Happy Pre-Spring!

The snowdrops (Galanthus sp.) seen above are the first spring blooms we’ve noted thus far.  I saw them bud out last week and this photo is from this morning. This is the first of many patches that have emerged quickly with more to bloom daily during this “pre-spring” warm up.  While these are blooming about five weeks early, this is not the earliest I’ve seen this patch emerge.  Back in 2012, we had warm weather in January and this patch, historically the first to always bloom due to close proximity to warming rocks, was in full bloom by late January.  Warm weather this week will get lots of plants thinking it’s April which will be dangerous if they start too much active growth prior to the distinct possibility of multiple cold snaps yet this winter.  We’ll see!  The winter garden has beauty (even without snow!) and it was nice to see ornamental bark, grasses and some colorful conifers (below) as well.

We had a very productive day both inside and outside.  Larry H., Larry O. and Cindy continue to dismantle and take down the Holiday Light Show (HLS).  There is also a lot of tidying to accomplish as a result of the HLS and the weather is perfect this week for such activities.  Ron R. and Dick H. hauled back our temporary pine trees from the HLS among other duties.  Dennis J. started cutting back ornamental grasses and both Stan and Kristen started work in the Japanese garden.  Jim H. and a group of RECAPPERS helped with some pruning today.  Steve J. worked on a plumbing project while Bob K. has some projects of his own. Kathy P. helped with some indoor projects including processing lights.  Dr. Gredler was in for some painting while Marv B., Ron Y., Dave and Vern continued with carpentry projects.  Ron P. continues to make great progress repairing lights and we also saw Bill O., Gary S., Rollie M., Mark S. and Kelli C with a co-worker.

‘Wate’s Golden’ Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana)

‘Carsten’s Wintergold’ mugo pine (Pinus mugo)

All of these new foam critters will be ultimately featured in our Giant Aquarium garden this year which will also interpret a new story book.  Working with the Hedberg Public Library, the book Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae will help guide our planting themes to correspond with this excellent story.  The Giant Aquarium was a huge hit in 2016 and we anticipate a successful display this year with the story being represented both inside and outside the walk-in aquarium.  These images only represent a small fraction of some of the new wildlife and features that will be utilized this year.  These were designed and created by our Grumpy volunteers!