Thursday, June 5, 2014

Great Volunteer Efforts!

Thursdays continue to impress me as one of our busiest and most productive days of the week.  I'm glad I lay out plants in advance so newly arriving volunteers can start planting right away.  I've prided myself on keeping ahead of the planting troops (just barely at times!).  We had a great showing of volunteers on a beautiful day and the gardens were busy with tours, Youth Education Programs and general visitors.  Above is the red-leaf rose (Rosa glauca) blooming with bright pink, single blossoms over blue foliage.  This is one of my favorite roses despite the occasional seedling that pops up in proximity to the mother plant.  I was glad to have my camera with me all day to capture the beauty of the gardens and many of our hardworking volunteers.  Below are some additional shots from the gardens today.

'Chattahoochee' phlox (Phlox divaricata) in the alpine garden
Star of Persia ornamental onion (Allium christophii)

The Grumpies and Grumpettes (aka Women Weed Warriors) were in full force today.  Above is Emmett (left) with Big John.  John worked with Emmett and Ron W. and Ron R. (seen directly below) on an important soil project in front of the Parker Education Center.  With new concrete walkways, we needed to adjust the grade in many locations with adding fill or removing soil in some locations.  These four guys did a great job and nearby were Shirley, Kay and Eva weeding and planting in the same area.  These ladies can be seen in the second photo down and they also shifted to some planting in the gazebo garden later in the morning.  The second photo down shows Gary B. (left) and Bob C. cutting back ornamental onion (Allium 'Purple Sensation') foliage near the daylily (Hemerocallis) collection.  This was a huge project.  Speaking of huge projects, the fourth photo down shows Karen, Marilyn, Mary and Susie who weeded the entire Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden prior to planting this Saturday.  Bethany helped out later and worked the remainder of the day in that space to finish it up.  That garden will feature our "Pollinator's Paradise" theme using a wide range of All-America Selections (AAS) winners.  We've entered this display in the annual AAS Landscape Design Competition which we've won the last two years (and are planning for the three-peat victory!).  It will be nice to get it all planted this Saturday at our next Volunteer Planting Workday (8 am - 12 noon).  The next photo shows Larry H. mulching around the koi pond yew (Taxus) hedges and he did a nice job as usual. Bob T. was in later to air edge the Cosmos Collection beds too.  Steve and Vicky planted almost 100 large cannas in our Jungle Garden theme and continued planting in the gazebo garden.  Dr. Gredler was in for mowing and our carpenters (Jim, Dave, Vern and Ron Y.) kept busy with repairs on the Japanese garden fence (see further down).  Dick P. and Dick H. did some troubleshooting on two of our vehicles and Maury ran more errands for us.  Marianne G. helped weed in the Thomas Jefferson Collection too!  Bev W. planted over 250 more annuals in the sunken garden and her section is looking sharp! Jumbo Jim brought down four RECAPPERS and the guys accomplished a lot of work this afternoon.  It was a busy day and we also saw Charlotte S., Iza, Dr. Yahr, Rollie M. and many others today.

Ron W. (left) and Ron R.
Kathy, Shirley and Eva (right to left...who's driving!)
Gary B. (left) and Bob C.
Karen, Marilyn, Mary R. and Susie
Larry H.
Dick P. (left) and Dick H. troubleshooting
Dr. Gredler with a camouflaged mower...can you see it?
Jim D. (left) and Dave T. sitting down on the job yet again

The grounds crew was small but potent today (in accomplishments..not smell).  Big John led the charge with our soil project out front and later shifted to push mowing and watering.  Larry did more weedwhipping, watered and helped with myriad projects here and there.  Janice helped facilitate our morning troops, worked in the Thomas Jefferson Collection with Marianne G., matched labels to plants in the yard, had a meeting and is putting anti-slug protection around the hostas.  I kept hauling plants all day and will do the same tomorrow!  More fun plants above (false indigo - Baptisia australis) and below...

golden Japanese spikenard (Aralia cordata 'Sun King') in the gazebo garden
fragrant abelia (Abelia mosanensis) smelling awesome today (medium shrub that gets a nice orange fall color)

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