Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Jungle Garden Thrives!

I've recently been lamenting the lack of rain and summer heat but both have been provided very recently and have helped spur more growth in the Jungle Garden.  The photo above and four below were taken this morning right before we had another rain shower; complete with thunder and lightning.  The Jungle Garden includes a wide range of tropical plants thickly planted on multiple berms.  The interior paths are accessed through old doors painted in bright colors.  Windows (see above) also punctuate the periphery of these thickets with the intent of connecting this garden with the storybook "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak.  This garden space, encompassing seven separate beds and 4,000 sq. ft. has been very successful and I'm happy to see another surge of growth with recent rains and late season heat.  We had to shift inside for a bit today but had a great crew of seven grounds workers and over a dozen productive volunteers.
The volunteers focused their efforts this morning prior to precipitation at 9:40 a.m. and resumed work after the lunch hour when the rain moved east and the sun came out.  Above is Dr. Gredler mowing in the gazebo garden.  Bill O. was in later in the morning to mow the arboretum and his other two areas.  Directly below is Ron K. who tidied and planted in the woodland walk garden which is his baby.  He was worried about the photo below showing him with another woman....  Kay (next photo down) spent two shifts (pre and post precipitation) tidying her portion of the shade garden which was buried in cottonwood (Populus deltoides) leaves.  She is always very thorough and no leaf will escape her attention this season.  Kathy and Eva (third and fourth photos down respectively) started work on removing and bagging impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) in a bed that has succumbed to impatiens downy mildew which we had thankfully avoided for the past couple of years.  This is devastating to impatiens and we're disposing of these plants after their quick demise.  Kathy and Eva also shifted to some inside work when the rain arrived.  Mary Kay was in to work on the lending library and both Maury and Gary S. ran errands for us this morning.  Ron R. came in to spread some mulch before the rain and we also saw Dr. Yahr and many others today.
The grounds staff kept busy today both inside and out.  Above is Big John push mowing. John also helped repair path washouts, ran for plant sale wagons with Terry and had myriad other tasks.  Pat (half day) also push mowed, edged and worked on various indoor projects as well.  Cindy had tidying duties in multiple areas and tested Holiday Lights Show lights inside during the rain.  Cheryl also had indoor duties and spent her outdoor time primarily with leaf collection (second photo down).  Terry (directly below) worked on path repairs, mowing and went on the "wagon run" with John.  I was able to tour the gardens but continue to try and keep up with accumulating desk work.  Further below are more photos from this morning.
'Tie Dye' Helen's flower (Helenium autumnale) - perennial
'Jack Frost' false forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophylla) with fruits of the Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) - both perennials
'Religious Radish' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual
'Jenny Lind' cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) in our collection

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