Monday, September 10, 2012

Put Your Hands In The Air!

Bob, Jim and Vern (left to right) above couldn't avoid this photo today as they were holding up the new rolling garage door for installation. Dave T. was just off camera looking for a ladder. These four Grumpies were some of many that showed up this morning to help. Today was also our Fall Plant Sale Clearance (15% off) and we appreciate all those that helped as volunteers (Alice, Sandy, Joy, Renee, Mary W. and Gene). We also appreciate the customers of course and we saw a steady stream of customers all day long. We marketed the sale in the newspaper and on the radio and our four days of sales were collectively a nice (and vital!) fundraiser. Directly above is a blossom close-up for the 'October Skies' aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius) which is just starting to bloom. Seeing these blooms confirms to me that our entire growing season was consistently advanced 3-5 weeks from average. We normally wouldn't see these until early October (not that they aren't welcome of course!). To the right is the Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger') just starting to show tinges of its orange-red fall color. The cooler mornings feel like fall but it looks like we'll have some days this week with highs in the upper 80 degrees F. To the left is a view of the northeast corner of the English cottage garden (note the pergola in the distance). Lynn was again in today tidying up and that entire garden looks great. Lynn can be seen in the second photo down where she is planting the center containers with mixed kale (Brassica sp.) and pansies (Viola sp.). Marv and Terry cleared out the old annuals from these containers first and brought plants for Lynn to play with this morning. Other Grumpies today included Bob. C. (path tidying), Urban (painting), Maury, Gary, Rollie and many others. Rose was in to paint as well. Del and Eugene took down our temporary parking lot stakes/ropes and moved on to raking as well. To the right is a bee on the brilliant golden blooms of the stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida) near the Smelly Garden. Lloyd, Bill S. and Ron B. started sorting our vast piles of empty flats and empty containers (see the guys three photos down). Maury (standing) and Dick P. brought in our 'Dancing Waters' fountain from just off the alpine garden today. Dick brought his boat and the guys brought it back to be hauled in for servicing.
Marianne kept the sale moving along nicely today but was able to get out in the gardens briefly and freshen up the cutting display. Marianne and I remember when the Fall Plant Sale was a 12+ day affair and are glad that it has been consolidated. Big John helped with many tasks today which included watering, running irrigation, hauling items here and there, etc. He also helped "Mr. Moss" (Dale S.) with modifying some large rocks and he hauled some supplies for Dale as well. Marv & Terry worked on many tasks today. They were able to prepare the English cottage containers for Lynn and hauled the plants over to that space. The guys also watered (containers too!) and worked on a sizeable project on the North path that involves erosion control. The guys also organized some of our material storage spaces at the Horticulture Center. Little Jerry came in to sharpen some tools too. He did a nice job on our hand pruners and hand hoes and it was nice having him back in action around here. To the right is the 'Explosive Ember' ornamental hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) which has the double feature of increasing colorful fruits but also uniform dark foliage. Our ornamental hot peppers around the gardens are getting plenty of compliments as they get more colorful with each passing day. To the left is just a small fraction of the large patch of 'Blue Spruce' stonecrop (Sedum reflexum) in the alpine garden. Planted by Pat last year, these stonecrops are mass planted to flow together and look like small ponds with waterfalls. Blue carpeting junipers were originally used many years ago but have been replaced with this approach. I thought this sedum looked great this morning with some dew on it. It took many blurry photo shots to finally capture the neat blooms of the Mona Lavender spur flower (Plectranthus hybrida 'Plepalila') in the shade garden. Developed in South Africa, this plant is commonly used as a low-light houseplant but has application in the partly shaded garden due to the darker foliage and a very long bloom window (June thru frost) out in the garden. Below is the cigar flower (Cuphea ignea) along our orange wall planting which is enjoyed by all visitors. Similar to a "Where's Waldo?", there is an ant in that shot if you can find it! At the bottom are six of the eight Adirondack chairs along the edge of the North Point garden. That view across the water will get increasingly more interesting as fall color sets in shortly.

No comments: