Today was another perfect day with sunshine and temperatures around 75 degrees F. This is perfect weather (in my mind!). I usually use that term in early October and early May as it is also a comfortable temperature when gardening outside too! The long range forecast is indicating some high temperatures next week around 50 degrees F which will be a chilly awakening. The gardens continues to look more like an "October garden" with grasses showing additional interest like the seed heads above from the Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) and the ornamental hot peppers (Capsicum annuum) as seen directly below. Of course the fall color around the gardens continues to progress but most of our seasonal plantings continue to look good. We've only removed about 20% of our annuals but will undoubtedly do more removals next week with colder temperatures bringing us closer to that frost date. We had another productive day with Thursdays always having a strong volunteer contribution.
'Prairie Fire' hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) - annual
'Count Dracula' hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) - annual
'Royal Hawaiian Kona Gold' elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) next to 'Baby Tut' papyrus (Cyperus involucratus) with 'Jack's Giant' elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) in the background
Our volunteers were again uber-helpful today. Above are Suzy (left), Marilyn (right) and Mary R. (hiding in the back) as they remove annuals from our front entrance garden berm. Dick H. came out to help and the four of them also removed all the plants around the RBG sign in the distance. Dick H. can also be seen in the second photo down hauling one of many truckloads of debris to the dump. Nancy and Pat R. came in to help with lights testing, repair and organization. Bob C. and Gene collected many loads of leaves that ended up in our growing compost pile seen below. Ron P. and Pat M. repaired lights all morning and Jim and Ron Y. worked on making more "wrapping boards" for our lights. These are very handy for organizing and storing lights of all kinds. Both Dr. Gredler and Bill O. were in for their mowing rounds around the gardens and Dr. Gredler is also going through the process of aerating our lawns. Maury went on some supply runs for us and we also saw Bev D., Kris K. and many others. The third photo down shows Janice with Geesje (exhibiting a rare smile)...
Our grounds staff had a diverse array of tasks to deal with today. Cheryl was in for a half day and did a great job tidying up the front entrance garden which needed some removals, leaf collection and tidying (almost a daily chore this time of year). Janice, aside from posing for photos, helped organize the morning volunteers, worked on Holiday Lights Show (HLS) coordination, etc. Big John spent most of the day putting up lights and had to do some shopping for lights as well. He also watered and had some other gardening tasks. Larry ran some irrigation, tested more HLS displays, worked on repairing some of our aquatic equipment, push mowed, etc. I had some meetings, worked on labeling information for our "yet to be planted this fall" plants and had other odds and ends going on throughout the day. All grounds staff will continue to garden over the coming weeks but more of their time will be absorbed by HLS preparations on a daily basis. Below are more plant photos from today.
the start of fall color on the 'Aconitifolium' fullmoon maple (Acer japonicum) - woody tree
'Rhubarb' Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) - annual
'New Zealand Purple' castor bean (Ricinus communis) - annual
fall color on Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) - woody vine
'Viridis' green love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) - annual