I took the photo above yesterday and it was neat to see these seven kids climb right up in to this giant Adirondack chair! The kids were at the gardens as part of our Youth Education Program which has some wonderful volunteers helping with this program. Well, today was on and off rain and I can't recall seeing such dramatic changes from sunshine to pounding rain. I put on and took off my raincoat a half dozen times and the volunteers and staff out in the gardens all became sponges as we dodged rain drops. We'll take the rain but it made for some challenges with weeding and other duties as the ground has stayed wet for most of the last week. I don't mind not running irrigation but I'm hoping the rains will halt tomorrow morning for our third (of five) Volunteer Planting Work Days (8 am until 12 noon, meet at the Parker Education Center). Come on down!
'New Moon' globeflower (Trollius x cultorum) - perennial
'E.A. Bowles' variegated mockorange (Philadelphus coronarius) - fragrant!
'Red Coral' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual
Our volunteers were again very helpful today and also adjusted to the changing weather conditions. After Eva and Kathy (above, Kathy to the right) finished their morning chat, they headed out for more work in the gazebo garden where they are removing dormant bulb foliage and weeds. They are a great duo (when they aren't chatting at great length). Marv (below) continued his excellent primping in the moss garden areas. He also did some graveling work for us to smooth out our bumpy gravel driveway. Kay (second photo down) continued her battle with purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and will likely win next week. She is diligent for sure as that darn purslane has been a challenge for the last decade. Bob K. (third photo down) helped retrieve debris from the pond (hence his unorthodox outfit), cut down a huge shrub and helped John later in the day. He was a huge help throughout the day. Our Horticulture Center planting team can be seen in the fourth photo down. From left to right are Bob D., Corky F., Bev D. and Joan F. They are a great set of hard-working couples and are neighbors as well! They dodged raindrops too and planted the Horticulture Center sign area and helped shift plants around the yard. Bill O. was out mowing in the rain and we also saw Dr. Yahr, Urban, Vern, Bob T. and many others today.
The soggy grounds staff had a busy day. Janice worked on our plant collections at the Horticulture Center, did the cutting display, matched labels and bounced between myriad projects. Cindy was a weeding whirlwind in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden and helped with some yard tasks and lifting some pansies out of containers (for replanting with summer annuals). Big John and Terry push mowed, placed obelisks and spent a good portion of the day installing our "Nature Nooks" which collectively comprise 2015 Garden Art Project (25 art pieces). Terry went on a run for plants when the rain intensified and John continued out in the gardens with help from Bob K. I ran out about 6,000 plants for planting tomorrow (I hope!). It was nice to get away from the desk and start addressing our planting priorities in earnest. Above is the 'Brass Lantern' foamy bells (xHeucherella) which has beautiful foliage from May until the snow flies. Below are some additional shots from the gardens this morning.
'Sea Heart' false forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophylla) - perennial
'Gold Anemone' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual
'Lime Shrimp' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual
below is our own "Devil's Tower" made of compost!