Above is a nice framed shot through the Parker Pen World Headquarters archway (on permanent loan from the Rock County Historical Society) down in to the colorful sunken garden. Today also had a cool start although we'll just have to get used to that as we are heading in to fall in a couple of weeks. The daytime high temperatures should still be nice this week but what we really need is a nice soaking rain. We are keeping up with irrigation and sprinklers but Mother Nature does the most thorough job with a nice, steady rain! We saw lots of kids out in the gardens today as part of the Story & Stroll program which has really become very popular over the last couple of seasons. I like to think the kids will remember the gardens as they get older and be future supporters, members and volunteers. We had a hearty crew of grounds folks and volunteers today and we are subtly shifting to more garden clean-up (leaves), continued watering and late season tasks. The color is still holding nicely out in the gardens and we'll extend it as long as possible. Below are some additional shots from this morning.
a floral "corsage" in the "Pollinator's Paradise" - note the yellow spires in the back of the popcorn plant (Cassia didymobotrya) which smells like buttered popcorn! - annual
'Indian Summer' gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) - annual
'Cherry Sparkler' fountain grass (Pennisetum x advena) - annual
'Plum Perfection' stonecrop (Sedum hybrida) in bloom - perennial
Volunteers were a big help today. Janet T. was in early to work on her lime border (see further below) and she always does such a thorough job. Ron K. spent significant time in the woodland walk garden and is balancing his time between leaf collection, planting and general tidying. Above are Kay (fancy red pants) and Eva in the Scottish garden helping Jan (below). That garden has received lots of leaves and this trio did a great job tidying up. Kay and Eva split up later to go tackle leaf collection in two other areas. The second photo down shows (left to right) Mary, Nancy and Myrt who collectively weeded in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden and collected leaves in the woodland walk garden. We saw Marsha M. out doing her photography this morning as well. Nancy N. was in for librarian duties with our reference library and Vern was working on carpentry projects. Janice was in to work with the Chestnut House students and they did a great job with leaf collection and some other tasks here at the gardens. I'll show some pictures of them tomorrow. Dr. Gredler came in for some mowing and turf repair and we also saw Dr. Yahr, Chris W., Maury, Karen and many others.
The grounds crew had a wide range of gardening activities today. Cindy (here for a half day) tidied the front entrance garden (leaves) and spent more time in the All-America Selections (AAS Display Garden). She also picked a huge batch of eggplant from that garden too. Pat (also here a half day) watered the new parking lot boxwoods (Buxus 'Green Velvet') and trees. He also finished mulching a section, watered the yard and collected many loads of leaves from the Hosta Hollow, Fern & Moss Garden and other locations laden with cottonwood (Populus deltoides) leaves. Cheryl was on a whirlwind tour of tidying up, weeding and planting. She does a great job and no weeds escape her notice. Terry edged the Palmer Drive curb line which is quite a distance. He also set up sprinklers, watered containers and continued other edging projects. Big John ran irrigation, watered containers, set up many sprinklers, planted and had some other projects going as well. I placed plants for installation, helped with volunteers, gave a brief tour introduction (a group from UW-Stevens Point) and continue to get ready for the Fall Plant Sale (see our website). I have our shrub listing now but you'll just have to come to the sale and see what we'll have!
'Tie Dye' Helen's flower (Helenium autumnale) - perennial
'Fat Spike' amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus) - annual
'Red October' big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) showing fall tinting - perennial
a morning shot of the "Pollinator's Paradise" in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden
the lime border is still looking quite nice and was a huge success
the arched bridge continues to be photogenic every morning!
one of six new aerators helping with water quality in the pond (this one just off the arched bridge)