Monday, September 23, 2013

Brisk Mornings

It was a cool morning around 42 degrees F which certainly feels like fall (which started yesterday anyway!).  The day warmed up to 70 degrees F with blue skies and sunshine.  While some of the garden displays and plants are looking "tired", the majority of the collections and themes still look nice.  We continue to go through all our garden areas removing spent annuals, collecting leaves, weeding, etc.  We had a great crew here today and will still spend more time this week taking down tents and packing away more components of the Fall Plant Sale. This time of year however, we also see the transition to fall colors and other interesting features out in the gardens (ornamental grasses, showy fruits, interesting bark, etc.).  While some of these features are subtle, they certainly lend themselves to the Autumn garden and visitor experience.  Above is the 'Merlin Blue Morn' petunia (Petunia) still hanging in there in the reception garden.  I sure like this variety and it did well in this garden which is traditionally blue and white.  Below are some additional "plants of interest" from my tour this morning.

'Dolce Blackcurrant' coral bells (Heuchera) - perennial
'Miyazaki' toadlily (Tricyrtis hirta) - perennial
'Marbles' ornamental hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) - annual

The volunteers jumped right in to some serious gardening today.  Above is Eva obscured by impatiens that she's starting to remove.  Some of our tropicals are looking a bit rough with the cooler evenings and we're only removing what is starting to look ugly (i.e. the patch above).  Shirley H. was also in for general gardening in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden.  Betty H. came in this morning to tidy up her garden beds near the arboretum and Dr. Gredler kept busy with his Monday mowing duties.  Bob and Gene (below) collected leaves in various areas and were joined by Gary S. later after he finished a labeling project.  Ron P. (second photo down) did some gravel path replacement and was skimming up muddy gravel near the North point garden and replacing it with fresh stuff. Vern, Dave, Ron Y. and Jim worked on various carpentry projects and are finishing some of their new benches.  I gave them a project for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) that they jumped right in to as well.  Dick H. ran loads to the dump, helped repair the truck and worked on myriad other projects as well. Del helped tidy up around the Horticulture Center and Jumbo Jim came in with two RECAPPERS to collect leaves and tidy in the Japanese garden. We also saw Rollie, Andy and many others today. 

The grounds crew kept busy today and we started back up with irrigation and more watering as needed.  The rain last Thursday was helpful but with a sunny week, we're making sure no areas dry out.  Cindy tidied up the front of the building, watered many areas and continues to keep the All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden looking top notch. Granted, some varieties have been removed due to their appearance but there is still plenty of color in this chronologically-arranged collection.  Terry and Big John hung out today and worked on many projects.  The guys hauled both surplus mums and bulbs up to the other building to continue offering them to visitors.  The guys also worked on shearing boxwoods (Buxus), watering, removing plants and other activities.  Larry ran irrigation, push mowed, did more weedwhipping and worked on some other projects as well.  I'm catching up on desk work and post-plant sale duties.  I also am no shifting my "awareness" to Holiday Lights Show (HLS) preparations which already have begun...  Below are some other neat shots.

'Pink Chaos' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual
'Flamingo Feather Pink' wheat celosia (Celosia spicata) - annual
'First Snow' heath aster (Aster ericoides) - perennial
Short's aster (Aster shortii) - perennial
neat hummingbird photo shared by Jill B. (thanks!)
"The gift to each child in the world should be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life" Rachel Carson  (just noticed indestructible is spelled wrong on the bench! yikes!)
the Japanese garden waterfall looking nice (and flowing well)


Larry said...

The blog entitled "Confessions of a Plant Geek" by Nick Hermes had a number of wonderful captures of Rotary Gardens in his latest post... you might want to take a look although you of course get to experience it every day... you do an amazing job with energizing the gardens... fantastic! Larry

Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture, Rotary Botanical Gardens said...

Thanks Larry! I'll check it out. We have so many great people around here (staff, volunteers and visitors) that it's never truly been a job! :)