Friday, July 18, 2014

Another Perfect Day

The weather was again perfect with a cool morning, a mix of sun and clouds and a high temperature right around 80 degrees F.  We haven't had much of a heat wave yet but next week looks promising.  With the heat comes more watering needs but ultimately, our summer annuals, tropicals and vegetables would benefit from some hotter weather.  Above is a colorful shot of the Pollinator's Paradise theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden.  This garden also features our All-America Selections (AAS) Display with the best selections for pollinators.  Note the use of repurposed (plastic) containers to elevate some of the AAS winners for viewing and pollinator access alike!  Directly below are some of the coneflowers in that collection with 'Cheyenne Spirit' (Echinacea hybrida) showing a dynamite color mix (2013 AAS winner too!).  Further below are some other coneflowers (Echinacea sp.) at peak today.

'Cheyenne Spirit' coneflower (Echinacea hybrida) - perennial
'Pica Bella' purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) - perennial
'Green Jewel' coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) - perennial
'Prairie Splendor' purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) - perennial
'Milkshake' double white coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) - perennial

We had a solid turnout of volunteers this morning.  Above (right to left) are Kay, Eva and Kathy heading out to weed in the front entrance garden beds which had become very weedy seemingly overnight.  The ladies did a great job collecting weeds and tidying two sizeable areas.  Ron K. worked in the woodland walk garden while both Betty H. and Bev W. were in to do some tweaking in their respective assigned gardens.  Below are Roy and Mary weeding in the Jungle Garden this morning which is filling in nicely. The use of these doors and windows has mostly been well received although some folks seemed understandably mystified... The next photo down shows Marv and Marianne doing an unbelievable job tidying up our moss island.  This was their second day working on these two areas and they've never looked better (Marv and Marianne too!).  Dr. Gredler and Bill O. came in for mowing duties and we also saw Mary D., Flora M., Bill O. (#2), Bob T., Rollie, Shirley C., Big John, Jackie and many others today.

The grounds staff had a busy day of preparations for the weekend including quite a bit of watering.  Cindy focused her efforts on watering multiple areas first then did a nice job fertilizing and tidying up the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden.  Cindy primped the award-winning AAS garden last year (awesome job) and we have her working her same "kung fu" in this space.  Janice had watering, weeding, tidying in the Thomas Jefferson Collection (TJC), the cutting display and other tasks.  See Janice further down authentically taking notes in the TJC with her feather pen....Nice touch.  Terry had push mowing, watering, container watering and various odds and ends throughout the day.  Pat (half day) weeded and tidied up the parking lot islands and then moved to push mowing later in the morning.  I was able to tour the gardens and then tour them again twice with an herbicide-laden backpack sprayer that I used to focus on some very weedy areas.  We're catching up but this bumper crop of weeds has been challenging to say the least!

Ruby Ribbons switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'RR1') - perennial
bubble bath in the lady fountain...suds have finally settled!
The Thomas Jefferson Collection

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