Saturday, May 22, 2010

Profile of a volunteer (cont'd - and MYG)

In my post about both human and flora volunteers, I described some of the stories behind why people volunteer. Here, you see other volunteers in action. Scenes from today's morning at the Washington Youth Garden at the National Arboretum...

Weeding, weeding, weeding. Many hands make quick work of this necessary chore.

Cheerfully mulching tomato plants.

Chris - one of a few WYG employees - skilled in gardening and giving orders in the kindest manner, with the ability to detect from 200 feet away with eyes closed when one of the army of volunteers is stepping in a garden bed. Chris is particularly happy today (does the energy jump off your computer screen like it does mine?). This is Chris moments before he calls out, "Who's feeling good?!!"

Volunteer gardeners wheeling mulch over and planting new rows of carrots, beets, Swiss chard, and pak choi (need info on pak choi - try this post). I should really alert people before I take pictures of their butts.

In the distance at the National Arboretum. It definitely catches your eye. Perhaps if the weather looked less ominous, it would appear less creepy.


Now for an update on the flora volunteers I posted about a few weeks ago...

The grass that sprouted on my back slope turned out to be something really pretty. It's a keeper.

The plant I thought could have been the Japanese lanterns I planted and forgot about was...not. Not a keeper.

Allium shubertii ended up being really spectacular. Their tendrils reach probably close to 2 feet from end to end. These bulbs bloomed this year for the first time, after turning to mush the past few years (late frost). Interestingly, these bulbs volunteered to live in their new spots (talk about creepy).

Poor schubertii. The good news is that the garden attracts butterflies. The bad news is that the butterflies attract the kids down the street who don't get the difference between a play area and a do-not-trample area. Allium schubertii - definitely a keeper. Neighborhood kids who trample my garden - well, I won't say it publicly.


  1. Your bluntness is mixed with such a good sense of humor. I think it's great that the National Arboretum allows people to volunteer and tend to the gardening work. The people tending to our city parks and gardens are "professionals". I think the city is afraid "ordinary people" will kill off the garden. That grass with purple little flowers is so pretty. You have some really interesting flowers growing in your garden...never seen them before.

  2. Maybe it's time to employ the adage, "good, [kid-proof] fences make good neighbors". :)

    I think the guy all happy looks like he's trying to be a scarecrow.

    Love your Blue-eyed grass. Some, wait, MOST volunteers are welcome and appreciated wouldn't you say?

  3. The pillars are astounding! Once built for a gigantic building? Over here, the arboretum is a hill and has gigantic trees and we always go there for either morning/evening walk/jog.

    Your flora volunteers are pretty! Love those dainty blues against the green grass. They look 'expensive'. Oh, sorry about your schubertii :-(

  4. I guess people also learn a lot while enjoying the fun while volunteering. Does the schubertii make good cut flowers for the vase?
    The aboretum looks quite quiet and deserted.

  5. omgoodness, I'd be having some serious words with some neighbors... or more correctly, with their children. Ack, I dont' handle things like that very well. I hope you make it through the trauma easily. What a gorgeous flower that was - incredible!
    Love the photos of the volunteers, what an awesome project that is!

  6. Love the volunteer pics - very inspiring. My neighborhood 3 year old helped me "weed" today. Later I found all 12 of my sweet alyssum babies tossed randomly onto the mulch. ARGHGHGH! If my kids hadn't done significantly more damage to their property, I'd be shaking my fist.

  7. We used to live in a neighborhood with those trampling types of kids. But then we moved to the mountains and now ELK do the tramping. Dammit. Can't win.
    Love that tender little blue volunteer.

  8. Last summer a grass-like thing with somewhat flattend fans of foliage popped up in the garden and I thought "Wow, blue-eyed grass! I won't pull it out". It turned out to be broomsedge instead. I was so sure it was blue-eyed grass...

    Glad your weed turned out to be blue-eyed grass.

  9. The volunteers, both human and horticultural, look like they are having a great time.

  10. Hi Wendy
    Wow..that allium is awesome! Great post..I always enjoy seeing what you are up to...yay!! Any more toad incidents?
    have a fabulous day! and thanks for always leaving a thoughtful work..super appreciated!


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