Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Blog Shift

Hi All!

After 2081 posts over the past eight years (and close to 500,000 "hits" or "views")...the blog has shifted to a different format.  I'm not using BLOGGER any more but you'll find my blog on our new website at www.rotarybotanicalgardens.org where the blog will have more of a presence as well. Hope you keep up!


Friday, April 29, 2016

The Day in Madison

I was at work for a couple of hours this morning to make sure the Golden Kiwanis Tree Sale and our own Compost/Pansy/Daylily Division Sale got off to a good start.  Janice helped get things set-up and we appreciate the volunteer help of Joy, El, Barb and Peg for this event today. The Golden Kiwanis group ran their sale separately but helped load compost for us which was nice.  Maury, Jon J., Dick H. and many of the other members were around.  Cindy, Big John and Terry held down the fort today and had lots of gardening tasks in preparation for the weekend. Jim brought in four RECAPPERS that worked on a wide range of projects including helping haul back the remains of two large spruce trees that Dick H. has been slicing and dicing.  Many of the folks above thankfully took care of a large (unexpected) plant delivery for the Spring Plant Sale (including many of our herbs!).  Kathy, Eva and Kay were there to garden this morning and I'm sure there were many others around too!

I was on Wisconsin Public Radio today on the Larry Meiller Show which I've done maybe a dozen times over the years.  Larry is a super neat guy and the show is always a great outreach tool to attract future visitors and supporters.  I was able to promote our looming Spring Plant Sale and exciting collections this year as well.  We also handled lots of gardening questions from around the state with a huge focus on how to engage children out in the gardens.  I then headed over to Olbrich Botanical Garden and enjoyed a stroll with plenty of photography involved...I ran in to many of their grounds staff including Mark S., Christian H. and Philip.  I rarely get to visit this early in the season so was able to see some plants I haven't noted in the past....Nice to be back home but back to working the sale on Saturday!  Some highlights of my mini-adventure can be seen below...

cool tulips at peak around the Capitol grounds
 tough badgers guarding State Street
I visited the Botany Department Garden which is beautiful
 clove currant (Ribes odoratum) - very fragrant shrub!
 'Green Spice' coral bells (Heuchera) - perennial
Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Rose Garden above)

 neat use of dogwood branches as plant supports
 neat redbud (Cercis canadensis) in container (above)

 variegated lilac (Syringa vulgaris 'Aucubaefolia')
 'Spring Yellow' false forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophylla) - perennial
'Gravetye Giant' summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) patch
 lettuces (Lactuca) in the herb garden (yummy)
 woodland area looking great
 Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)
 bulb lawn with lots of checkered fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)
yellow fairy bells (Disporum flavens) - perennial

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cloudy and Cool

We finally received some nice rain which has been missing us over the past week or two.  It was quite chilly though but we had plenty of cozy indoor projects to start the day.  Marsha M. shared her photo above of a very pink Virginia bluebell (Mertensia virginica) we noticed yesterday on our tour.  Virginia bluebells will have pink buds that open to blue flowers that become more intensely blue over the course of two weeks or so.  I'm going to keep an eye on this one to see if it turns blue (I can see a smidge of blue on one of the flowers...)...this was quite fetching to the eye though!  The huge assortment of 100 varieties of tulips (Tulipa) in front of the Parker Education Center continues to look great and the color is being preserved by the cooler weather.  Some additional varieties can be seen below.

Larry and John had a wide range of activities, most of which involved indoor work earlier in the morning.  Larry was out mulching most of the afternoon though while John had a wide range of indoor tasks that have been waiting.  Bob K. was in to get the big fountain up and running and worked on another water feature as well.  Volunteers included Eva, Peg, Alan, Dr. Gredler, Dave, Vern, Ron Y., Dick H., Maury F., Gary S. and many others.  Many Golden Kiwanis members were on site too for off-loading of the trees for their Tree Sale this Friday and Saturday (8 am - 4 pm) - see further below.  We also saw Kris K., Dale S. and many others today as well.

 'Couleur Cardinal' tulip (Tulipa)
'Tropical Lady' tulip (Tulipa)
 'Banja Luka' tulip (Tulipa)
 'Innuendo' tulip (Tulipa)
 'Chopin' tulip (Tulipa)
 'Continental' tulip (Tulipa)
 'Alibi' tulip (Tulipa)
'La Bella Epoque' tulip (Tulipa)
'Virichic' tulip (Tulipa)
above and below are some of the trees that will be sold by the Golden Kiwanis Club this Friday and Saturday (8 am - 4 pm) for $2 each (10% off for 50 or more)

tomatoes (above) and peppers (below) have arrived to be sorted for our big Mother's Day Plant Sale next weekend (see our website for details)

Our Giant Aquarium project is partially inspired by the book above which will be part of the StoryWalk program this year in conjunction with the Hedberg Public Library.  The brain coral (donated) below will be one of the many elements of this fun space

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Beneficial Benevolence

On this cold and windy day, we had a warm feeling of appreciation after receiving a donation of the mower seen above (with our Bill O. sitting on it!).  This beautiful mower (delivered by CW Mowers) was generously donated by the Ariens company is a welcome addition to our fleet.  There were also representatives from Ben Meadows (sister company to Ariens) that brought some nice donations of tools and landscape products.  Above (from left to right) are Ann Stilp, Corporate Communications Manager for Ariens Specialty Brands, Brady Salter, Director of Sales and Customer Service for Ben Meadows, Gary Clark, Product Manager for Ben Meadows, Dave McGrath (CW Mowers) and Ginger King, President for Ariens Specialty Brands.  We had a wonderful dedication which included some of our Board Members, staff and other volunteers.  We then did a fun tour of the gardens.  We greatly appreciate the generosity of Ariens Specialty Brands and Ben Meadows.

We had a great day out in the gardens.  Volunteers included Kathy, Eva, Kay, Dick H., Dr. Gredler, Bill O., Maury, Gena, Myrt, Nancy and many others.  I had a full day so didn't get to connect with our volunteers very much but was happy with all the progress.  The grounds staff of Cindy, Big John, Terry and Larry had a wide range of projects today which included watering, tidying, mulching, composting, rototilling, etc.  It was nice to also see Jenny and Cheryl D. today.  More fun tulip photos can be seen below...

'Compactum' Koreanspice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) - woody shrub
'Aquilla' tulip (Tulipa)
'Mango Charm' tulip (Tulipa)
'Verona' tulip (Tulipa)
 'White Marvel' tulip (Tulipa)
'Miranda' tulip (Tulipa)
'Vaya Con Dios' tulip (Tulipa)
'Albert Heijn' tulip (Tulipa)
'Daydream' tulip (Tulipa)
'Orca' tulip (Tulipa)
'Prinses Irene' tulip (Tulipa)
'Royal Acres' tulip (Tulipa)
'Yuki Ghessho' variegated panicled hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) - woody shrub
trialing coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) ready to be transplanted