It appears that we'll have rain later tonight and were rewarded with another partly sunny day! The Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) above were very happy with the day and responded accordingly by starting to open up beautifully. We had an excellent day out in the gardens and also saw quite a few visitors as well. April isn't a bad month to enjoy early color which also is starting up in front of the Parker Education Center with our first 10 of 100 varieties of tulips (Tulipa) showing color. Each variety has 25 bulbs for a nice "bouquet effect." Further below are some exciting shots of some of these neat varieties. The warm weather will push all of these varieties to bloom sooner so I wouldn't mind some days around 60 degrees F to slow things down for our traditional Mother's Day timing! Don't forget to look at our website regarding the Earth Day activities this Saturday as well as details on the Compost & Pansy Sale!
daffodils (Narcissus) peaking (and peeking) around a 'Royal Star' magnolia (Magnolia stellata)
'Mt. Hood' grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum)
'Sunningdale Variegated' masterwort (Astrantia major) - perennial
Ron P. (seen above) is evidence that preparations for the 2016 Holiday Light Show (HLS) are under way already. While we've packed away the show from last year, Ron continues to repair/prepare lights for our late summer/early fall installation! No rest for the weary. Speaking of events...the guys below (Lloyd, Bob C., Alan and Gary B.) did a nice job getting tents up for the upcoming Golden Kiwanis Tree Sale (April 29 and 30, 8 am - 4 pm) and Spring Plant Sale (see our website for details). Kathy, Eva and Cheryl did a great job weeding in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden today. This garden will feature a Hummingbird Haven theme this year and Cindy B. will keep it looking sharp I'm sure. The weeds gained a foothold early this year but are now losing the battle thankfully! Peg L. was out doing some serious sweeping. Maury worked on the fountain in the English cottage garden among other duties. Dr. Gredler was out for mowing and aerating of turf. Dave T. and Ron Y. had some carpentry projects and organized their space nicely. Gene was in for sanding and re-staining. Shirley B. came in later for some repotting duties. We also saw Bill O., Bev D., Gary S., Rollie M., Chuck S. and many others today.
We're a bit lighter on grounds staff on Thursdays but Larry H. and Big John accomplished a huge amount of work. Larry spread more mulch, edged, re-potted plants and had myriad other tasks. John did some rototilling, unpackaged and organized our half dozen deliveries today, watered and also had many odd jobs as well. A nice tool donation arrived today which will go in to immediate use! I was able to get out in the gardens for a bit and ultimately am finalizing spring orders and details for looming events.
Cheryl, Kathy and Eva (left to right) in a weeding hot spot
Mark S. getting the terrace umbrellas up and ready (and/or looking for old chewing gum that still has flavor...)
Maury F. trying to gain forced entry in to the building (busted!)
Ron Y. (left) and Dave sorting hardware
Shirley B. and Larry H. potting up plugs
'Toronto' tulip (Tulipa)
'Candy Apple Delight' tulip (Tulipa)
'Sweetheart' tulip (Tulipa)
'Algarve' tulip (Tulipa)
'Orange Princess' tulip (Tulipa) - just opening
'Mystic Van Eijk' tulip (Tulipa)
our newly re-organized label storage system (courtesy of Pat C.)