Today was pretty intense with a wide range of activities occurring, particularly in the morning. Nice shot above of a pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) fully open this morning in the alpine garden. The threat of drizzle didn't materialize thankfully so we were able to prepare for the Spring Plant Sale and Tree Sale this weekend, accept/process three deliveries and even get some gardening done too! There were some other activities happening at the gardens this morning including the pouring of concrete sidewalks in front of the Parker Education Center and continued maintenance on our water features with the goal of every thing up and running by Mother's Day weekend. Below are some images of our deliveries this morning which included woody shrubs and two loads of perennials. Tomorrow we'll see most of the vegetables and herbs arrive with Wednesday being the last day for "incoming product!" We'll have a wide range of plants for everyone and thanks to both staff and volunteers that helped with the myriad set-up details, unloading and staging efforts.
We had an energetic and efficient group of volunteers today. Above and below is our talented tent crew (Ron W., Larry H., Ron P., Jim D., Bob C. and Gary B). The guys set-up seven tents in quick succession and have this down to an art form. Kevin was nearby preparing buckets for our signs and helped out with the unloading of deliveries as well. Some of the guys headed in to the gardens for composting later in the morning. Dick H. ran to the dump and helped with other activities and Dr. Gredler came in for his mowing duties. Dick P. and Rollie made a road trip to pick up memorial bricks (near Milwaukee) and Maury helped with a wide range of activities. Pat M. worked on one of his projects and our carpenters (Ron Y., Vern, Dave and Jim) continued work on the second giant obelisk which is ready for painting. Eva went out for garden clean-up as did Tina B. (second photo down). We also saw Denise, Mary F.P., Chuck S. and many others today.
The grounds staff bounced between gardening duties and pre-plant sale duties seamlessly. Above is Cindy tidying near the North Point garden. Cindy, aside from tidying multiple areas, hauled plants and helped water all our new plants this afternoon. Larry worked with our water feature guys, worked on troubleshooting duties and did some mowing as well. Big John and Terry planted two trees (sugar maple and serviceberry) and installed (and prepared) our three large culvert pipe planters. The guys helped unload shrubs and later were a big help with positioning tables for the plant sale. I'm working on many different projects with a "brush fire mentality". The Spring Plant Sale and Tree Sale are our priority but we're also getting the gardens in shape for a traditionally very big weekend out in the gardens for the Mother's Day Holiday. Lots going on but that's typical for May and June (and July and August...). Once the sale is over, we begin "planting in earnest" out in the gardens. Below are some recent plant images from out in the gardens.
'Blue Sunrise' perennial geranium (Geranium hybrida)
wind anemone (Anemone blanda 'Blue Shades)
variegated sundrops (Oenothera fruticosa 'Fruhlingsgold') emerging
most of the lungworts (Pulmonaria sp.) are starting to bloom now
'Leonard Messel' magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri) is starting to bloom!