Colorful Entrance Garden

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With recent heat and rainfall, the entrance garden is filling in nicely with our All-America Selections (AAS) theme.  Above is a portion of the entrance garden in front of the Parker Education Center.  The AAS organization is having their Summer Summit up in Madison, WI in about five weeks and we will feature this large AAS display garden (25,000 plants and 100 varieties) which is also represented out in the terrace garden.  While there are some weeds and areas for replacement, this assortment of AAS winners looks dynamite now and we’ll extend interest as best we can in to late summer and will keep the garden looking tidy.

Today was another hot and sunny one although it wasn’t quite as hot as last week.  The garden is still quite wet so we skipped watering today and focused on post-storm clean-up efforts.  This usually involves picking up twigs and branches and repairing any path washouts.  We also had a tree across the North path which the volunteers made quick work of this morning.  Cindy, Terry, Trevor, Nolan and Larry H. all had some post-storm clean-up duties and the volunteers helped as well.  Cindy continued tidying in multiple areas and did an excellent job on the cutting display today.  Terry did blower rounds, trimmed boxwoods (Buxus) and had a wide range of other duties.  Trevor and Nolan spent most of day tidying out in the gardens and did a nice job tidying up the Giant Aquarium as well.  Larry H. repaired washouts, mulched and helped tidy up throughout the gardens.  I continue to prepare for our symposium this Wednesday entitled Horticultural Therapy & You!  This should be a lot of fun!

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AAS Winners! – ‘Black Pearl’ ornamental hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) with ‘Fernleaf’ dill (Anethum graveolens) – both annuals

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AAS selections in front of the visitor’s center (above) and the ‘Dialogue’ sculpture (below)

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our AAS slope!

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Our volunteers were excellent as usual and we took advantage of the cooler morning to get out in the gardens.  Kathy (above) worked with Eva in the front garden bed where there were removals, weeds and ultimately, the ladies planted 300 new plants to cover the bare spots!  The ladies then moved on to weeding in the sunken garden. Directly below are Ron P. and Bob C. (driving).  The guys worked on tidying up paths as did Ron R. (birthday boy).  Bill O., Larry O., Hayden and Dick H. worked on dicing up and removing a downed tree along the North path.  Alan did a nice job weeding at the Horticulture Center and Dr. Gredler was out mowing.  Ron Y. and Jim worked on carpentry projects and Steve had some odds and ends including plastic recycling.  Maury ran errands and Peg was in to work on labels.  The second photo down shows Darcie (left) and Karen working on preparations for our Wednesday horticulture therapy event.  We also saw Gary S., Maryam and many others today.

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Ron P. (left) and Bob C.

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Darcie (left) and Karen

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‘Mary’s Gold’ daylily (Hemerocallis) – perennial

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‘Topguns Anita Causey’ daylily (Hemerocallis) – perennial

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Monarch Promise™ variegated milkweed (Asclepias currassavica) – annual

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For years I have traveled up North of Madison on I-90 (and the reverse route) and have seen the Hancock Agricultural Research Station along the highway.  They’ve had a display garden, prominently placed right along the highway, there since 1993 and I’ve simply never stopped.  I’m so glad I did on Saturday morning right between some storms.  The entire research station is 412 acres and has A LOT of potato research happening.  The history of the station is interesting (www.hancock.ars.wisc.edu) and they are celebrating their Centennial Anniversary this Thursday!  I specifically enjoyed the 5 acre A.R. Albert & Villetta Hawley Albert Horticultural Garden.  I caught these blazing stars (Liatris spicata) at peak below and enjoyed perusing the entire garden which was well kept and well labeled.  Check it out sometime as it is only 1 hour North of Madison, WI on I-90.

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