Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sunken Garden Summer Show

This week the Sunken Garden has been closed to remove the Spring Show and install the Summer Show. The Summer Show opens May 2nd and runs thorough to October 4th. This year's Summer Show will be mostly shades of pink and peach. The pictures above show some of the plants that will be in this show. The top picture has 'Escargot' Rex Begonias, Dianthus, and Pentas. The second from the top shows Geraniums, Gerbera Daisies and Stargazer lilies. The third picture is a Hibiscus and the fourth picture shows our Horticulture Staff bringing down the Starlights for their bi-annual cleaning! This our longest running Sunken Garden show, but it continually changes throughout the summer with different plant material.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Clean Up

The outdoor Gardeners have been very busy preparing the outdoor planters and beds through out the Zoo and Conservatory grounds.The planters outside the Historic entrance are planted with Pansies which thrive in the cooler spring temperatures. The Gardeners have been raking, removing and composting plant debris from the Perennial beds and preparing them for planting in early May. Pine bark mulch is being added to some areas for weed control, moisture conservation and aesthetics

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More challenging vent maintenance!!

The Hortuculture staff had another vent to be fixed, this time it was in Tropical Encounters! Tropical Encounters has screened in vents in the ceiling to allow for hot air to escape and fresh air to come in. Some of the vent components had to be fixed, but the point in the ceiling where the vents are located is 25 feet up. We didn't have a lift or a ladder that would reach that high up, so we had to get an articulated lift in that would reach. It was a challenging job for the Horticulture staff and the Trades workers because Tropical Encounters has free roaming birds in its exhibit. The pictures at top are of the Tradesman lifted up to the vent to fix it. The other picture is of the lift coming in through the door which had to be covered with plastic so that the birds didn't escape. Tropical Encounters has been partially closed due the vent maintenance, but the work should be finished by the end of this week.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

North Garden Pool Cleaning

One project this week is the annual cleaning and maintenance of the North Garden Pool. The pool was drained Sunday night and cleaned Monday. The cracks were repaired (some caused by pressure from plant roots). The edges of the pool were sealed and the sides painted black. The fish are temporarily being kept in large tanks in our garage. The pool will be refilled on Saturday morning and the koi returned to their home when the water is suitable.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Plugs and Seedlings galore!!

This week the Horticulture staff and volunteers are busy with planting lots of plugs and seedlings. The plants are grown for the outdoor gardens and the summer Sunken Garden show. Some of the plants we grow from seed at the conservatory, others are ordered as plugs. Plugs are already established plants in a very small cell of soil. We order more plugs than we grow seedlings. We have limited space and not enough labor for growing plants from seed. The picture above are some of the plugs that we have already potted up to a 4 inch pot. As of April 1st the Como Zoo and Conservatory will be open 10 am to 6 pm!!!