Sunday, June 26, 2011
A busy bee working it on moss rose 'Henri Martin'.
After nearly a week of rain here in central Wisconsin, totaling more than 12 inches, the clouds have parted and that big yellowy orb has made an appearance. Am I out in the garden frantically pulling weeds from the soft brown soil? Nope, I am the en route gardener with that dangerous tool, a microphone, for a tour group bound for Chicago's Botanic Garden (CGB). I am working it doing a question and answer on gardening, and talking about favorite garden tools, sights at the Botanic Garden, and chatting up gardeners and garden-lovers alike.
Hey, I had a great time. The group was great, the garden was great, the tour organizer was wonderful, and I took over 530 pictures of garden-related photos. Yes, that's not an errant zero, 530-some pictures.
Best of all, I quipped to the group, these gardens are weeded ahead of me!
It takes a while to wrap my head around that many images. Some are of the labels are of plants on which I want more information. Other than my shovel, my camera, as I told the group, is how I document everything garden-related. Like I told the folks on the bus, some gardeners keep notebooks filed with meticulous notes-- I'm not one of those! Photos downloaded each day into default date folders show me what was blooming and when, and pictures of labels before the photographed plant give me the details as to what that cultivar is.
Other pictures are the tour people, and then there are those of that wedding with the incredible lilac-gray sheath dresses and hooker heels, with the bride done up in feathers looking like a swan ready to float away on a cloud of happiness with her groom. (That was one sensational-looking wedding party!)
The CBG has a great rose garden, which is at the peak of its grandiflorific, flouribundtaculous glory. I know I can't grow half these varieties just 160 miles north, here in central Wisconsin, but it is fun to dream.
The pinetum and the greenhouse gardens were fantastic, too. The fruit and vegetable gardens had a lot of ideas to share with the home gardener. Since my last visit, a number of years ago, the CGB has upped the ante with labeling and growing information signage which is a great thing to see. Not only can I see the great results of their labor,but I can note which varieties are doing really great for them and try them in my gardens, too. And, better still, I don't have to hunt down a garden worker to find out that not only am I unfamiliar with a cultivar, but they don't know what it is either (which I have had happen on more than one occasion here in Wisconsin).
Needless to say, I could not, nor did I attempt to see it all, I had only just over four and a half hours to spend there. the weather was wonderful, not too hot, not sunny. It did not rain! My feet ached, but my soul was plant happy.
So as the primers I teach from when I substitute teach during the school year say, "More to come..." I'll try to share in the coming posts some of these great pictures, including those of that fabulous wedding party (one of at least eight I noticed having pictures done that day at the garden).
When I got home, the post mistress had delievered the awaited parts for the Mantis tiller. Tomorrow, weeds, I am coming for you!