Friday, June 6, 2014

Saturday Preparations...

It was another nice productive Friday with beautiful weather.  We only had a "skeleton crew" with Terry, Cindy, Janice and me but we got through the day and spent a good portion of it getting ready for the Volunteer Work Day tomorrow (8 am - 12 noon).  We hope to plant three areas tomorrow including more of the Jungle Garden theme and the entire Pollinator's Paradise theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden.  We also have a back-up plan in case we really cruise through our planned areas.  Above is the 'Firewitch' cheddar pinks (Dianthus gratianopolitanus) looking great today.  The color out in the gardens is nice but it was like "snow in summer" with all the cottonwood (Populus deltoides) seeds floating around the gardens (see below).  I'm not looking forward to all of the little seedlings but we're not strangers to this phenomenon and the implications of having this annual challenge!  More plant photos can be seen further below.

'Aurora' fern-leaf bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa)
'Twilite' Prairieblues false indigo (Baptisia x variicolor)
We had some great volunteer assistance today, particularly with planting.  Above are Resa (left) and Cookie planting the North point garden which is their assigned garden space.  They planted over 600 annuals and did a great job watering everything in as well.  Below (in sequence) are Kay, Eva and Kathy who collectively finished planting the gazebo garden border (just in time for a wedding this evening) and moved on to weeding in that same garden.  They did a great job.  Jenny and Dave E. came in for some tidying in their two assigned garden areas and did a superb job which was no surprise.  Bill O. and Dr. Gredler came in for mowing duties and Karen was in the Japanese garden doing her usual great job of cleaning up.  We saw members of the Janesville Area Herb Society (Lois, Ellie, Sue, etc.) doing some planting in the herb garden and Mary Kay was in to work on the reference library.  Maury stopped by and we also saw Dr. Yahr, Rose N., Jumbo Jim, Marcia M. and many others today.

Kay with her cool "doo rag"
Eva with her infectious smile
Kathy (as good a baker as she is a gardener!)

The grounds staff kept busy from start to finish which is of course, what happens every day.  Terry, Cindy and Janice all helped haul plants out to areas we'll be planting tomorrow.  This was immensely helpful as I was able to spend most of my time staging plants and I also hauled out plants for other volunteers that will be coming in to plant their garden areas tomorrow (Kelley and Sue in the shade garden and Mirjam and Marcia in the English cottage garden).  It will be a busy day for sure and we also have members of the WI/IL Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) coming to help weed in the alpine garden.  They'll be led by Iza and Ed G. and have been very helpful over the past couple of years!  Terry also worked on setting up sprinklers, push mowing, watering and tidying up our wedding sites.  Cindy also watered the yard and had some additional watering projects as well. Janice worked on the cutting display, spreading more slug protection around the hostas, some Thomas Jefferson Collection work, etc.  Everyone had myriad projects today and I was happy that we got through the day intact!  Possible rain tomorrow night will be welcome and we'll have one more planting work day on June 14th (also 8 am - 12 noon).  Below are some additional photos from today.

Oriental poppies (Papaver orientale) in the English cottage garden (not sure on the variety...)
yellow fumitory (Corydalis lutea) in full bloom in throughout our shadier gardens
Above are just some of the 6,000 plants that Cindy, Janice and Terry helped haul this morning to the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden (seen below as well).  I'll be placing these plants tomorrow morning for our volunteers and it will be nice to see the progress in this large space.  This will be the second year of the Pollinator's Paradise theme and we'll be using a wide range of All-America Selections (AAS) winners that are "pollinator magnets".  This colorful display will also be our AAS garden and is entered in to their annual Landscape Design Competition.  Note the colorful containers too.  Should be fun and I'll share some planting photos this weekend after our successful work day tomorrow!

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