Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Short Week (Not Quite)

Today had a cool start and it was pleasant and ultimately only in the upper 70 degrees F range.  While we missed the weekend rain, the brief "cool down" is welcome.  The rest of the week looks warmer but with little chance of precipitation until  the weekend again.  Of course we continue to run irrigation and water as needed.  Nice shot above of some Adirondack chairs in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden.  Dr. Yahr sits here often to enjoy the "Pollinator's Paradise" theme in that space and these chairs are used more often than not during weekends!  The yellow flower is 'Indian Summer' gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) and the blue spires are 'Evolution Purple' mealycup sage (Salvia farinacea).  While we continue to garden in earnest out in our 20 acres, we are also focusing efforts and preparations on the Fall Plant Sale coming up in two weeks.  There is a lot of coordination involved with this event and of course we always rely on our wonderful volunteers to help facilitate this vital fund raiser.  By the way, come buy plants and tell  your family, friends and neighbors to do the same!  Below are some additional shots from today.

'Gretel' eggplant (Solanum melongena) in the All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden - annual
'Double Click BiColour Pink' double cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) - annual
'Soraya' sunflower (Helianthus annuus) in the AAS Display Garden - annual

With a long weekend, the volunteers were refreshed and ready to go.  Due to the Monday holiday, many of our Monday volunteers and Grumpies shifted to this Tuesday morning so we had a great crew of volunteers.  Kay (above) and Eva (below) spent their time tidying in the Scottish garden which is also seeing lots of cottonwood (Populus deltoides) leaves fluttering down.  This was new territory for the ladies and they're simply helping Jan, the assigned garden volunteer for that space, with some of the late season duties that accumulate quickly this time of  year.  Dr. Gredler (second photo down) was in for mowing duties as was Bill O.  Stan came in to work in the Japanese garden and Maury was in to run some errands for us.  The Grumpies were well represented.  The third photo down shows Ron B. moving plastic flats to make room for incoming mums for the Fall Plant Sale (see our website for details).  The next photo down shows Bob C. (left) and Ron P. raking leaves around the gardens.  Del and Gene were also helping collect leaves while Gary went and watered our new trees.  Many of the guys shifted to other projects and we saw Ron Y., Vern, Dave T. and Jim D. in the carpentry shop working on some new benches.  Dick H. ran to the dump and helped with other duties as well.  We also saw Sandy C., Deb G., Dr. Yahr, Denise and many others.

Monarch on Liatris sp. (today)

This was one of the rare days that we had almost the entire grounds staff on hand for the day.  Jenny wasn't in but we'll see her next week helping with plant sale preparations.  Pat (above) did a nice job mulching, watering, mowing and accomplishing other tasks.  Larry ran irrigation, weed whipped, push mowed and did some additional troubleshooting as needed.  He also picked up a nice donation of containers.  Cindy tidied the front entrance garden, did plenty of hand watering here and there and ultimately ended up in the All-America Selections Display Garden (still looking great!) for some additional primping.  I'm putting together all the materials for submission as part of the AAS Landscape Design Competition featuring this collection.  We hope to repeat our 1st place win from last year and will know in October.  Cheryl had some hand watering duties but shifted between many areas for garden clean-up duties.  Terry set up sprinklers, rototilled, hauled soil, watered containers and had other tasks as well.  Big John also had sprinklers set-up, including a creative one mounted high enough to hit the entire Giant Garden.  John also push mowed, rototilled and worked on other projects as well.  Janice worked on a research project in the arboretum, did the cutting display and had some roving gardening tasks as well.  It was nice to have so much talented help today (volunteers I mean...not so much the paid help...).  Below are more photos from today.

variegated obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana 'Variegata') - perennial
'Firecracker' variegated fuchsia (Fuchsia triphylla) - annual
wooly sage (Salvia argentea) - biennial (we use as a fuzzy annual)
yummy cherry tomatoes (bag 1 of 2) from Cindy
Above is Deb. G today with some pumpkin samples for the 8th Annual Garden Festival sponsored by the Rock Prairie Master Gardener Association (RPMGA) and UW-Extension.   Held this Saturday, September 7th from 10 am - 4 pm at the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds, this event, called "Know It! Sow It! Grow It! Eat It!" is free and includes tomato tasting, samples, children's activities, educational opportunities, food vendors, product vendors, etc.  This is fun for the entire family so check it out!  I've been involved with many of these in the past and they are a lot of fun.

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