Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Nice To See Kids!

There were lots of kids around the gardens today including many that enjoyed the Story & Stroll program this morning.  It's so nice to see them out in the gardens and I hope these kids will become the teenagers that enjoy fresh air and avoid the basement "video game dungeons"!  We saw Kris K., Maggie, Barb H., Dale, Leslie and many other education volunteers assisting with this fun event.  Above is the resurrection or August lily (Lycoris squamigera) blooming right on time.  The foliage of this bulb came up in spring, went dormant by July (like daffodils) and these "naked" (leafless) stalks pop up quickly and the blooms are beautiful.  We had a busy day out in the gardens.  It was a bummer not to get some rain last night but we're still fairly damp and nothing is currently drying out.  We'll be shifting to more irrigation and sprinklers in the coming days as needed.  Our watering bill this year for the gardens should be significantly less than last year!  Below are some shots from today (identified under each image).

'Fireball' hybrid hibiscus (Hibiscus hybrida) - perennial (12" blooms!)
peacock orchid (Gladiolus callianthus or Acidenthera) - annual (fragrant!)
blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis) with pollinator
Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia 'Torch) - annual (with complimentary yellow swallowtail)
eggplants (Solanum melongena) picked by Cindy today from the AAS Collection - from bottom - 'Fairy Tale', 'Gretel' (white), 'Hansel' (black)

Wednesdays have always been good days for volunteers and we have many of the same volunteers come every Wednesday like clockwork.  Above, in the sea of orange on the entrance garden slope, are Terri, Eva and Kay.  The ladies weeded this entire slope and went to the reception garden for more action.  Needless to day, it takes balance and talent to get in to these small gaps which will disappear here shortly.  Well done ladies.  Below are Shirley (left) and Betty who continue to do a great job on their two assigned garden areas near the arboretum.  The ladies are putting up a good fight with the weeds and their areas look colorful (sans the plants that the rabbits and Japanese beetles are nibbling on!  UGH!).  The next photo down shows (left to right), Gena, Mary and Myrt.  The ladies did a weeding sweep throughout the ornamental edible gardens and did a nice job targeting the bad stuff hiding in between the good stuff.  Dr. Gredler was in for mowing.  Bob T. was in for some air edging duties and always does a superb job.  Janice had two volunteers from the Chestnut House and we also saw Art, Julie G., Marsha M., Chuck S., Mary W., Roy W. and many others.

The grounds staff all had tidying duties and we hit the ground running.  Both Pat and Cindy had half days but accomplished much in that time frame.  Pat planted shrubs, weeded, worked on path edging (new rocks) and did some fertilizing.  Cindy weeded, watered and spent some serious time in the All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden (including picking all those eggplants seen above).  We'll donate most of those to area food banks.  Cheryl weeded and tidied in a good half dozen garden areas.  She does a thorough job and is good at getting in tough spots with little room for access.  Cheryl also watered the yard and greenhouses.  Terry set up sprinklers, watered containers, planted shrubs and worked on myriad projects throughout the day.  Terry had done a nice job tidying up the fountain area in the sunken garden (long needed) earlier in the week.  I installed more signage, sprayed herbicide here and there and continue to work on upcoming events.  Below are some more shots from today.

front "flag berm" planting
"Pollinator's Paradise" theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden
in to the jungle of the "Giant Garden"
"Rainbow Garden" looking lush
North point garden looking beautiful

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