Thursday, May 22, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

It was another crazy and productive day at the gardens and we all enjoyed the perfect 70 degrees F with a light breeze.  It was perfect gardening weather and we certainly took advantage of it.  Although it looks like a garden center in the photo above, that's Jenny (far right) sifting, sorting and matching labels to all those plants that will ultimately find a home out in the gardens.  She did a great job today as we have a full yard with many more plants coming in over the coming weeks.  The morning was quite busy with Grumpies, Grumpettes and other volunteers.  The grounds staff had multiple tasks as well and we're incorporating more watering in to our schedule as a little rain will be very welcome any time now.  Memorial Day Weekend typically sees nice attendance at the gardens and I believe there are a couple of weddings as well.  We'll continue planting, weeding and primping on a daily basis and will have everything tidied up for the weekend.  Some fun plant shots from today can be seen below.

'Purple Sensation' ornamental onion (Allium) at peak
pink lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis 'Rosea')
cutleaf lilac (Syringa laciniata)

We had some significant volunteer help today. Above, from left to right, are Ron B., Larry H. and Gary B.  The guys were tidying up the rose crescents in the formal gardens and removing older mulch.  We'll freshen this up next week. Below is Dave T. working on one of the eight doors that will be part of our Jungle Garden Theme. He was helped by Jim and we later saw Vern as well.  Del (second photo down) did a nice job tidying up the Horticulture Center and we saw Bill O. in the afternoon.  Pat M. finished anchoring Giant Obelisk #2 (third photo down) and moved on to other activities. The fourth photo down shows Mary R. (left) and Karen who are both returning Grumpettes.  The ladies, along with help from fellow Grumpettes Susie, Bethany, Eva and Kathy P., planted our entire Cosmos Collection today which was close to 3,000 plants (64 varieties).  Many of the ladies moved on to other projects as well.  Pat C. worked on her labeling repair/replacement rounds and Dr. Gredler was in for mowing.  The fifth photo down shows Resa (left) and Cookie who both did a great job tidying the North point garden and the nearby vicinity.  Bob C. and Lloyd W. (sixth photo down) did some significant composting in the entrance garden but had time to stop for a posed photo shoot apparently.  Bob K. (seventh photo down) finished almost all the electrical work needed prior to the installation of the new fountain next week.  You might note that he is wet after falling in the pond.  After determining he was ok, we all had a good chuckle at his expense. Marianne G. helped Janice in the Thomas Jefferson Collection with lots of planting and Bethany shifted over to help too.  Ron and Bev W. did a nice job in the sunken garden and we also saw Doris and Hal R. this afternoon. Mary W. was around to help out and we also saw Tom C., Kelli C., Dr. Yahr and countless others. 

The grounds staff had a busy day.  Janice, seen above planting in the Thomas Jefferson Collection, helped orchestrate the Cosmos Collection planting and moved on to more projects and afternoon watering.  Larry repaired an irrigation line and worked on myriad other projects.  Big John placed a new memorial bench which was no small task and shifted between mowing and other projects.  Jenny was in the yard all day sorting plants and matching labels so ideally, our plants headed out in to the gardens have their IDs!  I'm focused on getting more plants in the ground and preparing for daily planting as well as efforts at our Volunteer Saturday Workdays (8 am - 12 noon). 

This morning I stopped by the Land of the Giants Hosta Farm (Milton, WI) and spent some time with Jeff and Penny, the owners.  Had a great chat and a quick tour of their nursery.  WOW!  Lots of exciting plants and quite an amazing place that I've watched develop over the years.  They have one of their big OPEN HOUSE events this weekend so check out their website at for more details including hours and directions.  The photos below were taken at their place this morning.

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