I haven’t blogged in a bit as I’ve been swamped with keeping up with the progress of our spring planting. The 63.5% estimate (regarding percentage of spring planting complete) is quite arbitrary but we are moving quickly to install our annuals and perennials over the coming weeks and have been going non-stop since mid-May. The photo above shows five tough souls planting in the rain tonight out in the Wellness Garden let by Tina B. Our volunteers continue to be exceptional and we’ve had some great assistance with planting from not only our veteran volunteers but additional help from the Bower City Garden Club members, Mercyhealth employees and many others. We continue to see more visitors daily and the gardens have already hosted some early outdoor weddings. The weeds are catching up to us as we juggle planting and other duties but we’re doing our best to make our 30th Anniversary year the best it can be in terms of colorful, engaging and educational displays.

ornamental onion (Allium azureum) – perennial (above) – spreads!
valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – perennial (fragrant but spreads!)
‘Walker’s Low’ catmint (Nepeta faasenii) – perennial (above)
‘Brownie Points’ false indigo (Baptisia hybrida) – perennial (above)
golden Southern catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides ‘Aurea’) – woody tree (above)
‘Forever Pink’ phlox (Phlox hybrida) – perennial (above)
golden wafer ash (Ptelea trifoliata ‘Aurea’) – woody tree (above)
‘Fireball’ French marigold (Tagetes patula) – annual (above)
goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) above with some morning light – perennial (above)
The photo above and two below feature some new volunteers helping plant the raised beds in the Wellness Garden
Bev F. (above) was instrumental in laying out our raised bed “sensory scheme” in the Wellness Garden (which Bev will use to engage participants at our Horticultural Therapy Symposium on August 6th)

While I haven’t been blogging as frequently as usual due to spring exhaustion issues, the wonderful color out in the gardens hasn’t taken any time off! We’ve seen lots of visitors this week and the garden continues to progress in terms of planting, tidying and the progression of late spring color as we head towards summer. Our volunteers continue to be exceptional and the addition of our three new grounds staff members (Brian, Chuck and Sean) has helped immensely as well. We continue to improve the gardens daily and feel our 30th Anniversary year may be one of our best in terms of color and impact.

Tina B. (above) cranking in some plants yesterday
Siberian iris (Iris sibirica) – unknown variety – perennial (above)
white meadowrue (Thalictrum aquilegifolium ‘Alba’) – perennial (above)
‘Bee Bold’ beggarticks (Bidens sp.) – annual (above)
Decadence® ‘Cherries Jubilee’ false indigo (Baptisia hybrida) – perennial (above)
one of our many peonies (Paeonia sp.) in bloom – this is an interspecific hybrid (perennial)
goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus)- is starting to bloom! – perennial (above)
‘Globemaster’ ornamental onion (Allium) – perennial (above0
Barb, Marleen and Sandi (left to right) have been awesome in preparing the 2019 StoryWalk program (note the photo bomb by Bobby K. and Laura P. in the back!
Flannery and Dylan (above) last night during one of their planting escapades

This morning was darn right chilly at about 45 degrees F. That reminds me more of May than June but the day did warm up after some late morning rain. We had a very productive day both inside and outside. Our grounds crew of Big John, Terry, Cindy, Sean, Larry and I all had lots of different duties and shifted inside easily for some indoor projects during the hour or so of rainfall (not unwelcome). Our volunteers today included Kathy, Eva, Tim, Stan, Kristin, Kath, Marleen, Barb, Terri, Sandi, Cora, Jane, Dr. Gredler, Bill, Urban, Rollie, Mary Kay, Janice, Art and many others. It was another busy and productive day with LOTS of kids out in the gardens enjoying tours and programs by our wonderful education volunteers.

