It was another busy day of Friday activity coupled with "pre-Saturday" preparations. With a long weekend looming and garden weddings on the horizon, we needed to get the gardens in shape which also included some significant planting and watering. We also have a Volunteer Workday tomorrow (8 am until 12 noon) and I spent the day getting ready for that. Staying ahead of 30+ enthusiastic planting volunteers is a challenge and I like to avoid any "idle time." We had a small grounds staff today (Terry, Janice, Cindy and me) but numerous volunteers and we should be in shape for the weekend. Above is a shot of fading grape hyacinths (Muscari armenicacum 'Valerie Finnis') amongst Japanese painted ferns (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum) that I found striking in the shade garden this morning. Some other plant photos can be seen directly below.
hellebore (Helleborus purpurascens) still looking nice as it fades...
'Red Fox' katsuratree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum 'Rotfuchs') with maroon spring growth (fades)
Good volunteer help was readily available today. Above is Kathy P. who is a relatively new volunteer this year and has really been a great addition to the team (she bakes yummy cookies too!). Kathy and Eva weeded in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden and shifted to the sunken garden which has become "weed central" over the past week or so. Roy and Mary (next photos down) did a nice job tidying up their portion of the shade garden and installed quite a few plants as well. Their space will be one of the most colorful locations in the garden by mid-summer. The third photo down shows Ron K. in the woodland walk where he tidied and also installed another 50 or so perennials and watered them in nicely. He is a heck of a worker with plenty of real estate to maintain which he does well. The fourth photo down shows Don and Pearl weeding their garden area which they'll plant in a couple weeks once the bulbs finish up. They are known for their great teamwork and always matching their shirts (both at the gardens and elsewhere.....creepy). Karen M. tidied in the Japanese garden and both Dr. Gredler and Bill O. did their mowing rounds. Many members of the Janesville Area Herb Society were out planting the herb garden sections. Bob K. continued progress with our electrical service for the new fountain. Kay was a huge help in the Thomas Jefferson Collection with planting and watering. Darcie O. helped Janice coordinate work with student volunteers from Shepherds College (see further below). Maury ran errands and Mary Kay T. helped in our reference library. We also saw Dr. Yahr, Chuck S., Bob C. and many others today.
Today we had some wonderful assistance from six students that travelled to the gardens from Shepherds College (Union Grove, WI). The gang (seen above) with their instructor Leslie (far right) worked with Janice and Darcie in the sunken garden with a focus on weeding and planting. The team was motivated and did a great job planting two garden beds and eight containers. Their work in that garden was perfect timing because of looming weddings! We've worked with Shepherds College students in the past and appreciate their commitment to the gardens and hopefully they had an enriching experience as well. Janice and Darcie helped facilitate the day and everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather. Below are some images of their progress and activities.
The grounds staff was in perpetual motion today. Cindy repotted plants, spread out compost, hauled oodles of plants for tomorrow and worked on plenty of afternoon watering in the yard. Janice worked with Kay early in the morning and shifted to work with Darcie, Leslie and the Shepherds College students. She later helped prepare for the work day tomorrow. Terry sheared a small maple, push mowed, watered, checked containers for watering and tidied up in the gazebo garden. I set plants out most of the day and bounced between some other projects as time allowed. Certainly a busy day but that is "par for the course"!
'Crackling Fire Orange' begonia (Begonia boliviensis) in a basket (Scottish garden)
'Touch of Class' plantain lily (Hosta)
'Princeton Gold' Norway maple (Acer platanoides) looking nice and bright today
Just three of the twenty-five Adirondack chairs comprising our 2014 Garden Art Display! These chairs will be auctioned off on September 7th!