Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's A Small World

Awesome shot above with this hummingbird enjoying a red salvia (courtesy of Marsha M.).  Thanks Marsha!  In the gardens today, I unexpectedly saw one of my professors from the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana).  Dr. Harkness (retired) was at the gardens with Diane and Claire from the University of Illinois Arboretum.  Dr. Harkness is involved with some designs and master planning for the arboretum and the ladies are involved with maintenance and upkeep.  We had a great conversation and shared ideas, challenges and other information.  I saw the beginning of this arboretum over 15  years ago and think I'll trek down there some day to see the progress.  The gardens were extremely busy today with many guests and plenty of participants that arrived for the Family Fun Day out in the gardens.  Kris K., Maggie and all the education volunteers did a dynamite job and will repeat the fun this Sunday.  It was nice to see so many children out in the gardens and everything was looking good like the sunken garden below.  We could use some rain but the cooler temperatures are allowing us to catch up with some watering.  Some other plants of interest can be seen further down.

sunken garden (Northwest corner)
dwarf garden phlox (Phlox paniculata 'Shortwood') in the sunken garden - perennial
Mona Lavender spurflower (Plectranthus hybrida 'Plepalila') close-up - annual
fruiting structure of the Italian arum (Arum italicum) - perennial

We had a great volunteer turnout today with plenty of assistance.  Kay and Eva were in early to tackle some serious weeding and tidying in the front entrance garden and near the shade garden.  The ladies always do a nice job and today was no exception.  Above are Myrt (left) and Mary doing some planting near the gazebo garden.  The ladies also did some weeding and did a nice job.  Resa was also in to tidy in the North point garden.  Betty (below) was in to touch up her beautiful areas near the arboretum.  Jan R. tidied up the Scottish garden (her assigned garden) and Dr. Gredler was in for mowing.  Vern worked on some carpentry projects all day and we also saw Jean, Charlotte, Chuck, Geesje, Janice, Maury and many others today.  The second photo down is the 'Gryphon' begonia which is planted for this silver-highlighted foliage and not the blooms (rarely seen).   

Most of the grounds staff was involved with watering out in the gardens.  Above is Pat in the English cottage garden fertilizing containers.  We did another round of fertilizing today and many of the annual beds and will continue to keep the containers looking nice as well.  Pat also pruned, weeded and accomplished many other tasks.  Cindy fertilized, weeded and planted in the sunken garden and watered the yard.  Big John ran irrigation, set up sprinklers, helped with The Family Day set-up and worked on some major fertilization.  Terry also helped with event set-up, sprinklers, fertilizing and many other duties.  Cheryl (below) was a mobile weeding force and was in the gazebo garden, English cottage garden, shade garden and Japanese garden.  We haven't run out of weeds yet but it's looking better and better each day out there.  I did a wide range of things today and will continue that same pattern tomorrow.

more color in the sunken garden
the lime wall - looking good
the formal annual garden this morning

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