The volunteers had a full day today. The onset of cold temperatures and a healthy breeze today created plenty of raking opportunities for our volunteers (including Larry H. directly below). Bob C., Eugene, Lloyd and Larry brought back plenty of leaves and debris this morning and the leaves continue to flutter down! Ron W. picked up pumpkins this morning for our education program and he and Russ unloaded them at the main building for Kris and crew. Ron and Russ then went out to pick up donated benches for our new greenhouses and helped the other guys with greenhouse assembly. Jim, Bob A, Vern, Rollie, Ron Y. and Dick H. all worked on assembling the new (donated) greenhouse (see two photos down) and they got it up and ready. We'll pick up the other two later this week and early next week and will get all the benches situated as well. Gary cranked out more labels and is working on another labeling project as well. We also saw Mary W., Maury, Alice, Mark S., Terry's wife & grandkids and many others too. It was a productive day and while it remained cool in the afternoon, it wasn't totally unpleasant (as I type, looking out the window).
This is the time of year where we appreciate our hardiest of perennials that not only shrug off frosts but continue to look great throughout the month. Directly below is the perennial sea kale (Crambe maritima) which has these showy, powder blue leaves (edible) and white summer flowers. This perennial emerges maroon from the ground and will go the distance in to November with superior frost resistance. The next photo down shows the "earthy orange" fall color of the shingle oak (Quercus imbricaria). Note the uncharacteristically "un-oak-leaf-like" leaves on this species. At the bottom is the 'Grasshopper' sedge (Carex hybrida) that we have peppered throughout the fern/moss garden for color and texture. This sedge, and many like it, are "evergreen" and will offer color until buried by snow. The growth next spring (zone 5 hardiness) is all fresh and will replace the older foliage. Remember, when buying sedges (Carex sp.), focus on CLUMPERS and not any that include descriptive words like "vigorous", "a quickly establishing groundcover", etc. Avoid the running sedges unless you can contain them!