Rain or No Rain?

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Today looked like another hot one but clouds and the threat of rain moved in around the lunch hour which kept the gardens cooler than expected.  As I type this blog, the doppler radar is showing the showers narrowly missing Janesville to the south so we might be out of luck for precipitation.  Nice shot above of white gayfeather (Liatris spicata ‘Alba’) looking beautiful and structural.  The gardens are looking excellent and we had a bumper crop of volunteers show up this morning to avoid the heat this afternoon and/or later this week.  Friday looks like a pretty hot day right now and Thursday will be a scorcher too.  It was an excellent day out in the gardens and we sure saw a lot of visitors!

The grounds crew had no shortage of tasks.  Nolan came in early and did blower rounds throughout the gardens and moved on to some weeding, edging and watering.  Trevor did some serious weeding by the terrace and moved on to watering and fertilizing.  Big John ran irrigation, watered containers and moved sprinklers around.  He also did an excellent job pressure washing another stacked, lannon stone wall along the larch area and it looks brand new.  Larry H. worked on significant path repair along the shade garden and accomplished some watering and other tasks.  Janice worked on labels, did the cutting display and had some other odd jobs as well.  I was out in the gardens early to place plants for installation and met with many of our volunteers.  There was no shortage of photo opportunities out in the gardens today!

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balsam (Impatiens balsamina) – annual

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‘Shockwave’ variegated garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) – perennial

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‘Prairie Moon’ rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) – perennial

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nice container assortment above (English cottage garden) with plenty of foliage

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‘Rita’s Gold’ Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) baskets by our lady fountain – not hardy

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Shadow King® ‘Cool White’ rex begonias (Begonia rex-cultorum) with ‘Charmed Wine’ ornamental shamrock (Oxalis hybrida) – annuals

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‘Autumn Embers’ begonia (Begonia sp.) – annual

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My two photos don’t do justice to the sheer number of volunteers we had today!  Above are Kathy and Eva and below is Larry.  Suffice it to say we had very productive volunteers that included Kathy, Eva, Larry, Sutton, Gena, Mary, Patty, Nancy, Kay, Stan, Kristin, Jim, RECAPPERS, Mary W., Ron W., Hal R., Steve, Chuck S., Dr. Gredler, Vicky, Steve, Maury, Cheryl and others I’m sure I’m missing!  It was a great day filled with planting, weeding, deadheading, watering and much more!  We have such a great crew of volunteers which certainly includes our tour guides, docents, educators, Cottage Garden Gallery volunteers, etc.  The entire team should be proud of their collective achievements this year!

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Larry O. (above)

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“Oh Deer” (x3)

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‘Fire Frost’ foamy bells (xHeucherella) – perennial

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‘Dipt in Wine’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) – annual

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‘Goodness Gracious’ plantain lily (Hosta) – perennial

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eyeball plant (Spilanthes oleracea) – annual

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the pink flamingo looks right at home in this border

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white heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens) – annual

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‘Early Purple Vienna’ kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea) – annual

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‘Papaya Popsicle’ red hot poker (Kniphofia hybrida) – perennial

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just a fraction of the empty flats we’ve created with planting (48 plants per flat!)

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