Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Perfect Week?

This week has been perfect weather for the start to Autumn 2013.  The cool mornings warm up gradually with sunshine and blue skies predominating.  While we are doing more watering and irrigation to keep up, we couldn't ask for better gardening weather.  Looks like maybe some rain on Saturday night which would be excellent.  I just ran across some nice comments and recent photos of RBG from the blog of Nick Hermes.  Called "Confessions of a Plant Geek", Nick's blog can be accessed at  I've enjoyed his blog (he describes it as a blog about botanical obsession!) in the past and hope to meet him in the future.  It was another typical day of keeping the gardens tidy as we still hope to see an influx of visitors over the coming 3-6 weeks (depending on when we get frost in October).  Regardless, the color out in the gardens is still exceptional (like the mum above on the terrace) and fall colors are beginning to contribute as well.  Below are some other shots from today.  

patch of dinosaur kale (Brassica oleracea 'Lacinato') - annual
Japanese shellflower (Chelonopsis yagiharana) - perennial (new at RBG)
Dahlberg daisy (Dyssodia tenuiloba) - annual
nicely backlit gladiola (Gladiolus, unknown variety) - annual

We had another solid crew of volunteers today.  Vern (above) has been working on "inking" in the letters for one of our new memorial benches.  I love the quote, "If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need", which is attributed to Cicero.  Vern has the patience of a tattoo artist (his former profession) as this project will take over a week easily.  Kay (below) and Eva (second photo down) did a nice job tidying up in the front entrance garden.  They are removing spent annuals, collecting leaves and accomplishing general tidying tasks.  They later moved on to some other areas.  Mary, Myrt and Nancy came in and did a thorough job of removing one of our larger impatiens plantings that was really looking sad.  The ladies collected many loads of debris and tidied up the space nicely.  Jenny E. came in for some volunteer action as well in her three assigned garden areas (formal perennial gardens and the hosta hollow).  Joy O. came in to test lights for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) and Dr. Gredler and Bill O. both did their mowing rounds.  We also saw Mark S., Mary W., Bev F. and many others today.

The grounds staff all had a variety of activities today and everyone was involved with some watering duties as well.  Cindy was here for a half day and worked on tidying the rose garden and watering two fairly large areas.  Cheryl tidied up the entrance garden bed along our frontage road (Palmer Drive), worked in the shade garden, tidied elsewhere and watered later in the day.  Terry set up sprinklers, helped water containers, re-sheared some large burning bushes (Euonymus alatus) and kept busy with myriad other projects.  Big John also had sprinklers going, ran irrigation zones, worked on a shearing project, cut back some grasses, helped water containers and also had a multitude of other duties.  I'm keeping up with my desk work piles and am starting the transition in to planning our fall gardening tasks and preparing for the Holiday Light Show which may seem distant on the calendar but to increasingly looming as there are so many preparations involved before we unveil the lights at the Taste of Chocolate on November 23rd.

seed capsules of 'Carmencita Pink' castor bean (Ricinus communis) - annual
seed capsules of above - each dried capsule will have three seeds (poisonous!)
'All Gold' Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra) in nooks and crannies - perennial
the Jungle Garden pathway (this collection was a hit this year)
love this copper cheese vat planter in the English cottage garden featuring 'Royal Hawaiian Black Coral' elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta) - annual
the Japanese garden stream spillway
the dry sea in the Japanese garden
$7 mums!  We're down to our last 60 or so.... (bulbs are in the gift shop)

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