The day started with a drizzle but ended up being primarily overcast, allowing us to get out in the gardens for a good portion of the day. I was able to tour the gardens and while we've lost some gardening time with all the recent rains, the spring clean-up has gone very well as we don't see much advanced plant growth as the soil is still quite cool. Spring blooms are lasting longer and the progression of blooms, while slow, is still occurring daily. Above is the 'Pink Frost' hellebore (Helleborus) peaking in the woodland walk garden and below is the 'White Queen' barrenwort (Epimedium grandiflorum) just starting up in that same garden. This is the first barrenwort I've seen blooming but many more are poised and ready! The Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) continue to expand and unfurl those leaves (second photo down). We had a productive day and while it wasn't our normal heavy showing of volunteers due to sporadic rain, we accomplished quite a bit.
The three culvert pipe planters seen above received their third coat of paint from Pat M. today. Previously painted by Nancy, Pat M., Big John and Terry, the third coat today should do the trick. These are upside down (for painting) and will be positioned in holes 3' deep with garbage cans inserted and secured in the top for plantings. We'll place these in the Jungle Garden this year as they will be very strong, colorful "verticals" with plants spilling out of the top. Pat also worked on preparing our first giant obelisk for final installation tomorrow and had myriad other indoor tasks. Cheryl did more garden clean-up and worked with Jenny on some serious weeding in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden. Jenny also worked on some office projects earlier in the day. Big John had lots of projects but also focused on creating nine rustic vining structures for the Thomas Jefferson Collection. Below is one of the thirteen signs that have gardening quotes from Thomas Jefferson. These will be located out in the collection (third photo down - not too exciting...yet). See John two photos down with his creations (nice re-use of European buckthorn which I don't think had made it over yet back in Jefferson's days...). I had plenty to do and am finalizing details and preparations for the big Spring Plant Sale and Tree Sale at the end of next week (see our website for details!).
Our volunteers today included Larry H. who did a great job mulching, spreading woodchips for the paths throughout the Jungle Garden and ultimately both started and ended his time at the gardens with composting. Patrea came in to produce more of the informative signs for the Thomas Jefferson Collection and was well trained by Gary as she did great with her first label creation initiation. She also helped process literature for the Tree Sale. Gena, Mary and Myrt came in for some indoor projects in the afternoon. Stan did some pruning in the Japanese garden as well. We also saw Deb G., Dick H., Mary W, Chris K. and some others. Above is the equipment for pumping out and cleaning up the koi pond. We had two guys (Shawn and Priest) working on tidying up the water features all day. Below are some other fun shots from the gardens this morning.
the showy, early foliage of 'Looking Glass' false-forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophylla)
the golden foliage of 'Goldheart' bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis)
a nice patch of marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) near the Japanese garden
garden hyacinths (Hyacinthus) continue to look spectacular
the daffodil (Narcissus) season has been extended nicely with the cool weather
above is the backing on one of twenty five Adirondack chairs that will be secured in the garden as part of our 2014 Garden Art Project. That's pretty cool!!! (and they'll be auctioned off in September!)