We had a return to winter today with overcast skies and dropping temperatures that converted early drizzle to snow showers with big flakes. Nothing really "stuck" but further north in WI, there was some significant accumulation. In this area, you don't remove your snow plow until May! Denise took the top photo today from the deck overlooking the formal gardens (thanks for sharing Denise!). The irrigation guys were here to test everything and this is the first time I remember having the combination of irrigation and snow! There was some activity out in the gardens although most of the action occurred inside the Horticulture Center today. Above is Cindy B. working on potting up some of our tropical bulbs and tubers like elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta) seen directly below. She potted up all sorts of plants including dahlias and cannas as well. Big John and Terry did some shopping for fertilizer and tools and ultimately ended up outside in the snow to place and prepare the last of our containers with our soil mix. Larry helped the irrigation guys all day although he worked on some other projects as well. I caught up on desk work which never seems to end with all the spring orders arriving!
Our colorful Horticulture Center interior can be seen both above and directly below. We had a nice crew of Grumpies and some Grumpettes. Our painters today included Dr. Gredler, Gene, Lloyd, Joe M., Gary B., Terri N., Kevin C. and Ron R. Jenny E. came in to paint later in the day and the progress was impressive. Below are Gary B. (left ) painting windows and Joe M. (right) working on white obelisks. There wasn't a lot of "elbow room" but everyone worked well together. Pat M. had a couple of projects going on as did Dick H. (welding). Urban came in later for some pruning out in the gardens. Gary S. worked on labels and Pat C. came in to process more labels too (second photo down) and had some other projects as well. Dave, Vern, Ron Y. and Jim continued carpentry projects including work on our "display doors" and the new 20' tall obelisk which was being primed by Bob K. (third photo down). The fourth photo down shows Ron Y. working on a door with Jim supervising. We also saw Ron W., Rollie, Sue M. and many others today. Despite the weather, we had a solid turnout with lots of progress.
We're continuing to focus on our Pollinator's Paradise theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden this year. All of these hummingbird shots were taken at the gardens in past years by Santos M. (I believe...). We had a bumper crop of hummingbirds last year and will bulk up on flowers to help attract them to this specific theme and the gardens in general. These are just "teaser photos" to encourage you to come visit and perhaps consider ways of helping attract these critters to your yard as well.