Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Summer is here

The Sunken Garden Summer Show is open and beautiful! It took five days to remove the spring show plant material, prep the planting beds, plant and water in all the summer plant material for this show. The tulips, daffodils and lily bulbs are dry and ready for the bulb sale on May 17th. The growing houses, that seemed so full before the show change, are still bursting at the seams with material for the outside gardens. Flats and flats of annuals are lined up on the benches in many of the greenhouses!

There are tubs of aquatic plants scattered throughout the growing areas, full of plants growing larger for the front pools. Some of the Victoria Water Platters are already measuring 6" across their pads! Remember, these were started from a seed the size of a pea in February this year. The Victorias have the potential to have pads up to 5 feet wide in our heated pool in front of Tropical Encounters by the end of the summer! Keep an eye on the front pools as the weather continues to get warmer. The pools were filled over the weekend to check for leaks. And of course, there were leaks spotted, so the water is being drained out and the mason has been called to repair them.......

The large decorative pots are being planted for the Zoo grounds this week. The pots are set out on our service road where they can be filled, planted, watered and then eventually placed around the Zoo grounds. There might even be some huge banana plants, started from seed about 18 months ago, filling a few of the largest pots! They are a wonderful chartreuse green!

The Japanese Garden looks very serene and very calming. The pools are filled and there are fern fiddleheads starting to emerge under some of the trees. Come and see this wonderful garden!

The Alternanthera cuttings have been taken for the Gates Ajar. The Gates, located by Como Lake and the Pavillion, have been planted for over 80 years in their present location. In past years, volunteers and staff have spent hours making the cuttings, sticking the cuttings in trays of soil and then placing the cuttings in the propagation house to root. This year, a wonderful group of about 20 volunteers took the 4000+ cuttings on Monday in record time!! What a deal! Prep work on the Gates could start as early as the end of next week.

The Butterfly Garden in front of the Conservatory has some lovely tulips in bloom as well as Scilla and the pots in front of the Conservatory and the Visitor Center are filled with an assortment of pansies. There is color inside and outside now!! Come visit!