Monday, July 21, 2014

The Heat Cometh

Above is a nice shot of a hummingbird headed towards a scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea).  Captured and shared by Marsha M. (thank you!), this is evidence that our "Pollinator's Paradise" theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden is effective.  We're seeing lots of butterflies as well.  It was a warm, sunny Monday with a hot day looming tomorrow (heat index near 100 degrees F).  It will be nice to get some heat for our tropicals and summer annuals although we're starting to dust off the hoses and sprinklers which haven't been much needed over the past couple of months.  It was another nice day out in the gardens and we're all commenting on how many visitors we're seeing out in the gardens daily.  Staff and volunteers worked on myriad projects today and we're shifting in to more watering duties as the weather dictates.  There is a slight chance of rain tomorrow night but we wont count on it!  Below are some images taken this morning.

'Magellan Pink' zinnia (Zinnia elegans) - annual
'Passion Flute' coneflower (Echinacea hybrida) - perennial
'Peach Parfait' coral bells (Heuchera) - perennial

Our weeding crew above consisted of Taylor (left), Shirley (mid center) and Kathy.  The ladies were weeding the front sign area and other garden beds near this location.  Eva joined them and this quartet was very successful in their weed eradication program.  I'm not sure what Maury (directly below and to the left) and Mark S. were doing but they sure look relaxed.  Actually, Maury was cleaning up and refilling one of our many water features; this one being the lady fountain in the English cottage garden.  The next photo down shows Lloyd (left) and Ron R. looking confused as well.  The guys were working on skimming and replacing gravel along some of our paths.  Ron B. spent the morning working on an edging project and Maury and Dick P. also worked on fountain repair.  Dick H. was in for dump runs and other tasks.  Maury and Rollie went on a fuel run and Dr. Gredler accomplished his typical Monday mowing goals (third photo down).  The fourth photo down shows Shirley C. back in action and weeding in her assigned garden area.  The carpenters (fifth photo down) did a nice job working on obelisks which are in high demand.  Lisa I. was in to evaluate our daylily (Hemerocallis) collection and we also saw Joan, Corky and many others today as well.    

All of the grounds staff had some watering duties today and while it hasn't dried out entirely yet, if we don't see rain tomorrow, we want to be well situated for the rest of the week.  Much of our watering is timed to allow us to move on to other duties and we're very proactive with this duty. Larry (directly below) ran irrigation all day, worked on weed whipping and did oodles of hand watering as well.  Cindy also had watering duties, yard watering and worked on further planting and weeding in the "Pollinator's Paradise" theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden.  Pat worked on significant weeding in two locations and did some fertilization as well.  Big John set up sprinklers, watered containers, had pruning work and bounced between multiple projects.  I continue to catch up on indoor projects after being back from vacation last week.  More photos, taken today in the gardens, can be seen below.

'Cherokee Sunset' gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) - annual
'Banana Boat' broad-leaved sedge (Carex siderosticha) - perennial
'Leilani' hybrid coneflower (Echinacea hybrida) - perennial
'Golden Torch' cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) - perennial (lime/gold foliage)
'Thailand Giant' elephant ear (Colocasia gigantea) is filling in nicely - here in a copper cheese vat 
this photo was taken from the back porch and shows off the formal gardens nicely

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