Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sunshine (& Heat) Galore!

Today was the hottest of the week (104 degrees F heat index) although there was at least some periodic cloud cover.  As has been the case over the past couple of days, most of our volunteers were in during the "cooler" hours of the day.  I have deep sympathy for our grounds staff with this heat as well as anyone else out in this brutal weather.  I can't imagine being a roofer in this heat!  Despite this hot stretch, we've had strong volunteer help and I'm amazed by the amount of visitors we see out in the gardens.  Last year at this time, we had all had many sequential days of extreme heat and visitation was minimal. We always hope to see many buses throughout the year.  Despite this steady traffic, we hope to see swelling attendance over the coming 12 weeks or so as the gardens should look quite colorful all the way until hard frost in October.  Above is the 'Raspberry Moon' caladium (Caladium) in the gazebo garden.  I never grow tired of using caladiums and am always amazed at how well they do in shade and even a moderate amount of sun.  Below are some additional plants of interest from today.

'Timeless Rose' flossflower (Ageratum houstonianum) in the Flossflower Collection - annual
'Vertigo' elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) in the entrance garden planted in the re-purposed (and painted) tubes from Stoughton Trailer - annual grass
'Startrek Rose Pink' wheat celosia (Celosia spicata) looking nice - annual

We had another full parking lot at the Horticulture Center which has happened every Thursday morning since May!  We had some great help although everyone was soaked through with sweat by mid-morning.  Above is Corky F., who along with his child-bride Joan, watered all the vegetables over at the Horticulture Center.  Pat (seen directly below) continued her progress with creating labels and was involved with data entry, production and label mounting.  It's tough to keep up with her and Gary with our aggressive and noticeable labeling improvements out in the gardens.  Steve can be seen in the second photo down and along with Vicki and Suzy (next photo down), the gang did a nice job weeding in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden ("Pollinator's Paradise") and later shifted to the fern & moss garden.  Eva was part of this group as well and has been a great help all week.  Resa and Cookie came in to tidy up their assigned garden (North point) and shifted later to a shadier side of the reception garden.  Bob C., Ron B. and Ron P. went out for tidying in the main parking lot and along paths.  Rollie hauled over many buckets of water to give a sip to our six new trees across the pond. Dick H. was in for a run to the dump and Dick P. picked up some engraved bricks for us in Madison.  Our carpenters (Vern, Jim, Ron Y. and Dave T.) sized up some new projects out in the gardens.  Dr. Gredler was in for mowing duties and we also saw Magda, Gene, Cora, Sue S., Linda B., Dr. Yahr and many others today.  

Larry and Big John had mostly watering duties today and are becoming experts in the "dance" of running irrigation, moving around sprinklers and keeping up with watering in general.  Nice shot above of the 'Hot Lava' coneflower (Echinacea).  Larry also push mowed and worked on other projects but watering became the most vital duty throughout the day as he also watered most of the containers too.  John had many sprinklers going but also worked on some mulching duties, hand watering, sign installation and other projects as they fit in between shifting around sprinklers.  Cheryl was in for a half day and focused her weeding efforts in the sunken garden.  She does a very thorough job.  Janice was back in action and helped get the morning volunteers situated before she moved on to more staking (along the lime border seen directly below) of taller plants.  She also worked on some weeding, tidying, hand watering, moss work and other duties.  I keep chipping away at the most timely tasks before I'm gone next week and am preparing for future events (fall plant sale, etc.).  Below are some other nice images from today.  Don't forget the Home Garden Tour this Saturday as the weather should be perfect!

lime wall planting maintained by Janet T.
North point garden maintained by Cookie and Resa
front entrance slope looking nice and "orangey"
a hot day for a tour but participants enjoyed the gardens


Sam Kellen said...

Again, wonderful photos! Since it is still the middle of summer, would you be willing to maybe do a blog post listing out some of the best summer and heat-resistant garden plants? Also, would it be alright if I referenced some of your writing for the blog for an online plant nursery? :) I have really enjoyed going through your posts!

Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture, Rotary Botanical Gardens said...

Hi Sam,

Glad you enjoyed the photos. We have a great garden with so many wonderful volunteers involved. Feel free to reference any of my blogging as we would love more readers and information to be shared. I wouldn't have time to do an additional blog at this time as I'm barely keeping up! Take care.