Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Gaining Momentum...

While it was overcast most of the day with a little spotty sunshine, the cool weather was nice and we put in a full day of gardening.  Above is the 'Blue Danube' wild hyacinth (Camassia leichtlinii) which is a fall planted bulb that likes it wet (like here in our sunken garden!).  We all had some tasks related to Spring Plant Sale closure and are doing the transition in to our spring planting and continued early season activities.  We had another bumper crop of volunteers and saw lots of children out in the gardens that were here for one of our spectacular educational opportunities.  They sure have more energy than I do, although school is almost out and that is always a factor!
The grounds staff had a busy day as usual and we had almost a full crew (sans Terry).  Pat (third photo down) did a great job putting together our second giant obelisk which he also painted earlier in the week.  Larry and Cindy were in for a half day and did a wide range of activities related to the plant sale, garden clean-up, water feature maintenance and other tasks.  Jenny spent most of the day tidying in the fern & moss garden and Japanese garden which are both featuring their first wave of weeds and have some last minute spring clean-up needs.  Cheryl spent time helping in the plant sale and transitioned to garden clean-up in the terrace, Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden, North point and alpine garden.  Big John also helped with the plant sale and did a bang up job rototilling (fourth photo down) in the Jungle Garden.  Note my artsy photo with John seen through a window.  Windows and doors are part of this unique garden theme this year.  Janice was in to work with our Chestnut House volunteers this afternoon.  I was outside more than I have been all year but the desk work calls me back often enough.
'Gravetye Giant' summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) in full bloom
'Lady In Red' lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum forma rubellum)
Pat working on the Giant Obelisk (#2)
Big John above rototilling

We had a great turnout of volunteers today and Wednesday continues to be one of our best days for garden volunteers.  Above is Dr. Gredler doing his combination of mowing and aerating at the same time.  He does a nice job and donates much valuable time to the gardens.  Below are Magda and Marleen who did a great job in their assigned garden area with clean-up which will be followed soon with new planting.  They never miss an opportunity to pose for the camera...  Ron K. (second photo down) continues to tidy in the woodland walk garden which is at spring peak right now and looking quite awesome.  Eva and Kathy (third photo down) did a superior job tidying in the gazebo garden which really benefitted from their attention.  Kay was a whirlwind again today with work in the shade garden and then her shift to help Jenny in the Japanese garden and fern & moss garden.  Dale S. ("Mr. Moss") was here all day (fourth photo down) and did a great job refreshing the moss islands that he created two years ago.  He is the best moss gardener I've ever met and his 1 acre garden (Waukesha) is unbelievable (not just moss).  We enjoyed and appreciated Dale's volunteer efforts today.  The fifth photo down shows Karen M. in the Japanese garden which she has tidied up faithfully for over 16 years (if not more!).  In the sixth photo down is Bob T. who, when not supporting the entire arched bridge with one hand, did an awesome job freshening up edging in the larch area.  The high quality quartet of Gena, Myrt, Nancy and Mary did a great job weeding the color rooms garden (now the Woodland Glen).  They are a great team but perhaps a little too chatty.  Patrea printed out more labels for the Thomas Jefferson Collection and the Chestnut House volunteers did a valuable job of sorting and organizing plant sale pricing labels which we re-use every year.  We also saw Jean S., Maury F., and many more!  More fun plants further down including our colorful greenhouses!

Magda and Marleen
Ron K.
Eva (left) and Kathy
Dale S. ("Mr. Moss")
Karen M.
Bob T. supporting the arched bridge with one hand
'Venus' coral bells (Heuchera)
Gold Bullion pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia 'Bachone')
'Root Beer' coral bells (Heuchera)
Our three greenhouses are "a burstin" with color and this only represents about 20% of our incoming plants for the year!  Above are the 'Thailand Giant' elephant ears (Colocasia gigantea) which will be a big part of our Jungle Garden theme.  Lots of fun plants ready to go.  Now we just need some sunshine and warmth!!!!

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