Not Quite “Rained Out”!

The weather fluctuated from sunshine to heavy rain at times (and everything in between) today!  We made the best of it as we did have a cool and damp weekend and have no shortage of tasks out in the gardens.  Our “April showers” have transitioned to May showers as well.  We’ll take the moisture but with much of the gardens saturated, our tasks were fairly specific today and we had a great turnout of volunteers.  Nice shot above of ‘Mondial’ tulip (Tulipa) from the entrance garden that is blooming alongside many other varieties at early peak this year.  The bloom time in the gardens this spring seems to be about two weeks ahead of normal schedule (whatever “normal” is nowadays!).

Our grounds staff had a busy day and everyone got wet to a certain degree with the many on and off showers throughout the day.  John installed three new memorial benches and did a nice job getting them set in to place.  He had to level each site and create bench pads for these newly constructed memorial benches. Bobby K. led the charge with installing the Garden Art Project entries out in the gardens.  I believe we have about 24 or so of the 28 up and ready to go although their signage will catch up with them soon.  Bob had some other projects as well.  Larry H. worked primarily on mulching and continues to cover a lot of “real estate” with both mulch and compost.  Cindy tidied, weeded and is deadheading spent tulips (Tulipa) in the entrance garden almost daily.  Larry O. focused on getting the sunken garden pool and fountain cleaned up and functional.  I was outside more than usual and helped where I could.  Next week will be busy with Spring Plant Sale preparations (see our website for details!).

‘Christmas Orange’ tulip (Tulipa)

‘National Velvet’ tulip (Tulipa)

‘Gavota’ tulip (Tulipa)

‘Stunning Apricot’ tulip (Tulipa)

the majority of our Garden Art Project “fish” were installed out in the gardens today

we love seeing families of all different sorts at the gardens

Our volunteers had a a busy day.  Above are Lloyd (left) and Ron R. mulching our perennial trials at the Horticulture Center.  Bob C. was out tidying and helped Bobby K. install some of the Garden Art Projects.  Marv, Steve, Jim, Vern, Dave and Ron Y. were all in action with carpentry projects with a strong focus on finishing obelisks for our Spring Plant Sale on Mother’s Day weekend.  Alan and Bob K. worked on some edging along our front fence line and Alan continued with some painting when the weather turned sour.  Dennis and Garrett (new volunteer) did a nice job continuing to rebuild our rock wall along the North path.  Dr. Gredler was out mowing.  Kathy P. and Eva did a nice job weeding along some prime real estate along Palmer Drive (our frontage road).  Gary worked on labels for the Garden Art Projects and we also saw Becky, Mark S., Del, Rollie, Hal, Elaine S., Terry and many others.

Ron Y., Vern and Dave T. (left to right)

Garrett (left) and Dennis

Edward Lyon (above) stopped by today.  Ed was formerly Executive Director at RBG and is now Director at Reiman Gardens (Iowa State University)

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

‘Goshiki’ variegated zelkova (Zelkova serrata) – woody tree

‘Princeton Gold’ Norway maple (Acer platanoides) – woody tree

‘Valerie Finnis’ grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) – perennials

‘Elizabeth’ magnolia (Magnolia hybrida) – woody tree

Carolina silverbell (Halesia tetraptera) – woody tree

spring “tinting” on the foliage of barrenwort (Epimedium x rubrum) – perennial

‘Red Fox’ katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Rotfuchs’) – woody tree

the fern & moss garden (above) continues to look lush, particularly after all the rain!