Saturday, December 12, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Look. Isn't it great? Well, if it were in focus it'd be great. These are teensy tinsy flowers we're trying to look at here. Yes. You are going to have to drink up the cocoa, get up off of the couch and mosey on down here to see for yourself. Some day I'm going to have a camera with a MACRO lense. The Erica/Heather but not Carla isn't the only thing looking good.
Check out the bamboo. That's right. I said bamboo.
Look at that red leaf. No wonder red and green are the official colors of Christmas.
Friday, December 4, 2009
So here is the ginger. Looking lovely and smelling great. But don't stop just in the butterfly house. We have some orchids in the rainforest that are awesomely odoriferous.
These are the ones. They are called "Dancing Dolls" but they should really be called "Chocolate Delight".
So I recommend you quit sniffing your computer and come down to the Gardens and enjoy a truely wonderful olfactory experience.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Here is something cool that happened while I was sick: the lighting.
Cool photo, huh? That's one of Shirley's. This next one is too. That is why Shirley's photos are in the calendar and not mine.
"Calendar? What calendar?" you might be asking. The WCBG calendar of course! It has 12 super cool photos of the Gardens. As I mentioned, a lot of Shirley's photos are in it but so are Denice's and one by Bob. They are ten bucks and all proceeds go to the Gardens. Get yours today because they are going fast. Who knows if any will be left tomorrow.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
We have bananas at the Gardens. We have lovely little green bananas in the rainforest and the butterfly house. Here are the ones in the rainforest.
It was a thrill to walk in this morning and see this bunch starting in the butterfly house.
The first batch of bananas should be ready for eating in a couple of months. Yum!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
I'm hoping they will do a number on our weeds and so far it looks like my plan is working. I think I can actually fit four fine hens into the chicken carrier so we will have even more pecking power.
As you can see, the girls are thrilled to be here!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
It is officially day two but I'll give you a quick rundown of yesterday. Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. We met with Michelle and we found out we have a lot in common with them. They also lease their garden from the city, well the Town of Vail. They have a small staff and everyone is doing more than one job. Funding is an issue but they are in a different tax bracket so while I'd be thrilled with what they have for operating funds, they have a whole different budget. They are twice as old as the WCBG so it gives me an idea of where we can be in another ten years. Way cool. Nice folks. Fantastic plants. the next time you are heading to (or from) Denver, stop off and visit. It is more or less the halfway point and a great place to stretch your legs and have a snack. It is the second Vail exit either way your are driving. Handy, huh?
We were supposed to have a 2 hour meeting and a tour at the DBG with Panayoti Keladais and Matthew Cole but it turned out to be 5 hours. Mattew gave us a private after hours tour for another hour or so (have I mentioned lately that I love my job?).
There are great things in the future for the WCBG and the DBG and a whole lotta other gardens in Colorado. Yes. This is the big tease. You won't see the fruition of these talks for another year or two but trust me, it is going to be cool.
At the moment I am blogging to you live from DBG. They have free wi-fi (we have it at WCBG too!) and I'm taking advantage of it.
The DBG's fall bulb and plant sale was this morning. I restrained myself and ended up with only seven plants. But they are fabulous. Sadly none of them will be at the Gardens. They are mine, all mine. Bwahahahaha. (That is supposed to be an evil laugh.)
That is it for now. We are off to deliver the six headed yucca recurvifolia and most likely a couple more plant purchases. Kenton has been taking tons of photos and hopefully by tonight we will be able to figure out how to download them so we can share them with you.
Have a good day. Catch you later.
PS I wonder how Calabash is going. If you don't have anything going on you should head down to the Gardens and check it out. It sounds like fun.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Is is because I was being interviewed for the evening news? Or because there are huge things afoot in the gift store? New pupa in the greenhouse? Calabash? Robb River Rally? Baby bananas in the greenhouse? Is it the fact that we are planning the greatest holiday extravaganza ever? Ordering more plants for Shozan-en? Or that I was on the radio? Planning a new garden that will begin installation in just a few short weeks? Pulling weeds? Hangin' with the volunteers? The annual appeal? (Come on now, I beseech thee to look deep into your heart and then deep into your wallet to support your most favorite botanic garden). I'm eating too many tomatoes from the Community Garden? Fiddling with the irrigation controller? Those crazy orange gazanias? Board meetings? Staff meetings? Just plain old meetings, meetings, meetings, galore? I'm admiring the sunflower patch a little too much? Could it be the fence is moving or we're getting lighting in the greenhouses? What ever the reason, you'll be getting daily updates from your Horticultural Correspondents for the next week or so. (Provided we can get an internet signal).
