Friday, May 16, 2014

Chilly, Cloudy & Unseasonable!

What we thought would be a rainy day just ended up being chilly, cloudy and unseasonable with temperatures roughly 15 degrees F below average for this time of year.  Thankfully we did get some sun which will warm up our three greenhouses which are packed with plants we don't want to get chilly.  We were able to make a productive day out of it which was important with two garden weddings tonight and two tomorrow.  We like to tidy everything up before these events and were able to do so today.  We had a great crew of grounds staff and volunteers and the day was very productive.  There is still no shortage of spring color which has been extended with this cool weather.  Above are the blooms of bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) with perfect backlighting. I worry about the next two nights with temperatures predicted in the mid 30 degrees F!  We saw some minor damage on some types of plants due to the low of 40 degrees F last night.  Of course we hope to have a warm up soon. With our Saturday Volunteer Workday tomorrow, we may shift more to weeding (plenty) as planting in this cool, damp soil isn't ideal.  We also don't have most of our plants as we've left them in the safety of our vendors' greenhouses until next week!  More plant photos below from this morning.

Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum)
variegated wayfaringtree viburnum (Viburnum lantana 'Variegata')

We had a great volunteer turnout today.  Dr. Gredler and Bill O. were in for their riding mower rounds and did a very thorough job of tidying up the turf for the weekend.  Dick H. came in for some debris runs to the dump and worked on some other indoor projects as did Vern.  Kay (above) paused to smile in between some significant weeding and turf edging.  She does such a nice job (smiling too!).  Below are Kathy (left) and Eva weeding in the Woodland Glen garden (formerly color rooms) which had become very weedy.  They did a great job which is typical (and expected) and are a true dynamic duo.  Across the path from these ladies was Terri (second photo down) who targeted weeds in our huge peony bed.  Our weeding efforts in this battle zone continue after many years and today Terri made great progress.  Lisa I. came in to talk about the daylily (Hemerocallis) collection and picked up some new labels. We also saw Maury F., Dr. Yahr, Larry H., Glenn D., Mary Kay T. (worked on the reference library) and many others.

emerging leaves of the variegated Norway maple (Acer platanoides 'Drummondii')
'Purple Prince' barrenwort (Epimedium grandiflorum)
'Mocha' coral bells (Heuchera villosa)

Fridays are always busy for the grounds staff. Above is Cindy who did a nice job tidying the North point garden (prior to the wedding) and also worked her gardening Kung Fu in the entrance garden and sunken garden followed by some spot watering in the holding yard.  Pat push mowed and worked on some serious edging in the entrance garden and along our frontage road (Palmer Drive).  Terry also push mowed, smoothed out rototilled beds, cut back shrubs and helped tidy up the sunken garden.  Janice did the cutting display, tidied up the formal rose garden (another wedding) and bounced between some other projects.  I was able to check out the gardens and continue to balance spring preparations with desk work.  Below are some additional photos of the increasingly more colorful garden.

'West Point' lily-flowering tulip (Tulipa)
Coppertina ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Mindia')
'Remember Me' plantain lily (Hosta)
one of thirteen signs marking the Thomas Jefferson Collection beds
A view from one of the twenty-five Adirondack chairs placed and secured out in the gardens as part of the 2014 Garden Art Project.  The chairs are uber-cool.  Come check them out and the views they accomodate!

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