Thursday, September 5, 2013

Autumn's In The Air

Above is the first tinge of color on our Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger') which sure reminds me of Autumn!  This shrub will be a brilliant orange/red by October and is one of my favorite selections (despite its spreading nature).  It was a perfect day outside with a cool morning and a nice, overcast afternoon around 75 degrees F.  I know I type this every Thursday (and daily!) but we had a great crew of volunteers today and it was perfect weather to be out in the gardens.  I sure hope we get some of the rain coming this way on Saturday as we continue to set up sprinklers, run irrigation and hand water in many locations.  Some nice soaking rains staggered over the next six weeks would be a great end to the growing season!  Below are some additional shots from today.

'Ruby Moon' purple hyacinth bean vine (Dolichos lablab) - annual
'Perfecta' summer poinsettia or Joseph's coat (Amaranthus tricolor) - annual

The Grumpies and Grumpettes were in full force today.  Marilyn can be seen above and she was part of the five person team that also included Eva, Suzy, Mary R. and Vicki.  The ladies did a great job tidying up in the Rainbow Garden and areas around and including the ornamental edible beds.  The photo below is like a "Where's Waldo?" as Eva, Suzy and Mary R. are buried in the action here.  Betty H. was in early to work in her areas and is keeping them nice and tidy!  Steve and Bob C. collected leaves as did Del and Ron P.  Ron B. worked on sorting and consolidating more of our plastic.  Ron Y., Vern, Dave and Jim worked on assembling new tables and also had some progress on our new benches.  The second photo down shows (left to right), Jim, Vern and Ron Y. looking confused about the tables.  I pointed out that the one they were working on was upside down and that seemed to solve their dilemma.  Dr. Gredler was in for mowing duties and we also saw both of our Bill O.'s.  The third photo down shows Geesje (left) and her niece Ann at the gardens.  I gave the ladies a short tour and Geesje of course brought down more treats for the volunteers.  Geesje has retired from grounds work but in her prime (in her mid-70s), there were few that could match her weeding tenacity.  Mary H. and her daughter Kathy were in for some gardening in their assigned garden area.  We also saw Dr. Yahr, Art (giving a cart tour), Rollie, Bev D., Judy J., Pat R. and many others.  The next photo down shows the Chestnut House volunteers from yesterday. The team did a great job with leaf collection and the fifth photo down shows Victoria tending her garden desk (made by the Grumpies).

the "Giant Garden" looking colorful and lush this morning

We had a small grounds staff today with much of our activity including watering.  Above is Larry with his "hose lasso" looking like a cowboy.  Larry fixed our pump in the fern/moss garden and the hose above was to fill the upper pool in that garden.  We've had some recent bad luck with water features but that has all been resolved.  I saw some neat ideas for aquatic plants and water treatments that we'll use next year and really put more emphasis on our water features and their care.  Larry also watered, push mowed and did some other odds and ends.  Cheryl was here for half day and did primarily hand watering in multiple locations.  She did a nice, thorough job and I'm sure we'll be at it again tomorrow.  Big John set up sprinklers, watered containers, installed two sculptures near the zig-zag bridge (pretty cool) and had other tasks as well.  Janice helped facilitate the morning volunteers, gardened, watered and had a meeting.  I did lots of little projects and the day went very quickly.  I also am confirming details for the Fall Plant Sale which starts in just over a week.  Below are additional shots from today. 

'Royal Hawaiian Coral Black' elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) - annual
'Hot Biscuits' amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus) - annual
closed bottle gentian (Gentiana andrewsii) - perennial
'Britt Marie Crawford' dark-leaf golden ray (Ligularia dentata) - perennial
the formal gardens at late summer peak

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