Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Volunteer Infusion

Today had no shortage of color out in the gardens and it gets better daily.  I was at ground level for the shot of this 'Mellow Yellow' hellebore above.  Our hellebores in general are looking great and some of the earliest woody plants are blooming including the vernal witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis 'Sandra') seen directly below and the red maple (Acer rubrum) in the second photo down.  My blog title today is "spot on" as we had a wonderful turnout of volunteers and it was a great day to garden.  While the morning was a bit chilly, it warmed up nicely and was a beautiful day.  We continue to see more visitors out in the gardens and with more bulbs emerging and/or blooming daily, our spring peak should still be in early May and around the Mother's Day Weekend (which also features our Spring Plant Sale and Tree Sale!).

'Sandra' vernal witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis)
red maple (Acer rubrum)

At one point this morning, we had twelve volunteers in action which is quite a few for a Tuesday morning.  Above are Kathy (left) and Eva who have become a great team. The ladies continued to tidy up the reception garden and were very thorough in their approach!  Kay was in for some major weeding in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden and is engaged in a battle with some of our earliest weeds in that space (trust me when I say that Kay will be victorious!).  Maury came in to run some errands and Bev D. helped with some office work.  Dr. Gredler was out in the gardens for aeration and reseeding efforts for the gazebo garden lawn. We also saw Marsha M., Tom H., Kathy H. and many others.  The photos below capture the remaining volunteers in action.

Ron K. "taking a knee" in the woodland walk garden
Mary and Roy W. on their way to compost the shade garden
Mary D. and Cheryl headed out for general weeding and tidying in the entrance garden and Japanese garden
Resa (left) and Cookie headed to their assigned garden (The North Point Garden) for composting
Mirjam (left) and Marcia tidying and composting in the English cottage garden
Urban M. pruning near the sunken garden
The grounds staff, as usual, had a busy day. Above is the white wind anemone (Anemone blanda 'Alba').  Cheryl started tidying the entrance garden and was later joined by Mary D. (see photo above).  The ladies then shifted to the Japanese garden for similar efforts.  Cindy did a nice job getting some "spring clean-up closure" in the Scottish garden and arboretum border bed.  I think this has been the most comprehensive clean-up we've had and is a result of hard work (staff and volunteers) and a cool start to the spring.  Big John installed/secured obelisks, staged compost, hauled/spread compost, mowed and did many other odds and ends.  Janice worked on the compost sale, Spring Plant Sale, cutting display, greenhouse work and preparations for repotting a couple hundred trial plants that arrived today!  Larry worked on some irrigation issues, helped load compost, took down the last of our Holiday Lights Show lights from the visitors center and kept busy with myriad tasks.  Pat was inside most of the morning with painting and obelisk preparations.  He was able to get outside for some pruning duties though!  I helped coordinate early volunteer efforts out in the gardens but continue to be involved with special events preparations with the convergence of our Spring Plant Sale and Tree Sale.  See our website for more details and enjoy other pictures from the gardens this morning (see below).
pink hyacinths (Hyacinthus) to go with our pink container
'Royal Star' magnolia (Magnolia stellata)
wind anemone (Anemone blanda 'Blue Shades')
'Pink Frost' hellebore (Helleborus hybridus)
"Nature and the garden bring out the best in our characters" on our quote bench.  Well, big clumps of daffodils (Narcissus) help too!

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