Today was our warmest in over three months with sunny skies and 50 degrees F. Despite the sloppy mess and stubborn ice still hanging in there, it was a beautiful day for activity out in the gardens and at the Horticulture Center. I've finished ordering seeds for the season and was happy to find a couple additional varieties of cosmos (Cosmos sp.) that will be featured in many ways this year. We'll be featuring a Cosmos Collection just west of the arboretum which will have over 75 varieties displayed side by side. All of these cosmos varieties will also be "sprinkled" throughout our Pollinator's Paradise theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden. This is the second year for that theme and you can't go wrong with providing cosmos for butterflies and hummingbirds. Above is the variety 'Rubenza' which is also a Fleuroselect winner and one of the best "reds" out there for cosmos. It's amazing to see the wide range of varieties from the 5' tall old-fashioned selections to the more diminutive sulphur cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) at heights closer to 18" or so. I continue to be "desk bound" but am making more progress with other orders and finalizing the Spring Plant Sale offerings. Mark down Mother's Day Weekend for this great sale (we need volunteers too!) which will be again combined with the Golden Kiwanis Tree Sale which we've done together for two previous years as well. We'll have six varieties of 2-3 year old transplants (Colorado blue spruce, Black Hills spruce, Eastern arborvitae, white pine, white oak and black walnut) available. Check out our website in the coming weeks for more event details and vegetable/herb listings for the plant sale.
We had a good showing for volunteers today. Above are Marv (left) and Terry who were reunited today for more work outside. Marv "retired" from the grounds staff along with his lovely wife Marianne at the end of 2012. We hope to take advantage of their volunteerism though!!! The guys focused on bringing in displays from the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) that are becoming easier to access as this warmer weather continues. Unfortunately, the melting snow and ice has created a quagmire out in the gardens so access is still spotty and slippery in most locations. Pat was also out in the gardens bringing in HLS elements and has spent lots of time over the past couple of weeks pruning with Urban in various locations. Bob C. helped out in the gardens as well. Gary B. worked on painting windows for one of our fun collections this year while Ron Y., Dave T., Vern and Jim D. continued their carpentry projects. Dr. Gredler (below) helped me with some office duties and we also saw Julie G., Dorothy T., Gary S. and many others. Janice came in to work on Spring Plant Sale tasks and Bill O. was in to help Larry work on a multitude of projects. Further below are some more cosmos varieties that will be on display this year at RBG.
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Pink Popsocks'
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Double Click BiColour Pink'
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Double Click White'
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Double Click Pink'
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Sensation Mix'
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Sonata White'
Cosmos sulphureus 'Cosmic Orange'
Cosmos sulphureus 'Limara Lemon'
Cosmos sulphureus 'Sunny Red'