As I type, the sky is getting darker but I wont be duped until I see some moisture! We've been teased with the chance of rain over the past two weeks and have had only a minor amount this past Friday night. We had the irrigation and sprinklers going all day today and hand watering is on everyone's task list as well. Above is a nice shot of the formal annual sections finally filling in with a wide range of annuals. Our summer color is quite exceptional right now and we're seeing an inspiring increase in daily visitation. Today was another very productive day for both grounds staff and a wide range of volunteers. We also had a visit from Dr. Ken McPheeters, retired Professor of Horticulture, from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana). We had a great chat and we hope he enjoyed his visit. Below are some other images from today.
'Carmencita Red' castor bean (Ricinus communis) - annual (poisonous!)
nice container assortment in the English cottage garden
resurrection lilies (Lycoris squamigera) - perennial
'Dash Magician' sweet William (Dianthus x barbatus) - biennial
Shirley (above) did a nice job weeding in the Scottish garden which had a bumper crop of weeds over the last couple of weeks. Dr. Gredler (below) did his Monday mowing rounds in quick order. Our Grumpies kept busy this morning. Lloyd, Gene and Kevin (third photo down) did a nice job mulching around the peonies near Palmer Drive. Ron P. and Ron B. worked on path tidying and our carpenters (Ron Y., Dave, Vern and Jim) continued working on obelisks and other tasks. Gary S. worked on producing more labels and did some work in the holding yard too. Bob C., Gary B. and Ron R. watered in new trees as we're starting to get worried with the lack of rain over the past four weeks. Maury (sixth photo down) ran errands and worked on some roof issues at the Horticulture Center. Shirley and her granddaughter Alyssa (second photo down) did a nice job weeding their flower bed this morning. The fourth photo down shows new volunteer Taylor (left) with her sister Jenna who came to help today. The ladies worked with Eva (fifth photo down looking surprised) and Kathy on weeding duties in the Potter Daylily Collection near the arboretum. Don & Pearl Casanova tidied up their assigned garden as well. Jenny came in to do some tidying in the hosta hollow garden and we also saw Dr. Yahr, Urban, Del and many others today.
The grounds staff had mixed duties which included plenty of watering for everyone. Larry ran irrigation, set up sprinklers, push mowed and worked on lots of other projects. Cindy started with some focused watering and fertilizing and then moved on to more tidying and tending in the "Pollinator's Paradise" theme of the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden. Big John and Terry both had watering duties including moving sprinklers and fertilizing all of our containers. The guys also started the monumental task of shearing our large juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Fairview') hedges around the reception garden. I had multiple meetings but was able to get through the entire gardens which are looking great (albeit dry in some locations). Our Home Garden Tour Committee will meet tonight and discuss our 2014 event but also start planning for 2015 in earnest! Below are some other photos from this morning. Above is sea kale (Crambe maritima) which is a neat perennial that is also edible!
'Cherry Brandy' gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) - annual
'Thailand Giant' elephant ears (Colocasia gigantea) in the Jungle Garden
Little Lime panicled hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Jane') - medium shrub