Today was a beautifully sunny day with balmy temperatures around 50 degrees F. This is t-shirt weather in Wisconsin although the morning was still a bit on the brisk side. We had a great turnout of volunteers throughout the day. The top picture shows Larry H. hugging one of our yews (Taxus sp.) in the fern & moss garden. As he hugs these yews, he's also securing a 1/2" mesh bird netting over the entire plant to keep deer from doing too much browsing damage on these delicacies. Directly above is Bob C. who helped with this endeavor. We're also putting burlap around various plants for the intent of deer protection and/or winter screening from damaging winds. Pat was in to do more pruning out in the gardens. Jumbo Jim brought in three RECAPPERS and the guys continued garden clean-up in the Japanese garden with Stan. They also did some nice protective burlapping in that garden as well. Dave and Jim (below) repaired a bench and worked on some other projects. Del was in for more deer cutout work and Dick H. came in to run additional loads of debris to the dump. Marianne was in to replace some of her luminary milk jugs out in the lights show. Urban arrived this afternoon to prep some of our horizontal, PVC tubes for repainting. Dr. Gredler continued to repaint some of our Adirondack chairs and will have no shortage of objects to paint over the coming months. Gary did some labeling work and Maury helped with various projects. We also saw Dick P., Kay, Bill O., Rollie, Rose, Tom C., Big John and many others today.
Larry spent some time tweaking elements out in the Holiday Lights Show (HLS). Larry also finished securing signage and barricades out in the HLS. Our new LED displays are animated and there are a multitude of cords and controllers to make sure everything looks as intended. We're ironing out the last of our problems with these displays before our premier lighting tomorrow night at the Taste of Chocolate event (now sold out I believe). Directly below is one of our rebar flower displays (with rope lights) that are nice for a "horticultural theme" out in the gardens. We have over 90 rebar displays like this as part of the HLS. I had some meetings and various tasks. I don't look at these next couple of months as "down time" as I'll be hard pressed to get all the ordering and planning done before April arrives. We'll just keep chipping away at it. The second photo down shows our plywood deer launching the sleigh in to the air. Marv and Terry did a nice job securing this display.
There is still plenty of color out in the gardens if you take the time to observe in more detail. This time of year is ideal for enjoying the structure of ornamental grasses and the form of interestingly shaped trees with showy forms (weeping, upright, etc.). Directly below is the maroon fall color of the leatherleaf viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum) which doesn't start coloring up until early November anyway. The next photo down shows the ornamental kale (Brassica sp.) that continues to look great even on the coldest of days. Interesting seed heads can also have ornamental value as seen at the bottom with goldenrod (Solidago sp.) in our prairie restoration garden.