I have not written much lately because until this past Monday, I was working in the same area (Tim's) for four weeks. Besides field trips, there wasn't a lot of new stuff to blog about. But now I am working with Joyce Rondinella in the Tropical Terrace, Cascade Garden, Palm House, and Joyce's backup house ("the hut"). I'm SO enjoying the new plant material, change of scenary, and an entirely different form of plant culture. I have taken lots of notes about each of these area in my notebook that I intend to copy onto the blog. We had a bromeliad talk with Joyce a few weeks ago, and this Tuesday's walk (again with Joyce) was about palms. Karl Gercens gave last week's plant walk, entitled "Poisonous Plants," where each of the 10 plants were in the Apocynacae family. I took lots of notes on that walk, too.
Today, I helped clean up the various houses, then continued the work I began yesterday afternoon on the computer. I was working in Adobe Photoshop to create a conceptual "mock-up" of 2010 Orchid Extravaganza displays for Joyce. I am quite proud that I produced some images that she's happy with, because I was a little unconfident in my abilities at first.
I helped Jim repot some ferns in the afternoon, and I also helped him apply compost tea to the largest palms in the Palm House. This is done every week, I believe.
I was curious, and looked up a little fact in the library: tenufolia, as in Maxillaria tenufolia or Tillansia tenufolia, means "narrow-leaf." Joyce has a great concept: the thought/word/plant of the day for students. With some people I've worked with previously, they were so focused on putting you on a task, and not passing along knowledge. Mr. du Pont put so much emphasis on education at Longwood, and I think it's great that some gardeners want to enstill that in the students. I will be working with Joyce the rest of the week, so I intend to learn lots more stuff (that I haven't already crammed in my notebook...).