Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall Plant Sale Prep

I'm embarassed to say that I didn't even make it in to the gardens today!  I spent the day in the plant sale with Janice and various other staff and volunteers getting ready for the Fall Plant Sale (see our website for details!)  We had another large delivery of perennials and should have a couple more deliveries of various items tomorrow (mums, pansies, kale, etc.) and the sale should be ready.  Over the next two days, we'll have some small armies of volunteers on hand for all the tagging of the plants which is a sizable task.  Most of the pricing is based on color-coded tagging.  Janice and I wondered about color-blind customers though... The sale starts this Friday for RBG Friend Members.  This pre-sale runs from 9 am until 4 pm (at the Horticulture Center) and RBG Members get 10% off of their purchases.  This discount extends over the duration of the sale.  The sale is then open to the public, also 9 am - 4 pm, on both Saturday and Sunday (September 14th and 15th).  As seen in the top photo, we have plenty of mums and all the violet blue represents dwarf, perennial asters (Aster sp.).  We also have a wide range of perennials for any garden situation.  Below are just some of the coral bells (Heuchera), foamflowers (Tiarella) and foamy bells (xHeucherella) available for sale.   The plant quality is top notch and everything is supplied by growers from Northern IL and Wisconsin.  The next photo down shows some of the many shrubs and roses that will also be available for sale.

The grounds staff had another sweaty, hot day with garden duties and occasional plant sale duties.  Janice (above) is coordinating the fall sale this year and has everything under control.  We sure miss Marianne's involvement with the sale over the years but she trained us well.  I think this sale is as organized as ever and the weekend weather looks spectacular.  All of Janice's activities today were related to the plant sale.  Larry ran irrigation, set up sprinklers, push mowed, helped in the sale and ran out to pick up some items.  It was also his birthday today!  Big John set up perhaps a record number of sprinklers today.  He also did hand watering, push mowing, pulled stakes (from the garden art project), watered containers and worked on other projects as well.  Cheryl did lots of hand watering, tidying and finished up with some plant sale preparations.  Cindy also had plenty of hand watering duties, tidying in the All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden, the cutting display and also some plant sale preparations.  I also spent the day on the sale and everyone helped with the big delivery of plants late this morning.  

Volunteers were a huge help today, including with the vast watering duties required for the sale plants in this hot weather!  Above is Mary W. who helped water throughout the entire day and watered many of the mums twice today.  Below is Tina watering shrubs although she did a lot more watering throughout the sale as well.  The next photo down show Lloyd helping with mum watering duties.  Normally a Grumpy on Mondays and Thursdays, Lloyd came down to help today and it was much appreciated.  Stan was out in the gardens and we had Kay, Eva and Patrea out working in multiple areas for tidying and clean-up.  They did a superb job and this trio works well together.  Janet T. was also in this morning for another round of care along her lime-themed garden bed (still looking great!).  Both Magda N. and Ron K. did significant work in their assigned garden areas as well.  Vern was in for carpentry work and both Bill O. and Dr. Gredler came in for mowing duties.  Dr. Yahr helped us unload our plant delivery and we also saw Deb G., Bev D. and many others.  We had a Garden Development & Maintenance Committee Meeting this morning attended by Gary, Hal R., Dr. Gredler, Big John, Larry H. and Iza.  Hal and Doris also worked in their corner garden bed which is also still looking wonderful.  The third photo down and below features some recent photos from the garden. 

'Paprika' signet marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia) - annual
cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) - annual
two morning glory (Ipomoea sp.) flowers getting ready for tomorrow with two others finishing up
great black wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) on sedum (2" long!)
'Britt Marie Crawford' dark-leaved ligularia (Ligularia dentata) - perennial (at The Morton Arboretum)

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