All Fired Up!

It was another nice day outside and despite the periodic threat of rain and the occasional rain drop, the weather stayed pretty clear and we had a productive day.  The Janesville Fire Department had a busy day as well and were situated next to the Horticulture Center all day burning down an old house adjacent to RBG property.  The fire department used it as training for some new firefighters and had quite a set up with lots of firefighters and interested passersby checking out the action.  After lunch, they burnt the house and old garage down to the ground.  The garden had a haze over it most of the day but it looked like a great training operation and we chatted with the firefighters throughout the day (one of whom is also a grounds volunteer!).  Out in the gardens though, there is still plenty of color like that of the ‘Grefsheim’ spirea (Spiraea x cinerea) seen above.  I had no shortage of subjects to photograph today.

Our grounds staff today included Larry O., Larry H., Bobby K. and myself.  Larry O. worked on getting our mowers ready for action and helped with a wide range of other projects.  Larry H. was the “Compost King” again and composted a multitude of additional areas today.  Bobby K. drained, cleaned, filled and prepped our water feature in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children’s Garden.  He had some other tasks as well and is trying to clean up our “everflowing urn” which needs the attention.  I was able to check on some projects, had meetings and am continuing to finish the last of our orders as well as final details for our Spring Plant Sale which is coming up soon on Mother’s Day weekend (see our website!).

new leaves on ‘Pearl Frost’ orixa (Orixa japonica) – woody shrub (variegation fades to white)

early blooms of ‘Jack Frost’ false forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophylla) – perennial

white grape hyacinths (Muscari botryoides ‘Album’) – perennial

flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) – woody shrub

‘Pinot Gris’ coral bells (Heuchera) – perennial

daffodils (Narcissus) are at peak – unknown variety

Despite the re-routing of our carts from the Horticulture Center to avoid the fire department (and fire!) activities, we had a very productive day.  Everyone parked over in the adjacent field as the Horticulture Center parking lot was effectively off limits.  Above is Dennis (right) and Marv B.  Dennis is rebuilding our stacked field stone wall along the North path which will be no small feat.  Marv checked over his moss garden areas and also has a good idea for placing stone which I’m sure he was sharing with Dennis.  Kathy P. and Eva had a full morning of targeting our earliest weeds in the entrance garden while Gena, Myrt, Sue, Nancy and Patty all did a nice job tidying around the observation pier.  Hal and Doris tidied up their area yesterday and Hal stopped by today for a meeting. Terri and Sandi were also in as a duo and did a nice job weeding around the gazebo garden. Stan and Kristen were in to tend to the Japanese garden and Jim had 4-5 RECAPPERS to help him in that same garden space.  Marsha M. was over near the house all day taking photos of the action.  Alan was at the Horticulture Center getting items ready for painting and staining and did quite a bit of those two tasks as well.  I gave an orientation to new garden volunteer, Cathy, this morning and we think she’ll be a great fit.  Dr. Gredler continued his painting efforts in the Giant Aquarium and Bill O. helped with myriad projects including mowing around the Horticulture Center.  We also saw Mark S., Becky, Maury, Polly, Gary, Lynn Y., Dr. Yahr and many others today.

Bobby K. (above) rigged up a nice way to drain off this pool in a timely fashion

Eva (left) and Kathy P.

Dr. Gredler

Patty, Gena and Sue M.(above)

Nancy (left) and Myrt sizing up some work

Marsha M. (above with her official firefighter hat) did a great job photographing the efforts of our excellent Janesville Fire Department

Alan M. (above) staining our rolling benches

Claim Jumper™ katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘HSI1’) – woody tree

pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) – perennial

grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) – perennial

‘Green Star’ tulip (Tulipa)

‘Cool Crystal’ tulip (Tulipa)

‘Albert Heijn’ tulip (Tulipa)

‘Cash’ tulip (Tulipa)

corn-leaf iris (Iris bucharica) – perennial

daffodils (Narcissus) galore! – unknown variety

‘Gold Heart’ bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) – perennial


‘King’s Ransom’ false forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophyllla) – perennial

the light haze of smoke of the garden didn’t ruin this nice shot of the arched bridge with this redbud (Cercis canadensis) in the foreground just starting to flower!