The gardens are really looking very good right now and I would say they are certainly at "summer peak". Of course, "summer peak" is an arbitrary term that refers to a variable time when the combination of summer color coincides with a fairly weed-free situation. This peak was in July last year (lots of heat) but early August is looking very good right now. Above is the fern & moss garden with mosses in the foreground and the Japanese Ma Chii' in the distance. This garden is looking lush with recent rains and irrigation and the moss is doing quite well right now. We missed potential, significant rain last night and had just a light sprinkle overnight. It was overcast most of the day but sunshine found us by afternoon. Again, there seemed to be plenty of visitors out in the gardens. Below are some shots from today with identification under the image. Tomorrow, the grounds staff (sans Larry and Cindy who will "mind the shop") is going on a trip to see the Ball Seed Trial Gardens (West Chicago, IL) and the Chicago Botanic Garden (Glencoe, IL). We meet with various grounds staff, look at plants and "talk shop" as well.
criss-cross lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina 'Vernoniae Cristata') - perennial
'Sky Rocket' fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) - annual
Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) - annual
'Ring of Fire' sunflower (Helianthus annuus) - annual
With all my meetings and other duties today, I hope I'll remember all the superb volunteer help we had throughout the day. Dr. Gredler can be seen above in the midst of his Monday morning mower rounds. Shirley (below) and Eva weeded in the reception garden and sunken garden. They did a nice job and covered a lot of real estate this morning. Stan was in to tend the Japanese garden and Betty H. came in to work on her two garden spaces. We had some nice Grumpy help today with tent set-up for the upcoming Family Fun Days (see our website). The second photo down, left to right, shows Larry H. (crouching), Ron P. (dancing on one foot), Ron W. (confused), Lloyd (supervising) and Bob C. (football stance with red hat). All the guys moved on to tidying up paths and some other projects. Dave E. and Gene did a great job weeding around the Horticulture Center border and we also had Vern, Ron Y., Dave T., Jim and Dick H. in the carpentry shop. Dick H. also made a run for gas and a dump run. Vern was also back in the afternoon. Gary cleaned up the laser engraver (no small feat) and Maury ran errands for us. We also saw Dick P., Mary W. and many others.
The grounds staff had no shortage of projects. Cindy weeded and tidied the front entrance garden. She also watered, tidied other areas and had some other tasks as well. Larry ran irrigation all day, set up some sprinklers and spent time replacing bad irrigation heads out in the gardens. Big John and Terry had a day of bonding. The guys did a great job of finishing the edging in the All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden and moved over the the color rooms garden. This garden is being totally renovated and the guys were improving and preparing the soil. They also watered containers and removed a tree. I worked on lots of different things and Janice and I met today to finalize details for our "mini field day" being held as part of the WIMGA (Wisconsin Master Gardener Association) statewide conference coming to Janesville this weekend. Below are more shots of potential interest.
hips on redleaf rose (Rosa glauca)
'Royal Hawaiian Maui Gold' elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) - annual
'Sea Heart' false forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophylla) - perennial
'Kopper King' hibiscus (Hibiscus hybrida) - perennial
'Pink Pop Socks' cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) - annual
pumpkin (Cucurbita sp.) bloom (come see the mini-pumpkin display at the Horticulture Center!)