Kenton and I are off on a botanical adventure. We're starting in Denver (big things happening there for sure) then continuing south to visit friends at botanic gardens, the NRCS and garden centers from here to Bernallio. Hold on to your hat Hannah, its going to be a thrilling ride.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Look at this good lookin' bunch.
Chinle Gardeners at the September 9 Garden Party at the WCBG from left: Dave Kennedy, Maryann Benoit, Al Severson, & Tom Burrows. Don Campbell is hiding behind the camera.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
So many things happen in the gardens every day it is hard to concentrate on one thing. Plus there has been a whole lotta' planning going on (yes, you should hear Jerry Lee Lewis singing at that last bit). As exciting as planning is to those of us who have a beaurocratic bent it isn't really all that thrilling. I mean who really gets all excited over a 3 inch mainline? Really. Really? Send 'em over!
The flowers are looking beautiful in that end of summer way. I see that the cottonwoods are already displaying flashes of gold. Fall is on its way. Me, too.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The little darlings have built a dam just east of the bridge that goes onto Watson Island. It is pretty cool and in the perfect spot too. The pond that is forming is right where my irrigation intake is for the amphitheater. They haven't dammed anything else just yet although it looks like they are in construction mode. I came across a felled Russian olive and Siberian elm. Looks like our little bucktooth buddies are doing their part for conservation.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Like today....some SOB stole the Siberian Elm that was growing in the levee and causing me all kinds of trouble. The nerve. Helping me out like that. What is this world coming to?
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
I promised them I'd have a different job for them next month. Maybe I'll finally get the Shozan-en pathway crowned and compacted.
They were hanging out at the Gardens yesterday morning. I just happened to be here because the Workenders were here and I took the opportunity of some uninterrupted time to set the impact heads in the amphitheater. Being the friendly sort of fellows that they are we got to chatting. Raising money for Parkinson's and Brain Injuries was only the tip of the iceberg. They were interested in a variety of social issues. It was cool. You never know who you are going to bump into at the Gardens.
If you know someone affected by Parkinson's Disease or Traumatic Brain Injury, which I think is all of us, you might want to donate a couple of bucks to their cause.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday was was a the nexus of the finalizaiton of four projects. I'd have been happy if any one of the following tasks got done but all four did so I'm way up there in the stratosphere of happiness.
1. Richard finished the duck float and put it in place. I haven't seen any ducks dancing the rhumba out there on the duck float yet but it is just a matter of time I'm sure. That and maybe they'd like a disco ball.
2. There were a couple of repairs and some pruning in the butterfly house I wanted to get done. It looks so wonderful in there.
3. The siberian elm forest that threatened to take over Celebration Plaza has been removed.
4. Most thrilling of all because I've been working on this one for around two years, there is a hose bib in the amphitheater and all the zones are working the way they should. This is truly a time to break out a bottle of the bubbly.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
So Dr. Curtis comes in at 8:30 last Friday and says "You are going to be on the air in 30 minutes." Yikes! Any of you tuning in to KKCO last Friday around 9:15 will have heard me talking about the butterflies. There are pupae hanging in the puparium and butterflies fluttering around in the butterfly house. The greenhouses are a nice place to be when it is so unbelievably hot. All of a sudden 80 degrees seems kind of nice.
Dr. Curtis also brought his intern Claire out and I set her to work. She pruned the wisteria. You should come down and have a look. It is blooming again and looks just great. She took Jeff's kyak out to the middle of the pond and did a little investigating on the whole foot valve situation. She helped out with the watering and most importantly of all chose an excellent pizza for lunch.
It is toad season. Those little buggers are everywhere. They sure are cut though.
That is it for today. Time to get out in the Gardens while it is still nice and cool.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Dang me, dang me, they oughtta' take a rope and hang me, high from the highest tree.... Don't mind me. I do get possessed by the spirit of Roger Miller every now and again.
Have a good weekend!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Anyway, I came back with a truckload of plants. Yes. An entire truckload. I just love those Plant Select people. I give them my list of what I want and then they give me bonus plants. Yay! I love bonus plants. We are once again a test garden for plants that are not yet available for sale. Isn't that cool? I hope I don't kill them all this time. Just kidding! I only killed a few of them last time around. Most of them survived. And I didn't kill any of the tried and true plants. Ok. Maybe a couple of the delosperma bit the dust. But they were just little tykes and I probably shouldn't have put them in the ground so soon. But everyone else is looking good.
More exciting news is that we have plant labels! Plant Select gave us labels this year in addition to plants. So now when you visit the Gardens you can see which plants are Plant Select. Then you can march down to your favorite local nursery and get them for your very own garden. How great is that? Very.
Monday, June 15, 2009
What started off as a blustery afternoon calmed down into quite a lovely evening. It was wonderful.
