It was nice to get outside today as it was simply beautiful after such a long winter. There were no shortage of crocus (Crocus sp.) in bloom although the rabbits will make quick work of these shortly! We hardly plant crocuses any more because of their "tastiness" for hungry critters. Further below are some other early bulb shots although I'm looking forward to the steady spring explosion of blooms that will occur in the coming weeks. We had another busy day with a very high level of productivity. With another load of shredded bark arriving this morning, we all had to park in the adjacent field to leave room for unloading. Our efforts include some closure with the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) which should be packed away by the end of the week (although brought back out in five short months...!). We also have strong focus on spring clean-up duties before too much new and emerging growth makes access and our activities more challenging.
crocus (Crocus sp.)
snowdrops (Galanthus sp.)
striped squill (Puschkinia libanotica) with early pollinator!
more winter aconites (Eranthus hyemalis) emerging
We had a solid crew out in the gardens. It was nice to see Shirley H. (above) back in action, She helped tidy the gazebo garden with Cindy (directly below) who has also returned for another year of "reimbursed abuse" as a grounds staff team member! :) Eva was also out tidying up in the Japanese garden and Stan K. was in later to continue pruning in that garden space. Ron W., Ron R., Larry H. and Ron P. all worked on hauling our memorial benches back out to the gardens and securing them in place. This is a sizeable project as we have close to 50 benches to store over the winter and ultimately get back in position. The guys will finish later this week. Bob C. was out collecting debris and Bill O. came in to help Larry with various tasks. Larry also worked with Bob K., Dick H. and Rollie with rolling up our temporary power cables from the HLS out in the gardens. The second photo down shows their rolling "spool" and contraption (courtesy of Bob K.). It took all four guys to get these long cords brought in efficiently and stored safely. Vern, Dave and Jim worked on various carpentry projects while Gary B. continued painting windows and doors for one of our displays. Gene helped Gary as did Bob K. later in the morning. Gary S. worked on labels for the Thomas Jefferson Collection (see further below). Maury ran more errands for us and Pat did a nice job continuing with some painting efforts. We also saw Tina B., Janice, Hal R., Jean S., Dave G., Del and many others. Big John and Terry cut back our 'Flame' willow (Salix hybrida) patch to encourage new growth and helped secure our pink pyramids and obelisks in the entrance garden. It was a very productive day and I'm sure the weather helped with morale too!
Cindy B. (welcome back!)
Terry (left) and Big John cutting back willows (Salix 'Flame')
above and below are Big John and Terry hauling our pink pyramids in to place
the first of one hundred signs for our Thomas Jefferson Collection which will feature historic vegetables, herbs, etc. that Jefferson had grown at Monticello
colorful PVC pipes will go in to action soon...