Pansies Are Poised!

I picked up the remainder of our pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) today so we’re ready to go for our Pansy Sale which starts this Saturday, April 15th in tandem with our Compost Sale.  Held at the Horticulture Center from 8 am until 12 noon, a wide range of pansy colors will be offered in three formats.  There are flats (48 plants in 12 four packs) for $24 per flat although you can mix and match four packs for $2 each (any quantity).  We have small pansy planters for $7 each and pansy baskets (see above) for $12 each.  My trip today brought back all the flats which collectively encompass 7,440 plants waiting for a good home!  This quantity doesn’t include all the colorful baskets and planters!

There was some very light frost on the ground this morning and while it was chilly most of the day with a slight breeze, it turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day!  We had an amazing day of progress out in the gardens with lots of volunteers coming in (see further below) and our irrigation contractors were on site all day to get our water system and irrigation system going.  There were some minor repairs but we’re ready to rock and roll.  The grounds staff included Larry O., Larry H., Bobby K. and me.  Larry H. worked on various projects and accomplished a whole lot of composting.  Larry O. helped out the irrigation guys and had some projects of his own.  Bobby K. did a great job building a holding rack for our luminary crates from the Holiday Light Show (HLS).   After my pansy run, I bounced between some projects but continue to try and keep ahead of upcoming events like the Spring Plant Sale on Mother’s Day weekend (see our website!).  It was a bustling and productive day and we saw some kids out in the gardens enjoying the day with our education volunteers.

Dale S. (left) and Dayle H. did a nice job primping, tidying, planting and perking up our moss spaces that Marv B. has masterfully maintained over many years.  Dale S. helped rebuild our larger moss garden years ago and helped install this one at the same time.  It was nice to have the “Double Dale” twins today working out in the gardens

Kay (above) did a great job finishing the composting on her vast portion of the shade garden.  It looks great and will certainly help the plants in that area.  Kay was one of MANY volunteers we saw today.  It was an unending procession of excellent volunteers throughout the day.  Kathy P. and Eva did some excellent tidying around the gardens as they “be-bopped” around to avoid getting hit by the irrigation system as it was tested.  Dr. Gredler and Alan M. were in for painting projects and Ron P. continued his repair of HLS lights.  Bill O. was a mechanic for the day and worked on repairing lots of vehicles and was later joined by Dave K.  Gena, Myrt, Patty, Nancy and Sue M. (new volunteer) came in to tidy up the gazebo garden and did a great job.  Stan and Kristen were in to work in the Japanese garden and Jim H. had four RECAPPERS with him to tackle a wide range of projects.  We also saw Bev D., Jason, Mary D. and many others.

Eva (left) and Kathy P.

Patty (left) and Myrt

Gena (left) and Sue M. (great teamwork ladies!)


the water is quite high but this view is still spectacular

above are chunks of a cottonwood (Populus deltoides) that was just removed along the Japanese garden shoreline where it was leaning more and more each year over the water

The photo above and all of those below were taken last night at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI).  I gave a talk on annuals in the evening but arrived early enough to enjoy a good hour out in the gardens for some photography with perfect lighting.  Spring has certainly sprung at Olbrich as well.  The bulb meadows (one directly below) are looking great with still much more to come up and bloom!  All the blue seen above and directly below is Siberian squill (Scilla siberica).

white forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum) – fragrant!

cool “bird’s nest” like arrangement in this container (one of two like this)

pollinator hotel

prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) just burned back prior to the start of active growth

hellebores (Helleborus sp.) galore!

a solid groundcover of glory-in-the-snow (Chionodoxa sp.)

‘Powder Puff’ magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri) – woody tree

garden hyacinth (Hyacinthus)

hellebore (Helleborus sp.) – perennial