72 Degrees F!?


Above is ‘Hot Lava’ hybrid coneflower (Echinacea hybrida) looking nice and bright on a cloudy and cool day.  We had about 30 minutes of drizzle (1/10″ of rain) this morning that was a surprise but the cool temperature created the perfect “working weather” and we saw lots of visitors enjoying a cooler day in the garden as well.  We’re poised and ready for our Home Garden Tour (see sign below) tomorrow (July 16th) which features eight wonderful home gardens in the Janesville area.  The sign shows our generous and supportive event sponsors.  The tickets are $10 in advance (today) and $12 on the day of the event.  The ticket booklet includes a map, garden descriptions and additional sponsors of the event.  The booklet is also a pass to RBG for that day only.  Tickets are on sale at K&W Greenery and Rotary Botanical Gardens although all eight home gardens will sell tickets that day as well.  This is a rain or shine event and children 12 and under are free.


The grounds staff had a busy day which still included watering despite the cool temperatures and slight spritz of precipitation.  Nolan and Trevor did the push mowing and moved on to more watering in many locations.  Janice did the cutting display and spent lots of time in the Heirloom Garden as well.   Cindy weeded, planted and watered in multiple locations then shifted to the Hummingbird Haven which I think is our most colorful display ever in the gardens.  Keep August 25th (6:30 pm) open on your calendar as we’re going to have a great program at the gardens on hummingbirds (details to be announced soon!).   Bobby K. was in to do some odd jobs including the construction of a new tool rack.  Terry juggled sprinklers in many locations,  container watering, shearing, blower rounds, etc.  I was able to get out in the gardens for a bit but have no shortage of time sensitive desk items either!  It was a great day in preparation for a great weekend.



rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) in the foreground with Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) in the rear – both perennials


yellow-flowered garlic (Allium flavum) – perennial


our pink-themed wall (anchored by pink flamingos) is filling in nicely


Quick Fire® panicled hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bulk’) – woody shrub


woolly sage (Salvia argentea) – biennial (we use it as an annual)


‘Pink Passion’ Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) – annual


Incrediball® smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Abetwo’) – woody shrub


giant coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima) – perennial



We had an excellent day of gardening outside and our garden volunteers were again very helpful.  Above is Eva, who along with Kathy (below…looking guilty of something), did some planting in the gazebo garden and weeding near the Giant Aquarium (come check it out!).  Cheryl D. (second photo down) worked her weeding kung fu in that same area and tidied up the plants in the Giant Aquarium (see photo two above).  I heard yesterday that many visitors thought all the plants were plastic in there!  There are over 60 live plants along the “sea floor” in that special garden space and they are filling in nicely.  Joanne (fifth photo down and featured image above) was back from NC to visit and she jumped right in to weeding in the tropical berms near the aquarium.  Kay (third photo down) did a nice job tidying up her portion of the shade garden which continues to look pristine!  Bill O. was in to mow and Larry O. watered the yard and did some garden work.  Steve stopped by and Chuck did the recycling.  Marv worked in the two moss gardens and Jenny and Dave touched up the Hosta Hollow for the weekend.  Lisa I. (fourth photo down) led a group of folks from the WI Daylily Society to view our daylily (Hemerocallis) collection this morning on their way down to Peoria, IL for a conference.


Kathy P.


Cheryl D.


Kay J.


Lisa I.




above is a nice vignette in the reception garden with plenty of blue, white and silver


we just added 13 informative signs (including the one above) to the Heirloom Garden


compass plant (Silphium laciniatum) is at peak in the prairie – perennial


blue vervain (Verbena hastata) is at peak in our prairie garden – perennial


‘Xanthos’ cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) – annual


lemon bergamot (Monarda citriodora) is beautiful and will attract many pollinators


the Hummingbird Haven theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children’s Garden is looking excellent and close to peak color!


a wasp nest was reported on this statue and ended up being in a sensitive location!