Aggressive Pace Continues!

Come see the beautiful Garden Art Project fish out in the gardens!  Above is one of these unique and beautiful art pieces, decorated by local artists, that are situated out in the gardens.  The fish above looked even better with a Siberian iris (Iris siberica) in close proximity.  We are starting to plant around most of the other fish as we develop the garden spaces around the Giant Aquarium.  We are probably about 35%-40% planted with our annuals with much more to go in the ground over the coming weeks.  This time of year is the juggling act between weeding, removing spent bulb foliage, watering and planting.  We just keep plugging along.

Decadence® ‘Lemon Meringue’ false indigo (Baptisia hybrida) – perennial

The photo directly above and the two below feature the action at our second (of four!) Wednesday Volunteer Planting Evenings (6 pm – 8 pm).  We had great help from 14 volunteers including welcome assistance from both Janice and Big John with orchestrating the proceedings.  We planted two good sized areas and branched off in to other territory to plant bananas (Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’) and other tropicals.  Thanks to John, Janice, Tina, Terri, Alan, Garrett, Dylan, Flannery, Grace, Cathy, Sue C., Sue E., Tina and Renee for all the hard work.  We have not traditionally offered a week night, group planting activity but will likely continue this in the imminent future due to the success and productivity of these gatherings!

Dylan (above) with Craspedia globosa ‘Golf Beauty’ (annual)

Ron R. (above) with one of MANY excellent volunteers helping out at the gardens today.  We had another excellent turnout of volunteers today which included Ron R., Bob C., Alan, Bob K., Marv B., Ron Y., Dave, Vern, Steve, Jim, Maury, Dick H., Kristin, Joanne A., Shirley, Liz, Vera, Kathy, Eva, Marilyn, Suzy, Sue M., Kelley F., Dr. Gredler, Rollie, Dick P., Judy, Hal, Doris, Marcia L., Mirjam M. and a whole pack of high school students (TAGOS Academy) and their instructors.  It was a crazy day with lots of tidying, planting, mowing, carpentry and much more!  The grounds staff of Cindy, Larry O., Trevor, Nolan and me were all busy with a wide range of tasks including planting, watering, bed preparation, mowing, etc.

Vera (left) and Shirley

Marilyn (left) and Suzy

Maury F. (above)

Marv B.

How many Grumpies does it take to assemble a table saw?  Five! (Dave, Vern, Jim, Ron Y. and Steve J. – left to right)

Kristin (above)

Joanne A. (above)

‘Wayne’s World’ white false indigo (Baptisia alba var. alba) – perennial

This past Saturday I snuck over to the West Madison Agricultural Research Center up in Madison to see what was going on.  I enjoy visiting multiple times throughout the year and caught some nice color and some neat plants (below).  They have some excellent trials including lots of vegetables and fruiting crops.  Below are just some of the highlights of my visit.

‘Cherry Cream’ garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) – perennial

vivid spring coloration on ‘Carnival Watermelon’ coral bells (Heuchera) – perennial

Superbells® Rock Star™ million bells (Calibrachoa sp.) – annual

Superbells® Over Easy™ million bells (Calibrachoa sp.) – annual

A-Peel® Tangerine Slice black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata ‘DL1501’)

the arching form of this Syringa x hyacinthiflora (lilac) that I saw this weekend (on a corporate campus) was amazing!