‘Roseomarginata’ European beech (tricolor beech) – (Fagus sylvatica) – woody (above)
‘E.A. Bowles’ mockorange (Philadelphus coronarius) – woody (above) – fragrant!!!
‘Taylor’s Sunburst’ lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) – woody (above)
‘Mount Everest’ ornamental onion (Allium sp.) – perennial (above)
‘Blue Ice’ hybrid bluestar (Amsonia hybrida) – perennial (above)
‘Twilite’ false indigo (Baptisia x variicolor) – perennial (above)
Decadence® ‘Lemon Meringue’ false indigo (Baptisia hybrida) – perennial (above)
‘Starlite’ false indigo (Baptisia x bicolor) – perennial (above)
‘Princeton Gold’ Norway maple (Acer platanoides) – woody (above)
‘Sun King’ golden Japanese spikenard (Aralia cordata) – perennial (above)
golden Alexander (Zizia aurea) – perennial (above)
‘Spring Ghost’ Colorado spruce (Picea pungens) – woody (above)
‘Rick’s White Tip’ Colorado spruce (Picea pungens) – woody (above)
‘Ivory Queen’ Turkestan onion (Allium karataviense) – perennial (above)
variegated horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) – woody (above)
Black Lace® elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’) – woody (above)
‘Rikugi Sakura’ Siberian iris (Iris sibirica) – perennial (above)
‘Shaker’s Prayer’ Siberian iris (Iris sibirica) – perennial (above)
wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) – perennial (above)

The rain held off today with the exception of a couple of light sprinkles here and there. The day was extremely productive with our grounds staff and volunteers “firing on all cylinders”! Terry, Larry, Big John, Brian, Sean and Chuck all had busy days with a wide range of tasks including weeding, mulching, composting, edging, rototilling, lawn repair, plant inventories, plant pick-ups and much more! During the day, our volunteers of Kathy, Eva, Kay, Kath, Sandi, Terri, Barb, Dennis, Bill, Dave and many more accomplished a wide range of tasks. We also had 16! volunteers at our Wednesday evening volunteer work evening (see above) with great help from Tina and John. Thanks to the evening crew and their productivity. The gang planted in earnest and I was hard pressed to keep up! Great progress!

I ran a whole lot of plants out today (this was one of five loads I hauled out)
NightSky® petunia (Petunia) – above
red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) – woody tree (above)
ornamental onions (Allium sp.) are going strong!
purple gromwell (Buglossoides purpurocaerulea) – perennial (above) – SPREADS!
‘Sutherland Gold’ cutleaf elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) – woody shrub (above)
‘Toba’ hawthorn (Crataegus x mordenensis) – woody tree (above)
Leslie did a great job planting tonight
Sue C. did an awesome job planting tonight!

We had some light drizzle this morning which later transformed in to a significant and pounding deluge. We accomplished quite a few indoor tasks and the grounds crew (Cindy, Larry H., Brian and Bobby K.) all had projects to contend with during the inclement weather. We did duck outside for some gardening but Mother Nature prodded us inside with consistent rainfall. Our volunteers (Kathy, Eva, Urban, Bill, Dave K., Steve, Barb, Marlene, Mary, Jenny, Bill, Dave and others) had a busy day…primarily inside. The sun peaked out later in the afternoon but it was a damp day overall which may thwart some of our planting plans at the Volunteer Work Day tomorrow…although we’ll have gardening projects regardless. Planting in mud isn’t desirable or ideal! 🙁

shredded umbrella plant (Syneilesis aconitifolia) – perennial (above)
spring growth on ‘Ghost’ ferns (Athyrium hybrida) – perennial (above)
spring growth of ‘Autumn Moon’ fullmoon maple (Acer shirasawanum) – woody tree (above)
‘Moon Frost’ Canadian hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) – woody tree
unknown bearded iris (Iris germanica) – perennial (above)
‘Wallowa Mountains’ sandwort (Arenaria sp.) – perennial (above)
rock jasmine (Androsace sarmentosa ‘Chumbyi’) in the alpine garden – perennial (above)
trailing yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon ‘Variegatum’) – SPREADER! (but beautiful perennial)
moss island punctuated by Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum) – above
Siebold’s magnolia hybrid (Magnolia sieboldii – unknown parents – hybrid) – woody plant (above)
‘Cutting Edge’ stonecrop (Sedum ellacombianum) – perennial (above)
FrostKiss™ Penny’s Pink® hellebore (Helleborus x iburgensis ‘ABCRD01’) – perennial (above)
Sunjoy Gold Pillar® Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Maria’) – woody shrub (above)
sweet new “Grappler” attachment for our new CASE endloader…super handy! – Larry H. is the driver with Bill W. (our sales rep)