Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gradual Warming This Week

It was a sunny and windy day with a cool start.  Well, it was actually cool all day but at least warmer than yesterday.  The recent frost did some minor damage to early flowers and foliage but it wasn't hard to find some evidence of color here and there around the gardens.  Above is the 'Mellow Yellow' hellebore (Helleborus hybrida) which is one of my favorites.  Below is the 'Valerie Finnis' grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) which, to me, features the perfect shade of pastel blue!  The second photo down shows some reticulated irises (Iris reticulata) which never fail to inspire and the third photo down shows more of the Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) blooming en masse. We'll have an explosion of color in the coming weeks once we put a couple of warm days together!  We're frantically composting and mulching as we have some nice open soil with plants just barely emerging.  Our "window of opportunity" is closing....or at least it will become increasingly difficult to do these tasks with "emerging obstacles."

You know spring is here when Dr. Gredler (above) gets on the mower.  He took his "ride" out for a spin today after some painting and tidied up our larger turf areas (which needed it).  We're not officially mowing yet but will do touch-up as needed until the turf really gets going.  The prairie behind Doc was burned by the City of Janesville Parks Dept. staff today too.  Our morning volunteer crew was substantial. Below are Patrea (left) and Kay who did a nice job with Spring clean-up in multiple areas.  Eva was out there doing similar work and Kathy P. worked with Cheryl in the entrance garden with additional clean-up efforts.  Larry H. (second photo down) put in some solid time with mulching the remainder of the main parking lot.  He did a very thorough job (which surprised all of us).  We had some great painting help today too.  The third photo down shows Jessica (left) and Leslie, who along with Joe (off camera), continue painting various objects this morning that will be going out in the gardens soon.  They were replaced by our afternoon crew (fourth photo down) which included (left to right) Myrt, Mary (welcome back!) and Gena.  Nancy N. was off camera working on painting obelisks as well.  Jumbo Jim brought in four RECAPPERS to help in the Japanese garden and Maury ran errands for us.  Janice worked with our Chestnut House volunteers (fifth photo down) today as they potted up more plants and moved plants potted by Cindy (sixth photo down) to the greenhouses.  We also saw Dick H. and many others today.  I had a long meeting so inevitably missed some of the "comings and goings."

The grounds staff had a busy day today.  Pat worked on some indoor projects including extensive painting.  Jenny tidied up multiple areas and Cheryl focused her clean-up in the entrance garden.  Cindy was in for a half day and continued tidying near the North point garden.  Big John and Terry hauled out and secured more containers, continued adding our custom soil mix and also put up signs for our Spring Tree Sale (see our website for details as this event is held in conjunction with the Spring Plant Sale!).  I worked on various projects and was involved with a planning meeting as well.  Below are three more shots from this morning.

emerging 'Goldheart' bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis)
emerging 'Jack Frost' false forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophylla)
more jaunty daffodils (Narcissus) adding color!

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