A Photographic Hodge Podge

I’m only at work briefly today as I hit the road early to do another program for UW-Extension (Trends in Herbaceous Plants).  Many of the photos in this blog are not mine (indicated) but are included to offer the promise of spring.  At the top (not my photo) is a snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) giving a kiss to a winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis).  Both of these bulbs are still poised under the ice at the gardens and we hope to see them in 4 weeks or less I hope!  Directly above is rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) in bloom which I rarely observe.  This was at the Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo a couple weeks ago in Madison at the Madison Herb Society booth.  While I haven’t shown many photos of our volunteers or staff over the winter months, do know that there is a lot going on “behind the scenes”!  We continue to take down the Holiday Light Show (HLS) although recent weather has made it the most challenging take down season ever!   The grounds staff of Larry H., John, Terry and Cindy are involved with this process with some help from volunteer Ron R.  The carpenters have plenty of projects with the most recent one being to build new trash bins (nice!) and we continue to work on myriad painting projects as well.  Most of my seed ordering is accomplished and we’ll be delivering seeds to our growers.  I still have three months of planning to fit in to March but that is not unusual.  The gardens have been relatively inaccessible for three weeks with the persistent ice but a thaw is inevitable.  We have another volunteer event (potluck and presentation) on March 28th this month.  Our March 16th Spring Symposium is FULL!  Lots going on for our 30th Anniversary year.

Hans Hansen, a famous plant breeder from Walters Gardens (Zeeland, MI), recently donated a whole bunch of mangaves to us to try this year.  While not hardy, these new hybrid succulents (Manfreda x Agave) are the hottest new trend in succulents and the breeding has been fast and furious by Hans.  We’ll try these in some area out in the gardens this year but they’ll have to be brought in for the winter.  Get online and read up on this interesting new intergeneric hybrid.  The history on how this plant has been created is quite amazing.

selections of veggies and herbs for our Spring Plant Sale (some above!) is almost finalized!

Above are just some of our seeds ready to go to our growers.  The colorful tags help us track them upon their return (i.e. orange = pollinator garden, yellow = Plants of the World Collection, etc.)

the coleus selections above are being grown by UW-Madison Horticulture students – a new partnership this year!

Barb C. (above) has been working on something “fishy” for many weeks that is related to our 2019 StoryWalk Program – more information to follow soon!

NONE of these crocus shots are mine!  John Grimshaw of the Yorkshire Arboretum (UK) posted these on Facebook and they were so cheery, I had to share them so we can all get a pre-spring “color fix”!