Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vital Volunteers

We had a crazy morning with lots going on around the gardens.  A group from UW-Whitewater had a function at the Parker Education Center which made for a full parking lot and lots of visitors.  We saw many people out in the gardens as well and had Susan and Jesse from the Ball Seed Company (West Chicago, IL) come to tour the gardens.  We had a very strong turnout of volunteers including our stalwart Grumpies and Grumpettes.  Needless to say, a wide range of activities occurred today but ultimately, we saw Marilyn (above in the hosta hollow garden), Winifred, Karla, Vicki, Eva, Mary R., Doris R., Jenny E., Betty H., Geesje, Pat R., Joan F., Corky F., Steve, Larry H., Bob C., Zach, Ron B., Dick H., Del, Ron P., Dave, Vern, Jim, Mary W., Rollie, Dr. Gredler, Dr. Yahr, Maury and many others.  In lieu of relating all their many duties, suffice it to say they all did a great job with various tasks such as leaf collection (darn those cottonwoods!), skimming gravel paths, weeding, collecting debris, watering, organizing the pumpkin collection, carpentry, etc.  Below are some shots of a few volunteers at RBG this morning.

Vicki raking leaves (like shoveling in a snowstorm...)
Mary R. doing a nice job
Winifred's attention to fine detail
Eva (left) and Karla in the fern & moss garden
Jenny tidying one of three of her assigned garden areas
Bob C. (left) and Zach skimming and replacing gravel in the English cottage garden
Vern, Jim and Dave (left to right) working on three new benches
talented photographer (and RBG volunteer), Marsha M. with camera in hand
The Jungle Garden looking lush this morning

The grounds staff had plenty of duties including more watering in the areas most in need.  Larry (above) ran irrigation, watered, push mowed and worked on other projects.  We're not sure why he's wearing these wader boots but he's been known to wear them around town too....odd.  Big John set up lots of sprinklers, watered containers, push mowed and continued his significant rock edging project in the Japanese garden.  Janice helped coordinate our volunteers this morning in multiple locations, helped tour with our Ball Seed guests, organized the mini-pumpkin collection, watered and is doing some research to help us organize a portion of our hosta collection.  I toured the entire gardens and was very pleased with our "late summer look".  I had time to tour with our guests as well and worked on myriad projects, most of which have a tight deadline.  I sure hope we get some rain in the coming days.  Below are some other shots taken today.

'Blonde Ambition' blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis) with purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'Vintage Wine') and Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Little Spire') in the back (all three are perennials)
'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus x powellii) - annual
'Dwarf Blue Bedder' flossflower (Ageratum houstonianum) - annual
'Black Olive' ornamental hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) - annual
'Haight Ashbury' annual hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella) - annual
'Bright Lights' Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) - annual
'October Skies' aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius) - perennial
'Rubenza' cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) - annual

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