Today was one of the busiest Tuesdays that I can recall....ever! There was not only a lot of activity out in the gardens but we had the pleasant surprise of many unexpected (but fully utilized and appreciated) volunteers coming in to help, particularly with gardening efforts. Above and below are some shots of the Japanese garden today which I think is really looking quite beautiful this late in the season. The peak time for this garden (for color) is May and October. Progress on debris clean-up was significant today and we had a huge boost to the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) preparations with L.P. Tree Service coming this morning (second photo down) with two bucket trucks to help put up lights (thanks John, Nikki and Victor!). Larry helped coordinate with them early but they are veterans of this process and hung well over 200 icicle lights throughout the day and throughout the gardens. Now I get to run the extension cords to each and every one... The third photo down shows a misty haze over the formal gardens which is a result of our irrigation lines being "flushed out" and winterized for the season. This process is quite involved and Larry also helped Evergreen Irrigation with this task (although many of us were randomly hit with sprinklers popping up everywhere!).
Volunteers kept pouring in today! Above are Mary and Roy planting some bulbs in their portion of the shade garden which they cleaned up yesterday. They did a great job and were out of there before the icicles started draping down from L.P. Tree Service above! Lloyd and Jim D. came in for "Grumpy extra credit" and did a great job cutting down the rest of the Potter Daylily (Hemerocallis) Collection. This extra gardening help is appreciated as we still have a couple weeks of garden clean-up to accomplish as we also set up the HLS. Dr. Gredler was in for his mowing routine and directly below is Bill O. collecting leaves for our ever-growing compost pile. The second photo down show Magda who did a great job tidying up her assigned garden area. The next photo shows Tina B. who was a big help to Janice with tidying up the English cottage garden. Mary W. and Steve continued painting our new PVC candy canes and Steve also headed out for some leaf clean-up near the Japanese garden. Kay tidied up her section of the shade garden nicely with cutting back perennials and collecting leaves. Eva was just down the way doing the same thing in another section of the shade garden. Vicki helped Janice and Kris with various projects and we also saw Maury (ran errands), Chuck S., Patrea, Jack T. and Vern (lettering an engraved bench).
We had most of our grounds staff on duty today and no one ran out of work to do! Larry bounced between L.P. Tree Service and the irrigation contractors to keep everything running smoothly. He also did various odds and ends and repaired some equipment. Pat split his day between lights repair, preparing more half gallon milk jug luminaries and was out in the gardens later putting up protective netting on some of the yews (Taxus) in the Japanese garden. Cheryl was a pure gardener today and did a nice job finishing clean-up in the sunken garden and she then did the same in another area. Cindy continued placing luminaries out along the HLS route and did quite a bit of gardening in the Japanese garden and near the North point garden (lots of perennials to cut). Big John hauled back obelisks for decorating, hauled out decorated obelisks, put lights out in the HLS and helped with various other projects. Janice decorated obelisks, tidied in the English cottage garden and started putting up new lights in the Japanese garden. I essentially ran cords all day and was glad for the pleasant weather. Below are more shots from today.
deer herd awaiting placement for the HLS
fall color of the Amur maple (Acer ginnala) - woody tree
fall color of the bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) - deciduous conifer
fruits of the American cranberrybush viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) - woody shrub
'Thunderbird' foamy bells (xHeucherella) - perennial
a resident woodchuck (looking well fed...)