For you bluegrass lovers we'll be having Sweet Sunny South on July 11. Mark your calendar. The gate is open at 6:30, the show starts at 7:30. Tickets are $10 for members and $14 general admission.
Here I am with a box 'o butterflies. You can feel them crawling around in the box. They were so anxious to get out into the butterfly house.
The lid comes off! You can see the little painted ladies flying out of the box. They were really friendly butterflies. They'd land on your shoulder or your shoe.
Or on a big rock.
D took these photos. Aren't they great? She had a bunch of other good ones but I forgot to get photo releases. I got them from the butterflies though. It was tricky finding a pen small enough. And then tracking down their agent and working out the percentages. What a bunch of prima donas.
If you missed any of the releases we had in May don't despair! We will be releasing butterflies this Saturday. 1pm. Don't miss it!
Friday, June 12, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
We had a few folks out on First Friday despite the turbulent weather.
A huge thanks goes out to thr Realtor's Association, especially Lori. They had a great event in the amphitheater Saturday.
Yesterday was back to business as usual, watering, weeding, mulching with a little hedge trimming thrown in mix it up a bit.
I've got to run. Todd is coming down from Betty Ford, the Alpine Garden, not the clinic, to help us get our compost going. I'll let you in on all the thrilling details tomorrow.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
But back to the sculpture. It is a beautiful stone and metal piece of Colorado native irises. Steve said he saw a field of the irises down by Roaring Fork one year and that was the inspiration for the piece. He also mentioned how he was working with wood carving at the time at you can really see that influence in the stone. It is cool. Don't take my word for it. Come on down stroll through Shozan-en and see for yourself. Steve will be at the opening for Shozan-en Friday, June 5th between 5 and 7 if you want to talk to him about the work in person.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The butterfly release was cool even though it was cloudy and the butterflies were not really interested in flying. We'll be doing one more release this Saturday. If you've missed the other releases you should come down this Saturday. It is a really neat thing to see the butterflies in action.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I lost my internet connection for a while there. But I'm back. It was a bad month to not post because there has been soooooo much happening down here at the Gardens. The new garden got put in with the Career Center kids and our grubby knuckled volunteers planting over a thousand plants ranging from trees to grasses. The irrigation system in the new garden gave me fits for about a week but I'm pretty sure I can now take apart a Hunter PGH head and put it back together with my eyes closed.
Kenton and the volunteers dedicated to the Harmony Garden have been really dedicated. They pulled up the landscape fabric, amended the soil with llama and horse manure, transplanted trees, and started planting. It looks great. I know it isn't done but it is just amazing nonetheless.
Yours truly has been juggling triple duty being Interim Director and Volunteer Coordinator in addition to the job I'm supposed to be doing, Operations Manager.
Some chucklehead has been stealing the solenoids off of the scrubber valves in the amphitheater. Not cool. So it looks kinda dead down there. If I catch the jerk I've got about 10 acres of weeds that can be pulled.
The mister motor finally gave up the ghost. The starter switch was either sticking open and ruined the bearings or the bearings died and the started switch got stressed either way, that is what caused the capacitor to smoke. It was very exciting. What is even more exciting is that I finally have the answer to the nearly 3 year old question "Why is the thermal override tripping so much?"
The main pump in the manhole down by the river hasn't been maintained in at least 3 years so it was filled with sludge. Hopefully it will get suctioned out today. I'm all excited because I got to buy a manhole lifer upper. Granted I'm not strong enough to lift the manhole cover but I'm happy to have the lifter upper anyway.
The new 5hp pump and netafim system are working great. As soon as I get the main pump going we'll be back in business.
We are doing live butterfly releases for the month of May. Every Saturday at 1pm we'll be releasing 75 butterflies. The first one was last week and it was really cool. I'm hoping we can continue them after May.
There is all kinds of other great things happening, like cool sculptures being donated and stuff like that but I'll save that for tomorrow.
Remember that Bloomin' Deals is this Saturday starting at 9am. Be there! From what I've seen so far there are going to be a lot of great plants!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I was the fool for thinking that the pathway would be done today. It is all ready to go. It just needs some squishin' down. The StaLok is turning out to be a really easy material to work with. Plus, it looks just great. Very naturalistic. So more or less the infrastructure is in place in our new garden. The plants are coming on April 13 so grab a shovel and head on down! I'm gonna' need all the help I can get to get those guys in the ground.
On an even more exciting note Richard said he saw one of our turtles Monday in the pond. Yay! It is spring regardless of the snow flying around.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
How about that snow? So far the consensus is "I'm tired of the cold." Is that true? Are you tired of the cold? Inquiring minds don't really care but I do. Let me know how you feel about this cold burst of weather we are having. It doesn't seem to be bothering the bulbs any and the pansies are thrilled.
