Today started out misty which transitioned to drizzle which then became rain. It was a nice steady rain which prompted us to stop watering, running irrigation and checking containers for watering needs! It looks like we have more of a chance over the next two days as well so hopefully that early Autumn soaking will be worthwhile. The misty morning didn't thwart most of our volunteers and we had a great turnout with many volunteers transitioning from outdoor projects to indoor projects once the rain arrived. We're starting to accumulate more supplies and tasks for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) set-up and preparations. Most people don't realize all the "behind-the-scenes" work involved with testing, repairing and processing lights prior to them even going out in the gardens. Our HLS "Elves" had a busy morning today (hence the "illumination" in the blog title) and the progress is heartening as we'll have to get moving on putting lights out as early as next Monday. Above is a fetching mum/pansy combination in Magda's garden area this morning.
Above is our grounds crew today! Cheryl and Big John did a great job today. With Larry and Janice off, we had a skeleton crew but thankfully the rain helped take care of our watering duties. Cheryl worked (half day today) on converting some of our reception garden containers to include flowering kale (Brassica oleracea) as seen directly below. The grass is the annual 'Sky Rocket' fountain grass (Pennisetum x advena) which will continue to look good over the coming weeks. That kale will look better and more colorful as the temperatures become cooler. Big John started with irrigation and watering and later shifted to mowing and a shopping run once the rain set in. He spent the afternoon on a wide range of tasks both out in the gardens and around the Horticulture Center. I worked on myriad projects, presentations and other "desk-centric" tasks.
Our volunteers did get some nice gardening in for the first two hours of the morning. Suzy (directly above) and Marilyn (directly below) worked in the ornamental edible garden collecting leaves and removing spent plants. Steve (next photo down) helped in that same area with the same tasks. Both Marilyn and Steve later shifted inside to help with HLS preparations. Vicki (third photo down in purple) was our "go to gal" today for lights processing. Here she's converting new lights to our hanging icicle lights which will be secured up in the trees by L.P. Tree Service in the coming weeks. She came up with a great process and trained Mary W., Nancy N. and any other interested volunteers that wandered in to her sphere of influence. Bob and Ron P. (fourth photo down, Ron in red) did a nice job collecting leaves and later shifted inside. Dr. Gredler and Bill O. both did their mowing between the raindrops. Pat M. (fifth photo down) has taken it upon himself (with my wholehearted encouragement) to process all the new luminaries from our donated half gallon milk jugs (we still need more!). He did a great job prepping the first 300 or so and is doing a nice, uniform job with a system he devised. Dick H. hauled three loads to the dump, tried to repair one of our mowers (still needs help) and worked with the carpenters. Dave, Jim, Vern and Ron Y. worked on HLS tasks and Ron Y. (sixth photo down) sealed up another new memorial bench. Maury ran out for more supplies and Janice popped in briefly as well. We also saw Val W. and many others. Further below are some additional shots from yesterday and today.
Bob (blue) and Ron P. (red)
cool Grumpy shirts
'Dragon Wing Red' begonia (Begonia hybrida) - annual
Short's aster (Aster shortii) - perennial (in part shade)
start of fall color on oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) - woody shrub
golden 'Lemon Lace' vine (Fallopia aubertii) - woody vine
blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis) showing why it has that name!
the "Pollinator's Paradise" theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden (yesterday)