I spent the day at the Ball Seed Customer Day in West Chicago, IL. It was an awesome experience and this was my second time attending this monumental annual event. I was literally the first car in the lot and was able to get in to the display/trial garden early for some photography before the masses (1,000+) people arrived. The grounds were immaculate and kudos to The Gardens at Ball Manager, Jim Nau (seen below) and all the Ball employees who were so very cordial throughout the day. I was able to meet Anna Ball as well who is a delight. Pictured below with Jim are Marge Stancel (left) and Diane Blazek. Both work for All-America Selections (AAS) and Marge is the Trial & Survey Coordinator while Diane is the Executive Director. They also do a dynamite job and we love growing AAS winners at RBG! It was nice to see these three friends and many others throughout the day. I only took 1310 photos and saw some really neat things. The rain held off although there were a few light sprinkles and my umbrella was opened once.
Due to various staff vacations and other factors (including my playing hooky today), only Big John and Cindy were left to hold down the fort at RBG with plenty of volunteer help though. We didn't get the rain today (yet) so both were involved with watering and other duties on our very busy FREE DAY. Back to business next week with more preparations for the looming Fall Plant Sale (September 6th and 7th, pre-sale for RBG Friends Members September 5th with 10% off for the duration of the sale, 9 am - 4 pm daily). Our website will have more details on this neat sale (and vital fundraiser) soon. Below are just some of the 1310 highlights that I enjoyed today!
'Cheyenne Spirit' coneflower (Echinacea hybrida) - AAS Winner!