Saturday, August 17, 2013

Another Busy Weekend

THIS IS TECHNICALLY THE POST FOR FRIDAY!  Who says that red and pink can't go together!  Above is cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) with 'Gateway' Joe-pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum).  I thought this combination was quite striking this morning in Magda's garden area.  It was another crazy day at the gardens with our Friday duties.  Watering was of great importance as we have a full weekend of events and will see lots of visitors.  It's more difficult to run irrigation, set up sprinklers, etc. over the weekend so everyone had some watering duties today.  I usually will say something like, "Water that area for Monday...", meaning, soak it down to get through the weekend and last until at least Monday.  We had lots of volunteers today and it was beautiful to be outside.  In the afternoon, we had over 30 Master Gardeners participate in our "Mini-Field Day" at the gardens as part of the WIMGA (Wisconsin Master Gardener Association) statewide conference being hosted in Janesville.  Below are some of the many highlights of my morning tour.

'Evening Fragrance' angel's trumpet (Datura meteloides) - annual
Mariachi 'Salsa' Helen's flower (Helenium autumnale) - perennial
variegated giant reed (Arundo donax 'Versicolor') - annual

We had a nice volunteer turnout today.  Above are Eva (left) and Kay who have become quite a team and are frequently partnered together.  The ladies did a nice job of tidying up one of the front plantings in the entrance garden and came away with a full cartload of debris.  It's amazing how weeds disguise themselves in the flower beds but they don't last too long with these ladies on the prowl  Eva and Kay then moved to another area for tidying duties.  Both Dr. Gredler and Bill O. were in to do their riding mowing out in the gardens.  Rose S. was in the Horticulture Center office to work on recording volunteer hours.  We also saw Chuck S., Charlotte S., Bev F. and many others.  We've had such wonderful volunteer assistance this year.  This not only includes our garden volunteers but the volunteers involved with the gift shop, education, etc.  The gardens are truly a testament to such wonderful community support and so many helping hands.  Below are some additional highlights from today.

'Homestead Purple' verbena (Verbena canadensis) - annual
monarch today, enjoying a gayfeather (Liatris sp.)
'Sundance BiColor' blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella) - annual
'Arizona Sun' blanket flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora) - perennial

As mentioned above, the entire grounds staff was involved with watering.  I ran many irrigation zones this morning and Larry and John will continue to do the same on Saturday and Sunday respectively.  Terry (above) planted some shrubs and push mowed but spent most of his day setting up and rotating sprinklers around the gardens.  We're trying to soak everything down out in the gardens and Terry also did most of the containers.  Cindy also did some watering, did a nice job on the cutting display (featuring All-America Selection winners), tidied and did more watering.  Pat was in for a half day and also push mowed, watered and did some more tidying.  Janice had various gardening duties this morning but ultimately she and I facilitated the field day for Master Gardener registrants that focused on ornamental edibles, seasonal plants and some conversations about woody plants.  It was a busy day.  I ended the evening doing a presentation for about 100 Master Gardeners who were at the garden for their opening reception.  It was a nice group and I enjoyed talking to many of their members.  More garden interest photos below!

the moss island looking lush
the Ma Chii' structure in the fern & moss garden
the orange-themed entrance garden slope at peak color
the iconic arched bridge

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