[We have a remarkable crew of volunteers who work in the Asian Collections. Their knowledge level and experience are intimidatingly high. After 5 years, I'm continually amazed at how much work they get done. I don't want to imagine where we'd be without them. Every Wednesday I try to write them a letter letting them know where things are in the collection and what we'll be trying to do the next day. I've been writing these for a few years now. I decided to post them on the blog thinking maybe they're give some insight into the Collection.]
But wait, enough about lawns and gardens, how about more about me?! Just quickly I swear. Saw Dr. Daoud this morning and my physical constraints have been removed. I am able to do the normal things that people do. No lifting extremely heavy objects, swinging mattocks, digging ditches… but usual gardening tasks including blowing and spraying are okay. That sounds good to me; it’s been years since I enjoyed swinging a mattock! The graft continues to look good. It heals from the outside in and the small area still “unattached” has trapped a pocket of fluid that is keeping my vision blurry. The doctor assures me that it is not unusual for transplants on transplants to take months to completely heal.
The Osmanthus fortunei at the junction of the road and the path to the pagoda is in full bloom. Yesterday I could smell it 30 feet away. Great smell. O. fragrans is probably flowering at the pagoda. The Gymnaster Savatieri we moved from bed J-M to the sidewalk by the women’s restroom is starting to flower. The flowers are nice and it’s a weedy (I mean vigorous) thing, a good groundcover. We may need to move the hostas out of its path! K & K continue to work at the GCA Circle. They finished excavating the gravel bed and are adding gravel as I write. It was frightening looking last week; after K&K worked on it for a day, we’re all feeling much better about prospects for restoration. The dwarf mondo that you all planted on the other side of the circle has re-greened after the depredations of last winter and is keeping soil/mulch from washing out of the beds. Little improvements like that are wonderful. It’s easy to forget you’ve done something like that, but remember how messy those edges used to look? Now the interface between the edging bricks and the paving is sharp and clean. The big things and the little things keep adding up…
This week I’d like to concentrate on K-0 at least for the beginning of the day. We can weed out the dead nutsedge and plant the Lysimachia ‘Persian Chocolate’. There is pruning to do, and some cutbacks as well. We’ll plant the begonias,'Shaanxi White' that are eating up a corner of one of our lath beds. I’d like some of them to go into bed C-5 in the moist area in front of the stone bench and possibly trailing down the south side of the steps a few feet. We’ll find a spot for the rest. I’m thinking maybe in Ca-2 (the bed between the Dogwood Collection and the main Camellia path). They like soil that’s rarely dry and a bit of sun but not too much. Like B. grandis, they are beautiful when they’re happy and ugly when they’re stressed. While we’re in C-5, let’s move some more dwarf mondo from the steps below the pagoda to the steps in C-5. We made a good start at this project but there are places that still need planting. There are other miscellaneous things including de-leafing the tree peonies at the GCA Circle and in bed J-N2. I’m thinking we ought to move the Rosa x odorata ‘Mutabilis’ from bed C-8 where it’s being shaded out to the open space in the middle of C-5. Eventually that’ll be too shady too, but not for 4-5 years.