Another Frantic Friday



The day started out with some drizzle and it looked like a pretty good chance of rain.  The drizzle ended and we had lots of sun and wind which necessitated some intense watering efforts.  Some rain arrived late in the afternoon which was most welcome.  While we’re not really “dry”, we have lots of containers and collections that tend to get thirsty on a day like today.  Nice shot above in the English cottage garden today with lavender (Lavandula), zinnias and ‘Solar Cascade’ goldenrod (Solidago shortii) arching over in the back!  The gardens continue to look excellent and we saw quite a few visitors today.  A big project today had Bobby K., with help from Dick P. and Steve J., putting up a new power panel which necessitated having all the power shut off to the Rath Center and most of the gardens.  The timeline was tight as we needed everything back on by the end of the day…..however, mission accomplished!


While we didn’t have a huge staff or a large number of volunteers today, we were very efficient in our tasks in getting prepared for the weekend.  Larry H. did some tidying and spent most of his time putting up more LED lights in the Japanese garden (see photo further below) for the Holiday Light Show (HLS).  Cindy was a whirlwind of watering and tidying.  Janice helped process the last of the Fall Plant Sale, tidied, watered, did the cutting display and had myriad other tasks.  I went out to place plant signs and ended up getting a nice batch of weeds.  I also helped get our water features up and squared away after our power was restored out in the gardens.


‘Hot Biscuits’ amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus) with ‘Prince’ elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) – both annuals


‘Black & Blue’ Brazilian sage (Salvia guaranitica) – annual


‘Firecracker’ variegated fuchsia (Fuchsia triphylla) – annual


‘Brass Lantern’ foamy bells (xHeucherella) – perennial


Easy Elegance® Pinktopia rose (Rosa ‘BAImas’) – woody shrub


Above is Bobby K. (left) and Dick P. mulling over the new power panel.  This donor sponsored upgrade will be extremely valuable in upgrading our power access and availability throughout the gardens and while the old panel did its duty, it was over 20 years old.  These guys, along with Steve J., did a nice job coordinating this project and the little green tent to the left (photo above) became invaluable around 2:30 pm when the rain came pounding down!  We had great volunteer help today.  Kathy and Eva priced some back ordered bulbs that are now for sale at the Parker Education Center along with our $7 mums (get them while they last!).  The ladies then moved on to some garden tidying.  Cheryl D. did an excellent job tidying in the woodland walk and near the gazebo garden.  “Firefighter Kathy” watered the entire yard which was very much appreciated. Larry O. helped with hauling mums and watering and Bill O. did his mowing rounds.  Marv B. was in to tidy up his moss gardens which are quite green and lush with all the recent precipitation.  Dr. Gredler was in and Maury ran some timely errands for us.  Kristin and Karen were in the Japanese garden for some tidying and we also saw Big John and many others.  Steve S. from Purple Cow Organics stopped by and we had a great chat about soils!


Eva (left) and Kathy


Marv. B. marooned on a mossy island


Larry H. has the dexterity and energy of a caffeinated squirrel and is doing a great job getting up LED lights for the Holiday Light Show (HLS) – that’s a katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) in case you were wondering


Dick P. (looking casual to the left) and Steve J. (above)


‘Blazin’ Lime’ bloodleaf (Iresine hybrida) poking through a Himalayan birch (Betula utilis var. jacquemontii) – not a staged shot!


‘Pink Frost’ angel trumpet (Brugmansia sp.) has gotten huge in this container (English cottage garden) – tropical (fragrant!)


our Abyssinian bananas (Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’) have gotten huge (12’+) with all of the rain!


Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) – perennial


Little Ruby™ copperleaf (Alternanthera dentata ‘LRU30’)


Prairie Winds® ‘Cheyenne Sky’ switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) – perennial