Rain date, Friday, May 17, 2024 Week 2 Project GREEN Gardens (PGG)

Hi All,

We had rain this past Monday, our usual time to meet.  Well, I should say where Rina, Hetty, and I live (rural Solon) we had rain Monday, during our usual day & time to work at the PGG.  Sorry I cancelled when Iowa City did not have rain and we easily could have worked at the Gardens. 

Jim Peters did not get the message on Monday and put in 2 1/2 hours clearing bedstraws from a long bed.  Jim calls this bed the “Bill Blair bed”.  There must be a good story to explain this.  Here is a picture showing tarps with remains of clearing the Bill Blair bed on Monday, May 13th.  This plant is growing everywhere at the PGG and probably your backyard, too.  The plants are also known as Galium aparine or Stickywilly.  “The pleasant smelling foliage of a yellow-flowered species (G. serum) was used to stuff mattresses.”  I got this information from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  It’s information like this that reminds me I love living in 2024!  Thanks to Steve Erickson and crew for clearing away two tarps of Stickywilly.

There were 11 Project GREEN volunteers who were able to attend Week #2’s work session on Friday, May 17. Those who were in attendance were: Monica Hoherz, Chris Ostrander, Jim Peters, Nick Goergen, Jo Pattschull, Mary Laughlin, Evelyn Frey, Hetty Hall, Pat Yeggy, Cindy Parsons, and moi. Welcome to Nick who told us he lives up Park Road from the Gardens! We had a busy morning planting six buckets of canna lilies and a few elephant ears in the middle of the Triangle bed. We used pink flags to show where the cannas were dug in and blue flags showed elephant ears. We had extra cannas and dug some into the bed directly east of the Triangle. There are pink flags used to mark these as well. Sidewalks were cleared and weeds pulled and placed on tarps. The hose system was put in place by Jim Peters. 6 volunteers worked an extra 1/2 hour each

There are many places to find beauty at the Gardens. The iris are spectacular now and peonies are in bloom on the north side of the garage and along Normandy Drive. “Pictures of the Week” are from the Dashes located along the hiking/biking trail. These seven beds are designed and maintained by Monica Hoherz. The Dashes pictured are closest to Park Road filled with Gas plants.

The native plants sale was held on the patio of the Ashton House on Saturday morning, May 18 from 9 – noon. The Troutleaf group grew these plants to sell. Cindy Parsons had tables filled with artsy garden treasures asking customers to give a donation to Project GREEN in order to purchase these gently used items. Some things had never been used! It was a busy morning with Project GREEN volunteers: Cindy Parsons, Larry Allen, Jo Pattschull, Sue Mullins, Rina Sjolund, Linda Schreiber, and moi in attendance. Troutleaf is giving Project GREEN 30% of their profits & will donate plants to a new native plant bed being installed at the PGG by Johnson County Master Gardeners on Sunday, May 19.

Here are the numbers after Week #2 at the Gardens. Week #1 + Week #2 + Native Plant and Artsy Garden Treasures Sales = 40 hours + 25 hours + 21 hours = 86 hours after working two weeks at the 2024 Gardens! Many thanks to all the volunteers!

Week #3 will be fun as our annual plants will be delivered and ready to be planted at the Gardens. Ed Rinderspacher has plowed the Triangle, Quilt, and Circle beds. They look beautiful and will make planting go quickly! If volunteers can donate an extra hour, I believe our plants can be put into the ground from 9 – noon. Oh yes, Ed planted a few voodoo lilies at the center of the Circle bed. Thanks, Ed!

Looking forward to our next session Monday, May 20. If we have inclement weather, I will cancel by 7:30 a.m. Fingers crossed all the plants will be in the ground and rains will gently welcome them to their new home. Otherwise we’ll use the hoses Jim Peters has readied for volunteers. Enjoy the rest of Sunday and I’ll hope to see you tomorrow morning. Until then, happy gardening! Diane

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