Thursday, May 15, 2014

Damp But Productive

Above is a photo of the classic (and native!) wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis).  I love this species and we let is seed around a bit.  There are some nice selected varieties of this species as well. The gardens were certainly colorful today although roughly half the day (morning) was rainy and thwarted most of our gardening plans.  However, we had a nice turnout of volunteers for indoor duties and did get some afternoon work accomplished outside as well.  The sun did peak out a couple of times which was welcome.  With the Spring Plant Sale and Tree Sale effectively over, we're focusing future efforts on all the planting we have to do out in the gardens.  We'll have quite a few perennials to yet install and over 150,000 annuals to poke in the ground.  Our first Saturday Volunteer Workday is this Saturday (8 am - 12 noon) although recent wet weather and a lengthened cool spring may limit planting that morning but certainly not gardening tasks.  We hope for a great turnout for this workday and the next sequential four after that (same time, same place).

Big John and I made a plant run this morning and brought back a good sized load.  John had myriad other duties both before and after our trip. The rainy start kept Janice and Cheryl working on putting away plant sale items, signs, etc. but that was vital to the process regardless of the weather.  Both ladies were able to get outside though and do some gardening once the weather cleared.  Larry did his normal rounds of checking water features, unloaded plants and compost and bounced between other projects.  It was a small but efficient crew today.  See below for some additional plant shots.

'Pinot Gris' coral bells (Heuchera villosa)
'Autumn Frost' hosta (Hosta)

Above are three of our volunteers on our new cart from last year.  In back are Janelle and Jordan and Victoria up front.  This trio did a great job yesterday sorting plant sale tags and enjoyed (presumably) a tour of the gardens from Janice.  The cart can be reserved in advance for a mobile tour with a strong focus on mobility-impaired guests.  We have two tour guides (Art and Chuck) that will give these tours and this cart is a nice addition to the fleet.  We also use it to haul around our volunteers.  Below are Mary Anne (left) and Janice in the Thomas Jefferson Collection this morning.  We're getting geared up for more planting in this fun garden theme (2 years).  Dick P. and Dick H. put our 'Dancing Waters' fountain out today and our carpenter Grumpies (Dave, Vern, Jim and Ron Y.) kept busy with constructing obelisks.  Gary S. created more labels and Pat C. was in later to continue the progress.  Larry H. spread woodchips this afternoon and helped organize the shed.  We also saw Maury (shopping trip), Ron R., Dr. Yahr, Dr. Gredler (mowing), Bill O., Gary B., Mary W., Rose L, Werner L. and many others.  With all my comings and goings, I'm sure I missed some volunteers in attendance.  Further down are some more fun pictures from the gardens yesterday and today.

'Pink Elf' barrenwort (Epimedium hybrida)
'Stairway to Heaven' Jacob's ladder (Polemonium reptans)
'Samurai Sword' Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum)
'Spring Green' tulip (Tulipa)
'Pink Diamond' tulip (Tulipa)
'Red Majestic' contorted European filbert (Corylus avellana)
'Sutherland Gold' cutleaf elderberry (Sambucus racemosa)

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