Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Some Rain Would Be Nice

It's starting to get dry again although we're keeping up with irrigation and watering duties around the gardens.  I think there are chances of rain throughout the week but nothing looks like a "slam dunk"!  Above is a view of the formal gardens this morning from the porch behind the Rath Environmental Center.  I always enjoy this view with the English cottage garden in the foreground, Italian formal garden in the mid-section (note lime obelisks) and the French rose garden in the far distance with pergola structure as the visual anchor.  We had another great day out in the gardens and temperatures are still cooler than normal with a high today around 77 degrees F.  That's still comfortable working weather and we accomplished a lot of work today with both grounds staff and volunteers.  Below are some other photos from this morning.

The front sign looks good and note the message to "Become a Friends Member!"
I enjoy the red-themed wall planting every time I walk by!
Our 'Thailand Giant' elephant ears (Colocasia gigantea) are filling in nicely throughout the Jungle Garden theme!

Our volunteers jumped right in to action today.  Above is Kay (in blue) working the front entrance garden border.  She's not shy about diving in and going after those weeds.  The gaps between the original plantings are getting smaller but our volunteers have excellent balance!  Not far from Kay were Kathy and Eva weeding for the second day along the entrance garden berm which had plenty of weeds disguising themselves throughout that massive planting.  Vicki (seen below) did some significant planting and watering before joining Kay and Eva with their weeding project.  Dr. Gredler (next photo down) and Bill O. did their mowing rounds today.  Cookie and Resa tended the North point garden which is their assigned garden.  That space is looking tidy and colorful. Shirley C. was also in this morning to take care of her garden space.  Ron K. (third photo down) worked his kung fu in the woodland walk garden which continues to look very nice.  We also saw Chuck S., Marsha M., Maury, Dr. Yahr, Bill O. (#2), Julie G. and many others today.

Above is Lisa who has inventoried, catalogued, mapped, tended and observed our Potter Daylily Collection for the past 4 or 5 years.  As a member of the Wisconsin Daylily Society (WDS) and a RBG volunteer, Lisa's knowledge is exceptional and her organizational skills are second to none.  She has done a superior job keeping our 300+ varieties in good order.  As a National Display Garden for the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS), proper display and labeling protocols are vital.  This photo is from yesterday as Lisa and I assessed some modifications and proposed changes to the collection which still looks awesome with varieties including those seen below. 

'Night Embers' daylily (Hemerocallis) - perennial
'Open Hearth' daylily (Hemerocallis) - perennial
'How's the Weather Up There?' daylily (Hemerocallis) - perennial at 5' tall!

The staff had a busy day.  Above are Big John (left) and Larry helping Janice re-secure the Cosmos Collection (70 varieties) that had started to flop a bit.  Both guys also had mowing, watering and other gardening duties. Janice also worked on labeling, the cutting display, weeding and other tasks aside from the cosmos duties.  Cheryl worked on weeding multiple areas and yard watering.  Cindy had planting, watering, fertilizing and more work in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden.  I was able to apply more herbicide in some tough areas with vigorous carpeting weeds.  I also placed plants for installation throughout the week and continue preparations for the Fall Plant Sale (see our website soon for details...).  Below are more photos from today.

'Summer Beauty' ornamental onion (Allium sp.) - perennial
same as above with a visitor
same as above with a visitor
purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) with swallowtail friend in the sunken garden
'Green Envy' purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) - perennial

The Jungle Garden continues to fill in nicely

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