Sunday, October 20, 2013

Volunteer Work Day Success (+ UW Arboretum)

On Saturday, October 19th, we had our last Volunteer Work Saturday out in the gardens and were thankful for the strong turnout and the lack of rain!  We had sixteen volunteers help with gardening tasks, planting bulbs and clearing annuals from multiple locations.  Above is one of the three patio circles in front of the Parker Education Center that was excavated to plant tulips (Tulipa).  Our crew planted close to 3,000 tulips in front of the main building (generously funded by the Bower City Garden Club).  Below is Arnie D., one of our many volunteers that helped out.  The crew also included Kay, Sue C., Deb G., Alex, Mandy, C.J., Dr. Bartz, Jody, Marv B., Mike P., Lee, Christian and Ray.  Big John volunteered and was a big help with organizing the work day and helping out.  Hal and Doris worked in their area and both Dr. Gredler and Bill O. came in for various duties as well.  It was a very successful morning and Larry was also around to help as needed and was able to spend some time on Holiday Lights Show (HLS) tasks as well.

Arnie D. planting tulips
Deb G. and grandson Alex planting tulips
Sue C. planting tulips
our tulip planting gang
the team shifts to removal of seasonals in the entrance garden

The group seen above in the alpine garden (also on Saturday) was organized by Iza Goroff, one of our volunteers.  There were, in addition to all of the volunteers listed above, another ten volunteers helping with weeding and planting efforts in this garden.  These volunteers included many members of the WI/IL Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) and some of our existing RBG volunteers (Iza, Rose Marie & Werner).  They did a dynamite job out in this garden which really needed their attention.  This group also had two work days at RBG in 2012 that were also very helpful.  This work day for the group then transitioned to a lunch meeting and presentation by Iza.  We thank this team for their efforts as well!

After the work day, my wife and I met some friends up at the UW-Arboretum (Madison) which is a great place to visit any time of the year.  I traditionally see the arboretum in spring and fall and despite some drizzle during our visit, we enjoyed the Curtis Prairie (seen directly below), the woodland trails and ultimately Longenecker Horticultural Gardens.  We also saw plenty of wildlife and enjoyed peak fall color throughout our visit.  This 1,200 acre arboretum, surrounded by development, has been an amazing resource for many years and also includes savanna, wetlands, ponds, a marsh and native plant garden.  Staff and volunteers continue to develop, restore and manage this important setting and their education and outreach programs engage thousands of people every year.  Make a visit!  See for more details.  Below are just some of the many highlights.

view to Curtis Prairie (oldest prairie restoration in the country) from the Visitor's Center
small pond out in the natural areas
sweet woodland shot
ditto above
feels like Autumn now with many leaves coming down
Longenecker Gardens (amazing collection of trees and shrubs)
'Autumn Fantasy' Freeman maple (Acer x freemannii) fall color
fruit of the Osage orange (Maclura pomifera)
fall color of sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
fall color of flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)
red-tailed hawk not 10' above us nibbling on a fresh kill

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