Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Plant Sale and Tree Sale

It's hard to believe that our Spring Plant Sale and Spring Tree Sale are only three weeks away!  The chilly weather today didn't feel very "spring-like" and I've heard rumors of more snow further north in WI.  We're finalizing some of our preparations for these spring sales including continuous volunteer recruitment.  The plant sale will include a wide range of vegetables like the Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) seen above and the images below just represent a small "smattering" of what we'll have available.  There is a strong focus on heirloom selections as well, particularly with tomatoes. We'll also be selling herbs, perennials, shrubs, small trees and bagged mushroom compost.  That plant listings for the vegetables and herbs can be seen on our website at
We had an amazing volunteer turnout today with lots of action both inside and out.  Kathy P. was back for more gardening and worked with Jenny in many areas. Eva was also out in the gardens and I'm happy to say that our spring tidying is almost done (in record time!).  Bob C. worked with Big John on a large composting project in the reception garden.  Our painters included Gene, Gary B. and Bev D.  Ron Y., Jim, Vern and Bob K. worked on carpentry projects while Pat M. painted and then headed out for some pruning duties.  Gary S. worked on creating labels for the Thomas Jefferson Collection and Mary Anne G. worked with Janice on planting our earliest vegetables in that collection today.  Ron W. and Ron P. retrieved, hauled and set-up our terrace garden furniture this morning.  Bill O. came in later to give Larry a hand and Stan came in for more pruning in the Japanese garden.  Our grounds crew of Jenny, Cheryl, Janice, Big John and Larry all had plenty of tasks to accomplish.  We have our big volunteer training this weekend for our Sunday watering volunteers, tour guides and garden ambassadors so I'm getting prepared for that as we assess plants that are arriving daily.  Our plants for the American Garden Award ( display came in today and will be potted up and "grown on" before installation in 3-4 weeks.  Some other trial plants have arrived too and we've always been on a first name basis with our FED-EX and UPS drivers! 
cherry tomatoes
hot peppers
garden sage
dark-leaved basil
The Spring Tree Sale will be on May 9, 10 and 11 from 9 am until 4 pm at the Horticulture Center.  These hours overlap the Spring Plant Sale although on Friday, only RBG Friends Members can shop the plant sale and get "first dibs."  This is the fourth year that we've partnered with the Blackhawk Golden Kiwanis Club for this combined fundraiser.  We'll be selling 2-3 year old, bare root specimens of six different trees.  We'll have Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens glauca) - see above, Black Hills spruce (Picea glauca 'Densata'), Eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), white pine (Pinus strobus), white oak (Quercus alba) and black walnut (Juglans nigra).  Descriptions of all six selections can be found on our website.

white pine (Pinus strobus)
Eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)
black walnut (Juglans nigra)
white oak (Quercus alba) - fall color

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