Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Minimal Watering Today - Yay!

There was a threat of rain today although we did see some occasional sun (and no rain at the time of typing this blog).  We did get some nice moisture yesterday afternoon and overnight.  It was nice not to set up sprinklers and water containers which shouldn't happen until June anyway!  I hope Mother Nature will be more cooperative with nice soaking rains one day per week.  Above is a nice shot of 'Purple Sensation' ornamental onion (Allium) blooming amongst a grove of Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger').  I love this combination and have it at home too.  While the gardens were damp, we were able to get a wide range of tasks accomplished including more planting and weeding.  We had a nice turnout of volunteers as well as our Wednesday grounds crew.  Below are some other images from today.

'Starlite' Prairieblues false indigo (Baptisia x bicolor)
blooms of our yellowhorn (Xanthoceras sorbifolium) which is a small tree
'Mt. Everest' ornamental onions (Allium) are looking good today in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden ("Pollinator's Paradise")

We had a strong volunteer turnout today.  Ron K. spent some serious time in the woodland walk garden and Kay (above) finished clearing off the larch wall planting bed which will be partially planted tomorrow.  Kathy and Barb spent the morning weeding in the sunken garden which provided them with ample work for sure!  Dr. Gredler was in for some mowing and Stan came in for pruning in the Japanese garden.  Darcie and Art (directly below) are working on fine tuning a nice cart tour that will be used for mobility-impaired guests.  The second photo down shows Janice working with the Chestnut House volunteers.  They helped with weeding and planting the vegetable beds at the Horticulture Center (we're featuring small melons this year!).  The third photo down shows Myrt, Gena, Mary and Nancy planting one of our Jungle Garden beds.  The ladies also cleared debris from adjacent berms once the finished planting.  Patrea was in the office most of the morning and continued printing out plant labels for the Thomas Jefferson Collection.  Mirjam came in later for planting in the English cottage garden and we also saw Dr. Yahr, Dave B. and many others.

Above is Cheryl doing some weeding in the formal gardens.  The grounds staff also had a busy day.  Cheryl weeded and tidied up multiple areas including the entrance garden berms and terrace gardens.  We are clearing both areas and preparing them for planting over the coming days.  Big John worked on hauling debris, tidying the rose sections (removing dead roses), preparing containers for planting and other duties.  Terry dug out shrubs, planted shrubs, sheared, went on a run for plants and helped with myriad other projects.  Cindy focused her efforts on clearing bulb foliage and weeds from the gazebo garden border which will be planting in the coming week or so.  Pat spent time repairing and stabilizing the north path and did some nice edging as well.  Janice was in as a volunteer but worked on lots of projects including tasks with the Chestnut House volunteers.  I hauled out more plants for planting over the coming days and filled my time with multiple "brush fire" tasks.  More fun plant and garden shots can be seen below!

Dolce 'Blackcurrant' coral bells (Heuchera)
'Brass Lantern' foamy bells (xHeucherella)
sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)
'Popcorn' doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum f. plicatum)
'Sunflower' paw paw (Asimina triloba)
variegated sweet iris (Iris pallida 'Albo-Variegata) in bloom
'Purple Sensation ornamental onion (Allium) near 'Royal Purple' smokebush (Cotinus coggygria)
the new fountain looks great from every angle!

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