We didn't get much for rain today with only two brief spurts. I had hoped to see wet ground when I woke up this morning but no such luck. Madison had rain this morning...Rockford around the lunch hour and Janesville in the middle was missed again! We had a great day at the gardens though with preparations for the sale and lots of gardening in multiple locations as well. We had many volunteers assisting in the plant sale and a fair number were out in the gardens this morning. Our normal Wednesday contingent of volunteers did a nice job gardening which continues to be a strong focus until we get hard frost in October. We primp and tweak all our gardens throughout the month and later frost (unlikely) would allow for extended interest well in to October. The watering is becoming more important and we are starting to place sprinklers in areas that rarely need it (shrub borders). Above is a nice shot in the "Pollinator's Paradise" this morning where I ran in to Marsha M. taking photos. We couldn't believe all the hummingbirds in this garden and hope visitors will encounter them as well. Marsha was trying to capture some hummingbird shots which are hard to come by as they don't cooperate with posing properly. The Red Cross had a blood drive over at the Parker Education Center (see below) and there seemed to be decent traffic for that event as well (nice to see!). Further below are some other shots from today.
'Elephant Head' amaranth (Amaranthus gangeticus) looking architectural - annual
sweet Autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) - perennial vine (fragrant!)
'Count Dracula' ornamental hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) foliage - annual
kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate (Polygonum orientale) blooms - annual
We had a great tagging team out in the plant sale today. Above is Shirley who can also be seen with Pat (orange) directly below. Our other helpers included Ellen T., Bev W., Sidley and Pat C. Mary W. and Gene were in to help water the sale as well and Nancy N. stopped by to help later. Pat C. also worked on some labeling projects. Nancy also worked on organizing the reference library and incorporating recently donated reference books. Jenny organized the team and kept them busy. We'll have another day of tagging and pricing tomorrow as well. Dr. Gredler was in for mowing and Vern was in for some carpentry projects. Chuck made a profitable recycling run. The second photo down shows Kay (left) and Eva tip-toeing through the entrance garden for some tidying duties. The ladies are removing spent annuals, trimming back annuals and weeding as they go. We want to extend the show as long as possible and the orange still shows well. The next photo down shows (left to right) Myrt, Mary and Nancy poised and ready to tackle the edible collections. They did a nice job weeding and brought back more produce to share. Del was in in the afternoon as well. Lisa, the head gardener from the Monona Terrace (Madison, WI), visited the gardens and we had a nice chat. Kathy and Sue dropped off kale (Brassica), pansies (Viola sp.) and other goodies for the sale. Bob and Bev D. were in later to start clearing some of the pumpkin vines from around the Horticulture Center displays.
'Autumn Colors' gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) - annual
The grounds staff kept busy with watering and other tasks both in the gardens and in the plant sale. Jenny was in the plant sale all day helping with pre-tagging, shifting/organizing plants and getting everything in display-ready order. She does a great job and has a knack for retail presentation. Cindy (above) was in for a half day and worked on smiling, tidying and quite a bit of watering (including all of the shrubs in the plant sale). Cheryl also worked on plenty of watering and some garden clean up as well. Big John was the mega water boy today with irrigation going, sprinklers up and moved, container watering, etc. He did a great job watering the driest spots out in the garden which is a challenge to do over an 8 hour period (with 20 acres to consider!). John also helped with some plant sale duties and other odds and ends. Janice stopped by briefly and we'll see her tomorrow and throughout the duration of the sale. I worked on plant sale signage and some other odds and ends. I was able to get out in the gardens and get some nice shots like those below...
the North point garden
a portion of the "Pollinator's Paradise" in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden (lots of hummingbirds today!)
the formal annual sections looking colorful
the All America Selections (AAS) Display Garden still looking great
the Ma Chii' in the fern and moss garden