Friday, September 27, 2013

October Is Looming?

It was another beautiful day with warming temperatures near 80 degrees F.  It's hard to believe that October is just around the corner although the hint of fall color, like the Amur maple (Acer ginnala) below, certainly portends some cooler temperatures in the coming weeks.  At the top is our "ever-flowing urn" that has a thin sheen of water spilling over the sides that is pumped up from the bottom.  Someone floated a zinnia flower on top which I thought was a nice touch!  The photo above shows yours truly (left) with Bill Thomas, Executive Director from Chanticleer ( who came to visit today.  I met Bill years ago and if you haven't been to Chanticleer (Philadelphia area) you'd better schedule a visit as it is one of the best gardens in the country.  Bill was travelling in the area and it was nice sharing the garden (and lunch!) with him.  We had a busy day with weekend preparations and certainly hope that we get some rain Saturday evening which looks likely.  We continue to water as needed and spent some time primping the gazebo garden and North point garden which will both host weddings shortly.  Below are some other recent images from the gardens.

fall color (a bit early) of Amur maple (Acer ginnala) - woody plant
'Red Cathedral' amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus) leaning on Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) - both annuals
cool seed heads of the 'China Purple' bush clematis (Clematis heracleifolia) - perennial

The grounds staff had a productive day.  Above is Cindy in the All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden that she's been maintaining since May.  While some varieties have been removed as needed, there is still lots of color in this chronologically arranged display.  Cindy did a nice job in here and we'll extend the interest of this collection as long as possible.  Cindy also watered and helped with some other tasks as well.  Terry set up sprinklers, push mowed, cut back perennials, dug out some thugs and helped tidy up for weddings.  Pat was back in action and also push mowed, watered, tidied up and worked on other projects as well. Janice also watered, weeded, tidied, did the cutting display and worked on some administrative tasks that are becoming pressing.  I bounced between projects and am finalizing a lecture I'm giving on Sunday at RBG.  Below is a neat coleus in the sunken garden.

'Fishnet Stockings' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual

The volunteers were again invaluable today.  Above are Ron and Bev tidying up the sunken garden which gets a very quick accumulation of leaves daily.  I wanted an action shot of these lovebirds but they are attached at the hip and had to snuggle for this shot (insert nausea...).  :)  They did a great job.  Mary H. tidied up her area and Betty H. was in to tackle one of her two berms.  Kay collected leaves in her section of the shade garden and installed another wave of perennials.  Ron K. spent some serious clean-up time in the woodland walk garden and Eva was also in for some tidying up duties in the ornamental edible garden and entrance garden.  Dr. Gredler and Bill took care of their mowing duties and Vern finished up his lettering project on the new bench.  We also saw Chuck S., Dave and Dorothy T., Bill O. (#2) and many others today.  Below are some additional shots from the gardens.

grapeleaf anemone (Anemone tomentosa 'Robustissima') - perennial
'Jack's Giant' elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) - annual
compact papyrus or umbrella grass (Cyperus involucratus 'Baby Tut') - annual
'David' garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) - perennial (fragrant!)
'Fireworks' rough goldenrod (Solidago rugosa) - perennial
27 Porta-Potties near our prairie for 2,500 attendees and participants of one of the largest cross country meets in the country (tomorrow morning) the math though.....

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