The photo above and the one directly below were from a tour that I gave for the Green County Master Gardeners last night at the gardens. In the center above (in black) is our departing Director of Administration and Development, Cheryl. Cheryl finished her last day yesterday and will be greatly missed by staff and volunteers. We wish her the best as she spends more time with family and with her countless other endeavors! The tour was wonderful and the lighting (like that in the fern & moss garden seen below) was perfect! We enjoyed our stroll immensely.
The day was cooler and overcast but we were able to accomplish a lot of work out in the gardens. The weeds continue to be a challenge and as we finish up our "Spring" planting, we'll shift to more weed control. Friday efforts out in the gardens revolve a lot around making sure the wedding gardens are in tip top shape. With four weddings this weekend, we had a busy day out there. The recent rainfalls have been quite timely and have been nice in that they have allowed us to focus on other gardening tasks besides watering! We had a nice showing of volunteers today as well! Above is the 'Royal Purple' smokebush (Cotinus coggygria) which is an eye catcher, particularly when placed against a lighter backdrop. Below are some other images from the garden.
common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is in full bloom and attracting a wide range of pollinators
'Young Lady' smokebush (Cotinus coggygria) - woody shrub
'Sun King' Japanese spikenard (Aralia cordata) - perennial
'Moonlight' Japanese hydrangea vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides) - woody vine (above and below)
Our volunteers kept busy today and continue to be such an important part of everything that happens at the gardens. Of course our garden volunteers are featured frequently in this blog but RBG volunteers also assist with tours, education, the gift shop, special events, etc. We're fortunate to have so many people willing to donate their valuable time for the gardens. Above is Marleen who did some nice planting in the beautiful flower bed that she and longtime friend Magda maintain. Below is Vicky on purslane (Portulaca oleracea) patrol in the reception garden with Shirley H. (second photo down). This is meticulous work but the ladies are methodical and patient! The third and fourth photos down feature Kathy and Eva (in red). The ladies spent their morning weeding in the front entrance garden berm which is seen by all of our traffic along Palmer Drive. The weeds had infiltrated pretty well in that space but the ladies took a big dent out of their population. Hal and Doris tidied up their garden space which is filling in nicely. Pat M. (fifth photo down) finished weeding the tree circles in the arboretum which really needed attention! Rollie and Bill O. did their mowing and Maury ran some errands for us. Dick H. ran to the dump and Karen M. was in the Japanese garden for some tidying duties. We also saw Kay, Elsa, Dave (helped with equipment repairs), Art and many others today. It was a busy day with much accomplished!
The grounds staff had a busy day although Big John had time to "take a dip" today in the koi pond as seen above. He and Terry placed more water plants which should help with water clarity The guys had a wide range of tasks in many different spaces. Cindy did some watering and had a strong focus in the Smelly Garden theme of the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden with more planting, weeding and primping. Janice worked in the Thomas Jefferson Collection (filling in nicely), did the cutting display, weeded and had some other tasks as well. Trevor worked primarily on weeding and mowing while I had some appointments and odds and ends (both inside and outside). Below are some additional photos from today.
'Raspberry Tart' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual
black hollyhock (Alcea rosea 'The Watchman') - biennial
puckered dogwood (Cornus sanguinea 'Compressa') - woody shrub
Incrediball hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens 'Abetwo') - woody shrub
a portion of the herb garden featuring sensory plants
the formal annual sections (above) are filling in nicely
the English cottage garden