Thursday, May 27, 2010

Victorias, Butterflies and Gates!

The Victoria Waterplatters are in the heated pool in front of Tropical Encounters. They are looking small at the moment but by the end of the summer, some of the leaves can reach five and a half feet in diameter! The spread of an individual plant can be up to 20 feet! The water temperature in the heated side is held above 80 degrees as these plants are native to the Amazon River.

The pool on the other side of the sidewalk is unheated and is being filled with marginal plants--plants that can tolerate moist to wet growing conditions.

Horticulture staff planted Bertha, the big butterfly form, on Monday in the high temperatures!

A sketch was used to help with plant placement. The same tool used for this planting is also used in the Gates Ajar planting.

Horticulture staff and a dedicated volunteer finished the planting in one day. The ground bed plantings will start next week so that they will look fabulous for the opening of the Blooming Butterflies exhibit on June 18th!

Planting at the Gates Ajar still had a way to go earlier this week!

The symbols represent faith, hope and charity. The Gates have been planted in this location for more than 80 years.

The interns have been working daily to get this planting completed by this weekend!

The plantings on the structure have been completed this week! Now the ground bed plantings need to be finished and then Gates Ajar will be ready for the season!

Come and visit all the beautiful plantings in Como Park!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Planting at Gates Ajar

Gates Ajar is being planted!!! This is a sure sign that Memorial Day is just around the corner.....

Horticulture staff and interns have been working very hard at getting everything ready to plant the "Gates" by Como Lake. Cuttings have rooted and now it is time to plant!

The "Gates" frame has been mudded----a soil mixture was pressed into the holes of the wire frame and smoothed. Patterns were traced around and then the interns started planting!

The soil mix must be kept moist or it will crack and fall off the wire frame. The plantings are watered two times a day until they are rooted into the wire frame.

The work is slow and most years it takes about 100 hours to complete the design.

Two of the main plants used for the design are Hen and Chicks (Echeveria) and Joseph's Coat (Alternanthera).

Stop down by Como Lake off Lexington Avenue and watch the progress of the Gates Ajar plantings!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New planting for Blooming Butterflies!!

There will be a giant topiary butterfly in the exhibit this year! The wire form is filled with New Zealand sphagnum moss.

The interns and volunteers are taking 5000 cuttings of Alternanthera to be planted into the butterfly form the week of May 24th!

The cuttings are placed in the propagation house to grow roots. Once they are well rooted, the horticulture staff will plant the huge butterfly form that is located in the butterfly exhibit. The exhibit opens June 18th!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Changing the Sunken Garden from spring to summer!

Look at all the activity in the Sunken Garden as the spring show came to an end last week.

Volunteers, interns and horticulture staff deconstructed the Sunken Garden in a matter of a few hours.

The koi had t0 be captured and placed in the waiting tubs. The koi were then moved outside to the Japanese Garden pool.

The bulbs that were removed from the Sunken Garden are saved. They are packaged and offered for sale in the Gift Shop!!

Then the summer show plant material is loaded up on carts and wheeled out to the Sunken Garden. Geraniums, roses, lilies, statice and numerous other heat tolerant annuals are used for this show.

Pots are sunk into the loose soil mix, awaiting the roses! The pot system is used as each rose plant in the Sunken Garden summer show is rotated numerous times between the Sunken Garden and the outside growing areas. The roses are pruned back after they are removed from the Sunken Garden and allowed to regrow and bloom again up to four times during the duration of the summer show!

Plants for the summer show are installed over the course of the week. The entire room must be cleaned, swept and scrubed. The plants must be fed and straightened. Then the room can be opened for all to see! Come and see the finished summer flower show!!