Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Sun Returns

Today was a perfect day with sunshine and temperatures under 80 degrees F.  It was perfect working weather and we had a great turnout of volunteers that were thwarted earlier in the week with the rain and even some that came in early to avoid later rains this week.  It could be damp for the next four to five days so we're all enjoying the sunshine including the 'Zanzibariensis' castor bean (Ricinus communis) above which is one component in our Jungle Garden (see below).  The darker leaf castor bean below is 'Carmencita Red'.  It's important to note that these are poisonous plants but so beautiful in this tropical setting.  We saw lots of visitors today and again, it was one of the busiest days for volunteers that I've seen in weeks!  We continue to tidy the gardens after the storms but are primping to keep the displays going for the coming five weeks or more!
one of our many repurposed windows accenting the Jungle Garden theme
some of our trial plants above (hybrid impatiens)
'Red Eyed Gecko' elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) - tropical

Shirley (above) was one of many assigned gardeners touching up their areas today.  Shirley worked in some of the arboretum berms which feature many of our trial plants.  Below is Bev W., another assigned gardener, primping her corner of the sunken garden which looks fabulous.  Marv and Marianne were in to tidy their moss areas and both Don and Pearl C. came in to address their border with tidying tasks.  Kay continued leaf collection and tidying in the shade garden and Jenny E. was in to touch up the two areas that she and Dave tend regularly.  Dr. Gredler had a full day of mowing catching up with fast growth.  The second photo down shows Magda (left) and Marleen in their mixed border which continues to look superb.  The third and fourth photos down feature Eva, Patrea and Kathy.  These ladies finished removing our impatiens that were recently affected (or infected) by downy mildew.  We do have some areas looking rougher than others but this trio then shifted to more clean-up issues elsewhere.  Mary and Myrt did a nice job with addressing weeds and leaves in multiple areas.  Bob C. was in for a full morning of leaf clean up and Dr. Yahr helped out as well.  Ron W. assisted with some mulching and raking and we saw many other volunteers today.  Janice worked with the Chesnut House volunteers on leaf raking duties in multiple areas.  I had morning meetings so apologize for any I missed!  A great crew all around of course!

The grounds staff kept very busy today.  We found out that some of our plant sale mums would be arriving today (and they did!) so Terry and Big John did their best to level and prepare the large area that will receive the incoming deliveries.  Terry and John had other tasks including securing benches, spot mowing, replacing a damaged container (heavy), mulching and myriad other duties.  Pat (half day) focused on finishing mowing, mulching, hauling debris and edging.  Cindy (half day) spent her time tidying the "Pollinator's Paradise" theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden.  This garden also features our All-America Selections (AAS) Display which is entered in to their annual Landscape Display Contest.  We're hoping for the three-peat victory this year and may not even have to offer bribes.  It's looking sharp.  Cheryl tidied in the azalea/rhododendron garden with some efforts in the fern & moss garden as well.  I was able to get through the gardens but had multiple meetings and am poised for the plant sale preparations which begin in earnest very shortly.  Above is the 'Strawberry Fields' globe amaranth (Gomphrena haageana) which I love for color and form.  Here it is seen in the Thomas Jefferson Collection (come see it!).  Further below are more photos from today.
neat container with Abyssinian banana (Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii'), 'Golden Dreams' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) and trailing copperleaf (Alternanthera reinickii)
'Ginger Love' perennial fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
'Puckered Up' elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) - tropical
plenty o' pods on the purple hyacinth bean (Dolichos lablab) - annual vine

1 comment:

L said...

I am a volunteer working on this year's Friends' School Plant Sale in St. Paul, MN. This sale has grown to be the largest annual plant sale in Minnesota; it raises a good deal of scholarship money for the school and has for over 20 years. We have a wonderful print catalog each year, but it can only accommodate photos of a small percentage of the plants we offer. Our goal is to have a picture of each plant offered on the website. I am a volunteer tasked with finding the pictures for new plants and I am have a difficult time finding good photos of a couple of plants: elephant ears 'Red Eyed Gecko' and coneflower 'Double Scoop Orangeberry'.

You have beautiful pictures of them on your blog. (this page and

Might we use them? Proper attribution would be given.

If we find others that we need, might we use them as well?

If you would like to know more about our plant sale, here is our website: or you can ask me!

Please contact me if you have any questions,

Laurie Krivitz