Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Autumn Is In The Air

Today was an absolutely perfect fall day with morning dew and temperatures right around 40 degrees F.  It warmed up nicely to 65 degrees F and was a sunny day with blue skies.  I could live in this weather year round for sure!  The gardens have avoided frost thus far although we're poised to start removing tropicals for storage once we start heading in to early October.  Wisconsin weather can be quite variable with our first hard frost coming between late September and early November (average around October 15th)....you never know!....  Above is a fortuitous combination of goldenrod (Solidago sp.) arching in to a 'Shockwave' variegated garden phlox (Phlox paniculata).  Below are some of the plants being installed for fall interest over these coming weeks.  These pansies (Viola) and kale (Brassica) are destined for the English cottage garden and will fill gaps created by annuals that are being removed.  We had a great crew today of both grounds staff and industrious volunteers!  Below are some additional images from today...

'Trudy' toadlily (Tricyrtis hirta) - perennial
 bottle gentian (Gentiana andrewsii) - perennial

Ron K. (above) was in for planting in the woodland work where he also continues to collect leaves and other debris from this large garden area.  Ron has added many plants in this garden space over the years and it looks better each year.  Directly below (left to right) are Kathy, Peg (started last week) and Eva tidying up our front garden bed which is looking a bit tired.  The game right now is maximizing and extending color but also purging annuals that are really looking spent and unsightly.  The ladies brought back many loads of debris.  Both Dr. Gredler and Bill O. were in for their mowing duties and Urban popped in for more pruning duties.  Kay (second photo down) did another dynamite job of tidying in the shade garden and is a master at extending interest as long as possible.  Maury ran errands and Shirley and her husband stopped by to drop of lights they've been testing and repairing for the upcoming Holiday Lights Show.  They left with another 12 crates of lights to work on at home too!  We also saw Mark S. and many others today.   Further below are additional plant photos from this morning.  Do see the bottom of this blog for information on our upcoming Fall Symposium entitled Wee, Wild & Woody!

 'Red Head' fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) - perennial
 "thousand-flower aster" (Boltonia sp.) - perennial
'Jaws' stonecrop (Sedum hybrida) - perennial

It was a great day to be outside and the grounds staff (Cindy, Cheryl, Big John, Janice and Larry) all had plenty of tasks.  Above is the beautiful and textural 'Aureola' golden Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra) which is a dynamite grass for part shade.  Cindy and Cheryl did a nice job primping various garden areas and both had watering duties as well.  We missed the rain yesterday and while things aren't drying out yet, we'll keep up with watering as needed.  Big John converted containers with new mums, push mowed, pruned birches (Betula sp.) and had myriad other tasks as well.  Janice had some gardening projects but focused most of her efforts today on packing away Fall Plant Sale signs, labels, etc. which is no small task.  Larry continued running irrigation, push mowed and even started bringing out Holiday Lights Show displays for testing.  I toured the gardens and had some post plant sale involvement as well.  I'm also keeping up with desk work, Holiday Lights Show preparations and preparations for looming presentations as well.

 'Gryphon' begonia (Begonia hybrida) - annual
'Oriole Orange' Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) - annual
See below....sorry if it ended up spread out after my "cut and paste" of the information which is also on our website at www.rotarybotanicalgardens.org.
Don’t miss Wee, Wild & Woody! 
RBG’s Fall Symposium on Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 9:00am-3:30pm.

As always, it’s a great opportunity for Master Gardener Volunteers to get some education hours and this time, we’re also offering a Master Gardener discount even if the attendee is not a Member of RBG.  Lunch is included in the registration fee.
Speakers & Presentations:

Ed Lyon, Director of Allen Centennial Gardens
Dwarf Conifers: Small in Size, Not in Stature

Neil Diboll, President of Prairie Nursery
Prairie Plants for Pollinators

Dave Wanninger, Horticulturist in Charge at Boerner Botanical Gardens
New and Exciting Woody Plants for the Upper Midwest Garden

$67         RBG Friends Members
$72         Active Master Gardeners (must list county/state)**
$78         General Public

**Active Master Gardeners who are also RBG Friends Members can get the lowest pricing.

Register online with a credit card at http://rotarybotanicalgardens.org/education/fall-symposium or by phone or mail at the contact information below.

Rotary Botanical Gardens
Attn: Kris Koch
1455 Palmer Drive
Janesville, WI 53545
608-752-3885 ext. 17

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