Behind the scenes the Heartland Harvest Garden is blossoming with activity. This very fragrant Jubilee Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa) graces the understory of the Apple Celebration Court. Its flowers are edible but add more fragrance than flavor to the palate. This rose produces extra large fruit "hips" for tea and vitamin C-rich preserves. It is also a beneficial companion to apple plantings.
Can you guess what young fruit this is?
Baby peaches are fuzzy and cute at this season.
Sweet cherries ripen quickly! I have bird netting on order as last year birds sampled every one!
We planted strawberries a bit late because of the wet season. It takes about a month from bloom to fruit.
Matt Bunch (Horticulturist in charge of the Heartland Harvest Garden) sets stakes to string lines to sharply define the triangular and square beds of the Kansas Star Quilt - Forage Crops. Horticulture staff from all components of Powell Gardens teamed up to help Matt plant in the Heartland Harvest Garden today.
Duane Hoover (Horticulturist - Kauffman Memorial Garden, standing) and Ben Aaron (intern - Kauffman Memorial Garden) help plant forage grasses in the Kansas Star Quilt - Forage Crops garden.
Tracy Flowers (Gardener - Kauffman Memorial Garden) waters in new plantings in the Kansas Star Quilt. This garden will be a three-quarter acre patchwork quilt showcasing pasture and range grasses along with legumes like clover and alfalfa. Where does your beef and dairy come from?
Richard Heter (Horticulturist - Turf & Trails) is dwarfed by the crane installing the spiral staircase in the observation silo. Richard is preparing a bed for turf in front of the Missouri barn.
Here's the current view down the main path to the Missouri Barn's observation silo.
Parts of the Villandry Quilt - Vegetable Garden are already planted but we have held off on some veggies like tomatoes until now. Near record cold would not have been good for warm season plants like tomatoes and basil.
Caitlin Bailey plants a rainbow of indeterminate cherry tomatoes to climb over a rebar tunnel --a cherry tomato tunnel by late summer. This is part of Rosalind Creasy's Author's Garden.
Donna Covell (Horticulturist - Production Greenhouses) left and Kellyn Register (Gardener - Greenhouses) pose on a bench in the Apple Celebration Court. The two were checking on the plants they grew for planting today. Chives and roses add color to the space, most of the trees will produce some apples for sampling through the latter half of this season.
Mark your calendars for the public opening of the Heartland Harvest Garden on June 14th. The young fruit in the second image was a nectarine. We can't wait to savor its flavor later in the season.
All photographs taken by Alan Branhagen on May 19, 2009.