Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tri-State Tour

I was at work briefly this morning but had travelling on my mind.  I arrived at the Horticulture Center in a downpour and we had some decent rain over the prior morning hours.  I was technically off today but wanted to touch base with Larry, Big John, Cheryl and Janice this morning as Thursdays can be quite busy with Grumpies and Grumpettes.  We talked about some indoor projects although the weather at that point was supposed to eventually clear and get hot and sunny.  I'm sure everyone kept busy out in the gardens and maybe we tested some more lights for the Holiday Lights Show!?  I'll be back in the office Monday and of course we have a busy weekend with weddings and hopefully lots of visitors catching the tail end of summer color.  The recent rains have been timely and much appreciated (thanks Mother Nature!).  :)

Tomorrow (Friday), I'm doing two presentations at the University of Illinois Extension Statewide Master Gardener Conference in the Quad Cities (specifically Moline, IL).  I'll talk about Ferns & Mosses and Vertical Gardening.  Due to the morning time for my first presentation, I wanted to get the travel (4 hours +) done the day prior (today) and decided upon a fun route to Moline, IL that would take me from WI to IA and finally back in to IL.  My first stop was the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens (DABG) which I've visited on about four other occasions.  I hadn't been to the DABG in many years and really enjoyed the visit.  The gardens looked recently saturated too but I arrived along with plenty of sunshine and quickly warming temperatures.  DABG would be my first of four "botanical stops" on my way down to the conference.  I also visited the Bickelhaupt Arboretum (Clinton, IA), Vander Veer Botanical Park & Conservatory (Davenport, IA) and the Quad City Botanical Center (Moline, IL).  I had been to all four destinations many years prior and wont have much time to elaborate on the histories, collections, etc. but do encourage blog readers to do so and consider a visit.  The first three destinations were free (donations encouraged) and all of the photos below are in order of visitation.  The Quad City Botanical Center had admission based entry but my RBG membership card had the American Horticultural Society (AHS) reciprocity which made it a worthy freebie!  It was 94 degrees F by the end of the day and I was spent (and mildly pungent) by the time I reached the hotel.  Looking forward to tomorrow and my shameless promotion of RBG to these flatlanders (for full disclosure....I grew up in IL and went to U of I in Champaign-Urbana).  Below are some highlights of my tri-state tour!

DABG flower beds with prairie in the distance
DABG coleus planting
hostas at DABG (lots!)
Japanese garden at DABG
same as above
same as above, note the zig-zag bridge
English garden at DABG
more hostas and cool structure at DABG
odd GEICO promotion at DABG?
scary eye of above creature
roses at DABG, outdoor use gazebo in distance
DABG perennial border
formal garden at DABG
more coleus at DABG
cannas galore at DABG

metal sculpture of the founders (read about the history of this garden!)
visitor's center (original house of the founders)
the best view of the arboretum (lots of conifers!)
humongous weeping white pine (Pinus strobus 'Pendula')
bench with amaranth (Amaranthus sp.)!

cool conservatory at Vander Veer
neat windmill
see water serpent/dragon?
conservatory continued...
working greenhouse with mums to go out soon
all-accessible planters
vertical planter
water feature at Vander Veer
trailing tomato on all-accessible bed
Autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) on arches
rose garden at Vander Veer

cool artwork in the visitor's center
outdoor railway display garden, cool succulents in train cars
another cool (and tall!) conservatory
same as above
same as above - note waterfall
outdoor gardens with lots of conifers
children's garden and playhouse
nice haul of schwag in the hotel room for being a speaker (no beer though...)

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