Earth Day ushered in the arrival of summer with warmer temps and seasonal rain, making everything in the gardens pop! At last count, over 8,700 summer annuals have been planted in the gardens and color beds along with several flats of herbs and veggies in the Children’s Garden. And we’re not finished yet! Several new perennials and shrubs will make their way into the gardens, filling gaps and replacing plants that were lost due to storms and winter freezes. With the bulk of seasonal planting finished, other garden tasks are being ticked off the list one by one: Bob’s Tree Care and their agile red spider lift are in the gardens trimming the oaks and treating the pines in the Great Lawn and Hanging Gardens while Kevin’s Unlimited Services restores our wood benches. The multi-step process includes pressure washing, cleaning with a mild bleach solution, then sealing with Tung Oil, a transparent oil which protects the wood and has a deep, almost wet look that brings out the finish in the wood. The work is being spread out with roughly half the benches being done at a time so we don’t deprive visitors of a place to sit!