Today was beautiful with sunshine, blue skies and a high in the mid 50 degrees F. The wind has died down from the previous two days which were quite breezy. It was brisk and refreshing outside and our grounds staff and volunteers took full advantage of this gardening opportunity. Next week looks warmer thankfully. Above is a nice shot of the arched bridge in the distance although I challenge you to find Marsha M. in this photo too as she had her camera in hand as well. We had a great crew of volunteers today and saw some visitors enjoying the gardens as well.
The grounds staff had a wide range of tasks. Larry spent time working on equipment and finished filling the sunken garden pool and getting the fountain up and running in that garden. All of our water features will soon be cleaned and up and running by Mother’s Day. Janice helped organize our morning volunteers, worked on potting up new deliveries and helped with many other projects including watering and fertilizing. Big John helped stage a big mulching project this morning and moved on to installing more containers and obelisks. He also worked on starting a big edging projects. I had more meetings but was able to get outside to install some memorial signs and make plans for where select items will be placed out in the gardens. Below are some colorful images from the gardens as well.
drumstick primrose (Primula denticulata ‘Alba’)
vitaliana (Vitaliana primuliflora)
daffodils (Narcissus) still looking great
‘Overdam’ feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora)
elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) bulbs ready to be potted up
Our volunteers were very productive today…even Bob and Ron seen above (Bob to the left). These guys did a great job mulching a huge area. Ron P. and Alan M. teamed up in the arboretum to weed the tree circles and continue mulching. Below are Larry H. (left) and Ron R. spreading compost on one of two large areas that will benefit from their efforts. Pat M. was in for more work on the giant obelisk. Our mulching team included Sandy (second photo down) and Peg and Kathy (seen in the third photo down). Using the mulch stockpiled by Big John, the ladies did a great job mulching a large area near the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children’s Garden. The fourth photo down shows Bob K. (driving), Dave T. (passenger) and Ron Y. (back seat) heading out for some carpentry work. The guys worked on a couple different projects. Maury ran errands for us and we also had help from Mary Ann G. (fifth photo down) who helped work on labels for the Thomas Jefferson Collection and assisted Gary (sixth photo down) with additional label preparations. Our painters included Dr. Gredler and Del (further below) and the boys continued work on our giant Adirondack chairs. Dr. Gredler also went out to aerate some lawns. Bill O. was in for painting as well. Kay was in later to tidy up her area and Stan did significant work in the Japanese garden today. We also saw Rollie, John J. and many others today.
Larry H. (left) and Ron R.
Peg (left) and Kathy
Dave, Bob K. and Ron Y. (left to right)
Mary Ann G.
“Double Knee Pads Del”
Janice repotting some of our elephant ear collection
Allium karataviense foliage amongst ‘Angelina’ stonecrop (Sedum rupestre) – last night at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI)
saucer magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) – last night at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI)
checkered fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris ‘Alba’) – last night at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI)
Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture, Rotary Botanical Gardens
I am the Director of Horticulture at Rotary Gardens (Janesville, WI). Along with a talented grounds staff and dedicated volunteers, I enjoy being involved with this wonderful botanical resource. My educational background is in landscape architecture and urban forestry but it didn't take long to become a plant enthusiast and find a lifelong career.