THE BOTANICAL BLOG
By Peter Longley
Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center and Gardens
Friday, June 22, 2012
Congratulations to Robert Childress! Robert, Past President of the Friends of the Garden and longstanding chairman of the Garden Committee, was nominated by the Botanical Center at The Gift of Time Awards Luncheon last Thursday recognizing Outstanding Volunteers in the Ozarks. Bob, as we know him, has overseen the construction and on-going maintenance of nearly every garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. His plant knowledge and elbow grease have contributed to one of the most diverse collections of plants and attractive garden settings in the southwest Missouri region. Bob modestly reported over 500 hours of voluntary service in the past year. It is worth pointing out that all our gardens at the Springfield Botanical Gardens on South Scenic Avenue are maintained by volunteers. Most the gardens have also been designed by volunteers. With some 26 completed gardens in the park now, this is a considerable achievement. To review today’s News-Leader article by Sarah Okeson with a photograph gallery click here: Ten volunteers honored at gift of time awards
This weekend would be a great time to visit the Botanical Center. On Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Ozark Regional Lily Society will be holding their annual Lily (Lilium) Show in the Meeting Rooms. For the past two weeks, show chairman Glenda Phelps, has been exhibiting a series of beautiful lilium designs in a corner of the Botanical Center’s atrium. If you have enjoyed these, this is a taste of what is to come at the show on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, there will be an exhibit of many varieties of Day lilies in the Atrium that can be viewed from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Both our Lilium and Day lily collections in the Botanical Gardens also continue to look spectacular, although they are now passing their prime having surprised us all by blooming at least two weeks ahead of time due to our unusual spring weather. Every weekend, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. there is a free tram service that will take visitors around the park and it is an excellent way to get an orientation of what we now have to offer at this beautiful Springfield facility. Weekends, too, are a busy time at our butterfly house where docents are always on hand both days to guide people through.
Today, I would also like to highlight our Roof Plaza at the Botanical Center. This is certainly one of our gardens, and there are some unusual plants in the displays that are now coming to summer maturity. Note the caster beans with their large red flowers and the ornamental thistles. The combinations of bronze coleas and dark purple petunias are now also maturing, and the other annuals, including begonias and angelonia, will expand against their backdrop of dark coleas and lisianthus as we enter high summer. Mexican bush sage plants will also grow rapidly in the second half of the summer creating color at our north wall entrance bed. Many Springfield residents are discovering the Roof Plaza as a place for weddings and social gatherings with a wonderful view down the Great Lawn to Drummond Lake. (For reservations call 417 891 1515)