adds a color punch with these spheres. The third photo down is just one of hundreds of peacock orchids (Acidanthera murielae or Gladiolus callianthus) starting to add color and fragrance to the reception garden.
The grounds staff today consisted of Cindy, Larry, Big John and me. Big John (left) and Larry can be seen above sizing up the repairs on yet another leak in our water lines. We've been unlucky this year with many issues although our irrigation upgrades last week also included some repair work as well. Larry worked on repairing the leak, weed whipping and watering. Big John also helped with the leak, worked on path improvement, tree removal and watering. Cindy did a nice job tidying up the All-America Selections Display Garden and moved on later to planting and watering (the yard). This time of year, the grounds staff schedules their vacations and while we have less people day to day, we'll still focus on the most important tasks (including watering). Nice shot of the "Pollinator's Paradise" below which is the theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden for the next two years. The Family Fun Day that utilized this space on Sunday apparently went quite well
As is typical on any Monday, we had a great crew of volunteers today. Above, Maury can be seen cleaning out the lady fountain in the English cottage garden and he does a nice job on other water features and is helpful with getting all manner of supplies in a timely fashion. Directly below is the RBG Founder, Dr. Yahr (to the left) with Del tidying up paths. The next photo down features, from left to right, Jumbo Jim, Karen and Stan. The four of us did a nice tour of the Japanese garden to talk about future plans and needs for that popular garden space. These three are the primary caretakers of that garden and do a great job. Ron W., Bob C., Gene and Rollie worked on mulching and tree watering while Dick H. made some runs to the dump. Many of the guys were also involved with taking down tents today (from the Sunday event). Dr. Gredler was in for mowing and Dave, Vern, Ron Y. and Jim continued to work on various carpentry projects. Pat M. did a nice job weeding in the gazebo garden. Betty and Shirley were also in to tidy up their two areas. The third photo down shows Joanne (past RBG volunteer) and Kay enjoying the gardens this morning. That colorful shrub near Joanne is the Quickfire panicled hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Bulk') which is transitioning from white to pink right now. Eva was in for some weeding and we also saw Julie G., Dr. Yahr, Art and many others. We also had our Horticulture Therapy committee meeting this afternoon. Further below are some more highlights with the bottom picture (from last week) shared by Santos M.
lime wall planting filling in nicely
All-America Selections Display Garden
'Arizona Apricot' blanket flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora) - AAS 2013
formal annual sections filling in nicely
balloon over the gardens (from Santos M.)