The photo above was taken this morning at around 6:30 am. I think our orange theme has been very successful and is certainly not short on color or impact. This is probably a peak shot as some of the annuals will fade a bit over the coming weeks and it looks like everything is doing very well at this point in time. However, it will be colorful until a hard frost in October. I'm glad we included "touches" of maroon as the composition has depth. The orange pyramids also help add color and scale to this enormous flower bed along the main parking lot. The five photos below also show our successful orange theme which is also doing quite well out in the terrace garden behind the Parker Education Center.
Directly above is the 'Zahara Double Fire' zinnia (Zinnia marylandica) which is one of the primary components in our orange theme this year. This is such a vivid orange/red and really is quite noticeable even from a distance. In fact, I've enjoyed growing any zinnia in the Zahara series (compact) as they have all performed very well in the full sun garden with little care. Our grounds staff had a busy day of traditional gardening. Janice can be seen below. She worked on tidying, weeding, yard work, watering and other duties associated with upcoming events (i.e. the Fall Plant Sale). With our volunteer coordinator (Lori) gone, Janice and I will be soliciting and organizing volunteer help for the fall sale so get in touch with me soon to fill some slots (yard help/loaders and cash register assistants). Cindy did a nice job tidying the garden in front of the Parker Education Center which included some planting and other odds and ends. Big John push mowed, installed four new signs and bounced between various projects. Pat also push mowed, watered, weeded and kept busy out in the gardens all day. Larry ran irrigation, modified some irrigation, mowed, cleaned water features and also worked on myriad projects. I'm catching up on major desk work but was able to get out to place plants for installation and help get our volunteers organized. Don't forget to come and see the 2013 Garden Art Projects ("Here Come the Suns") out in the gardens like the one (done by my younger daughter) two photos down. All 35 of these unique art projects will be auctioned off on September 15th this year.
Volunteers continue to be so invaluable at the gardens. We had our share of great help today. Patrea (above) planted caladiums (Caladium) and weeded in two areas. Kay (directly below) and Eva (second photo down) did some "filler planting" along the entrance garden slope and then did a great job weeding throughout that space. We always have some surplus annuals that we use throughout the summer to fill gaps that develop or areas that simply need some more color. The three ladies did a great job. Mary H. and her daughter Pat gardened in their area a did a nice job as usual. Pat C. was in to help in the Horticulture Center office with new label making (for the rose collection) and processing some other timely office projects. Hal and Doris were out doing a nice job tidying up their area and Stan spent some significant time in the Japanese garden with pruning duties. Ron K. was in to clean up the woodland walk garden while Dr. Gredler and Bill O. were out mowing turf in the gardens. We also saw Kris K., Dr. Yahr, Polly, Chuck S., Urban, Sue S. and many others. Further below are some additional photos from today.
All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden
'Prairie Sun' gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) - AAS 2003
'Fairy Tale' eggplant (Solanum melongena) - AAS 2005
'Born's Gracious' skeleton-leaf silver maple (Acer saccharinum)