An Explosion of Growth!

Today was a repeat from yesterday with perfect weather and sunny skies.  The morning had a chilly start but it warmed up nicely to 72 degrees F.  I was at the gardens on Saturday morning and with all the rain we’ve had recently and a warm weekend, plants are budding out, flowering and in general, exploding around the gardens.  The difference that a couple of warm days in April makes out in the garden is amazing.  I love this time of year and the transformation daily is noticeable.  We continue to focus on our spring tidying efforts and plenty of composting and mulching in select areas.  John R., Larry H., Larry O., Bobby K. and I were all on staff with plenty of tasks to accomplish.  Our volunteer turnout was stellar today with a very productive morning ensuing quickly.  Nice shot directly above of ‘Gold Heart’ bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) just starting to bloom…

Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) – perennial

Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) – perennial

Spring Wonder™ Sargent cherry (Prunus sargentii ‘Hokkaido Normandale’) – woody tree

new needle growth on weeping European larch (Larix decidua) – deciduous conifer

saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana) – woody tree

PJM rhododendron (Rhododendron sp.) – woody shrub

Our volunteer efforts out in the gardens today were remarkable.  Above is a new volunteer Debbie (left) with Barb S.  Barb and Debbie worked with Kathy P. and Eva on composting in a couple of different areas including in front of the Parker Education Center. Ron R. worked on sweeping up and tidying multiple garden spaces while Bob C. and Lloyd worked on mulching near the French formal garden.  Dennis J. is starting to repair our boulder wall along the north path which really needs his skill and attention.  Dick H. and Steve J. helped Bobby K. get our ‘Dancing Waters’ fountain out of storage, cleaned up and out in place in the pond.  The guys all had other projects as well.  Ron P. was in for more repairs on our Holiday Light Show (HLS) “problem strands” and he likely has enough work for the entire summer!  Marv B., Jim and Vern continued work on carpentry projects and Bill O. came in later for a host of additional projects.  Bob K. helped Larry shift plants out to the greenhouses and worked on clearing brush.  Gary had some work with plant records and we also saw Rollie, Mark S., Maryam and many others today.  At the time of my typing, I know our new volunteers Dylan and Flannery will be finishing mulching in their new assigned garden near the gazebo this evening. We’ve had five new gardening volunteers start at the gardens recently and we’re excited to have their energy and enthusiasm.

Dennis (forward) and Larry O.

Dr. Gredler (above) is in full mowing mode now!

Larry “The Composter”


Bob C.

Dick H., Steve J. and Bobby K. (left to right)

Maury painting the Lady Fountain pool this morning

Kathy P. (left) and Eva

Ron R.

variegated sweet iris (Iris pallida ‘Albo Variegata’) – perennial

garden hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis, unknown variety)

‘Silver Parrot’ tulip (Tulipa)

‘Candy Prince’ tulip (Tulipa)

Prairie Gem® Ussurian pear (Pyrus ussuriensis `Mordak’) – woody tree

wind anemone (Anemone blanda ‘Blue Shades’) – perennial

creeping phlox (Phlox subulata, unknown variety) – perennial

wind anemone (Anemone blanda ‘White Splendor’) – perennial

lots of our garden art fish are coming back to the gardens from artists….we literally have a school of fish!