Today was not really sunny but was oppressively hot and humid. I think the heat index was in the 90 degrees F range and everyone was dripping by the end of the day. That heat should help the tropical plants and annuals. Oddly enough, this hot spell will be quite brief with a return to the upper 70 degrees F tomorrow. Above is the 'Blue Angel' gentian sage (Salvia patens) looking great for our visitors (including the hummingbirds!) in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden which is featuring our "Pollinator's Paradise" theme. That garden is looking spectacular and we're heading in to a great time to see peak summer color at the gardens in general! Despite the heat, we had a very productive day which included lots of watering. Our 20% chance of rain didn't materialize but Friday looks promising. We saw lots of visitors today and were happy to have a great volunteer turnout as well. Below are some additional photos from today.
'Summer Beauty' ornamental onion (Allium sp.) - perennial
'Golden Dreams' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual
'Arnold's Daughter' daylily (Hemerocallis) - perennial
Volunteers took advantage of the cooler morning. Ron K. (directly above) continues to tweak the woodland walk garden which looks great. Here he's tidying up hostas and wont run out of weeds any time soon (job security). Urban came in to prune some trees in Ron's area as well. Directly below is Kay working near the gazebo garden. She put the finishing touches on weeding a large berm that looks awesome now. The next photo down shows Eva working near the shade garden. She and Kathy (next photo down with Big John) did a superb job weeding an area that really was an eye sore. The ladies did an excellent job as usual. Vicki came in to help Cindy weed in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden. Maury ran some errands for us and both Dr. Gredler and Bill O. focused on their mowing duties. We also saw Ron W., Chuck S., Bruce R., Joel R., Chris, Tom, Kris K., Ray Y., Deb G. and many others today.
The grounds staff contributed quite a bit of "sweat equity" today. Big John (above) worked on setting up sprinklers, air edging and a wide range of other projects (when he wasn't leaning on a shovel). Cindy watered, fertilized and focused her attention on the children's garden as well. She's done a nice job maximizing the look of the "Pollinator's Paradise" theme that has a strong All-America Selections (AAS) component. This display is also entered in their Landscape Design Competition for the third year in a row. We were proud to have our last two displays (very unique) win first place and feel we have a "solid" entry this year as well! Larry watered, ran irrigation, weed whipped, fixed irrigation sprinklers and had other tasks as well. Janice weeded, planted, watered and fertilized today. Everyone kept busy and showed their toughness out in this sticky weather. I was able to spray more herbicide this morning in some nightmare areas and am preparing for our Fall Plant Sale (September 6th and 7th, pre-sale for RBG Members on Sept. 5th, 9 am - 4 pm daily). We are in need of many volunteers for this event so contact Mark ASAP! This sale will again feature hundreds of perennial varieties (for sun and shade), mums, bulbs, shrubs, compost, pansies, kale, etc. Below are more photos from this morning.
'Illumination Flame' foxglove hybrid (xDigiplexis)
giant elecampane (Inula magnifica) - perennial
'Sparkler Rose' spider flower (Cleome hybrida) looking great near our 'Biota' sculpture (O.V. Shaffer). These plantings are lovingly tended by Hal and Doris and they seem to bump their heads on the sculpture quite often (no damage...to the sculpture)
the prairie is looking sharp and adequate rains have made it quite lush
Jordan's elevated planter is filling in nicely!
'Pied Piper Red' cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) - annual