I was hoping our pathway for the new garden would be put in today but it looks like maybe tomorrow. That's why I'm sick of the cold weather. I'm ready for our garden to spring into action. Yes. The pun was intended. I'm my father's daughter after all.
Here is the link to the nice article the Sentinel ran about the Gardens.
That about does it for today. Oh yeah. One more thing. Look here parents, I'm sure it is tough raising kids today. I think raising kids is the hardest thing you are ever going to do but you have got to teach them to respect things that are not theirs. We had some vandals down at the Gardens over the weekend. I don't appreciate having the Gardens torn up. It isn't the dollar amount that bothers me. It is the pain in the neck it is to clean everything up. Plus, the blatant disregard for all the hard work we put in down here. Not that the darling little vandals care one way or the other. They don't even think about all the hard work we put in down here. So parents I'm pleading with you to take a little more time with your kids. Find out what they are up to. Let them know that you care.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Snow? Snow! It was good to have a little moisture. It wasn't nearly enough in my opinion and I don't know what it did to the apricots and plums but it was nice anyway.
The new garden nearly has the all the hardscape in place. That is very exciting. The irrigation is done. The rocks are put in and they look fabulous. The path is laid and the road base is being put in. The StaLok will be smushed into place on Monday. Then we test the pump and the Netafim filter. The plants should be coming April 13th after 400 screaming children tear through the Gardens looking for Easter Eggs.
Yes, that means the annual Easter Egg Hunt is Saturday April 11th. It starts at noon though so if you show up at 10am you're gonna have a long wait.
Four new volunteers started today. They are all rip-roaring and ready to go. Kenton has plenty of help with his updating of the Color and Harmony Garden. The Children's Garden also looks like it will be well-tended this year. Likewise the Amphitheater. It looks like we may have enough folks on hand to take care of the rest of it but feel free to come down and lend a hand if you feel so inclined
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Our Executive Director has resigned to become a stay-at-home-dad. What an adventure! It will make managing the Gardens seem like a piece of cake. We wish him well.
We are doing a lot of really great improvements in the butterfly house. Unfortunately that means that we don't have any butterflies at the moment. It looks like it will be a couple more weeks before we'll be done. The Butterfly Wranglers are practicing their roping techniques in the meantime.
We are working on the structural elements for our new native plant garden. There is a lot of heavy equipment in the gardens. Have I already mentioned that I got to ride in a dumptruck? It was fabulous! We placed rocks yesterday and the day before. It it amazing how a backhoe operator can just pluck up a boulder and set it down right where you want it. The plants will be showing up in about 3 weeks. Yay! Yikes!
The NRCS came out today and did an incredible workshop on revegetation planting. I got to use this bright yellow 8 pound drill to plant willows with. I loved that the safety tip for it was "Now this drill will keep spinning if you hit rock so take your thumb off of the power or it will spin you around." Sounds like a carnival ride. I know the guys all know this and probably a lot of you gals out there too but power tools are fun. However, it was nothing compared to the huge augur that NRCS Keith operated to dig the planting holes for the cottonwoods. I was a little nervous because you have to put the tree in as the augur comes out of the hole or the hole fills up before you can plant the tree. Like 99.9% of worry, it was for nothing. It went in slick as a whistle. You have to be careful though or the augur will hit you in the head. Revegetation is dangerous. Who knew?
The Gardens almost burned down Sunday night but thanks to the firefighters, policemen and BLM crews they contained the fire that started down on the river and put it out before it did too much damage. Sounds like not a big deal but you should have seen the flames and the wind. It was awful and headed right for the Gardens. I was there watching the flames get closer when the police evacuated the area. There wasn't anything I could do so I was trying to be logical about it. The damage wouldn't be too bad really. It is early spring. A good fire would probably clean everything out. And hey the Arizona Cypress would germinate seeing as how they need a fire to do that. I freaked out anyway. But they got it under control, I don't know how they did it but they did. Boy am I happy. We still have a garden. They did a great job.
Well boys and girls I think that is enough excitement for one day. Catch ya next time.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
See you tomorrow!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The rest of Landscapes West was great. I always learn so much. And the Silent Auction is always a lot of fun. I can hardly wait for next year.
Friday, February 6, 2009
I gave a talk today on the new Colorado Native Plant Garden. It was the longest 45 minutes I can remember having in a while. I was pretty nervous but thanks to my cheering section. I had one on both sides of the room. The speakers today were great. I really liked the one on parasitic plants. Did you know we have our own parasitic plant specialist right here in at Mesa State? Yeah. She's way cool. Anyway. I'll report more tomorrow.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
It was good to get out even if it was cold. If you squint and look REAL hard at that black dot at the center island you'll see a gorgeous blue heron. Seriously, I've got to get a real camera.