Maddox Brings Spring

Last night (Tuesday) we had 76 attendees at our lecture  on “Introduction to Pruning Shrubs and Trees” by Mike Maddox, statewide Master Gardener coordinator for UW-Extension and ISA Certified Arborist.  Mike did a great job and the crowd had plenty of questions.  Mike must have brought more of spring with his glorious arrival (he is literally a “ray of sunshine”) as the gardens are starting to really show some color (see below).  I gave Mike a good ribbing (and vice versa) as we were co-workers here at RBG for about 8  years.  Our next educational opportunity is “Organic Gardening Techniques for Growing Herbs and Vegetables” by Patty Bailey of Oak Village Garden Center (April 5th, 6:30 pm, $5 members, $3 non-members, no registration required).  We also have Tim Gruner from Anderson Japanese Gardens (Rockford, IL) coming on April 26th (same time and fees as previously mentioned).  Tim will discuss “Japanese Garden Design”.  We start selling bagged compost (1.5 cubic feet, 45 lbs) this Saturday from 8 am until 12 noon at the Horticulture Center.  Bags are $6 each although RBG members get 10% off.  Our Spring Plant Sale is just over the horizon as well (Mother’s Day weekend…check out our website!).

We had a very strong volunteer turnout today.  Dennis continued with some serious mulching in the main parking lot islands and borders.  Vicky and Steve were in a bit later to mulch in areas around the North point garden.  They also brought back plenty of debris.  Marv B. tidied up his moss areas which look awesome (see below).  Kristin and Stan worked their “tidying kung fu” in the Japanese garden and do a spectacular job.  Urban was for some pruning along the east end of the arboretum.  Alan and Sandi did some significant painting today and we brought more “target objects” inside for painting in the near future.  Ron P. was in to work on repairing lights and Maury ran some errands for us.  Bill O. was a huge help inside and we also saw Mark S., Polly, Bill O. (#2) and many others today.  The “double Larrys” were on task today for grounds and had a wide range of projects.  Larry H. continued to tidy up our roses, remove deer netting and collected leaves and debris.  Larry O. continues to manage the Horticulture Center and helped with two large deliveries today among other tasks.  I had a great tour of the gardens this morning (note photos below!) and continue to finish ordering and preparing for full speed ahead next week!

marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) is starting to bloom – perennial

the moss is nice and vivid right now!

nice framed view of this mossy area in the Japanese garden

crocus (Crocus sp.) in the sunken garden

striped squill (Puschkinia libanotica)

glory-in-the-snow (Chionodoxa sardensis)

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

emerging Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) – perennial

‘Josef Lemper’ hellebore (Helleborus niger) – above (perennial)

‘Black Diamond’ hellebore (Helleborus sp.) – above (perennial)

‘Grape Galaxy’ hellebore (Helleborus sp.) – above (perennial)

hellebore (Helleborus sp.) in bloom – above (perennial)

Siberian squill (Scilla siberica)

the daffodils (Narcissus) are just getting started! (above and below)

interesting detail in the Scottish garden (above)

close-up of the Parker Pen archway

interesting wall detail in the reception garden (above) – obscured by plants in the summer!

contorted filbert (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’) in the Scottish garden