I spent half my time in a truck today running for some fun items. I picked up a generous donation of ornamental kale (Brassica oleracea) and other plant goodies from an area nursery (see photo near bottom) and then went out to pick up 10,000 twinkle lights for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS). I'm not a big fan of any type of shopping (ask my wife) but we need to start accumulating our supplies for the HLS so we can hit the ground running here after the first hard frost. We have some tasks we can do now but will need lots of annuals cleared as fall progresses and temperatures dip. It was an unseasonably warm day near 80 degrees F which will occur again tomorrow. We continue to tidy and water as needed and I again noticed more visitors enjoying the late season color. Above is the golden-foliaged, Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger') starting to hint at some fall coloration. On a good year, the entire specimen will turn that bright orange/red. Below are some other recent shots out in the gardens.
sunken garden looking thru archway to reception garden
'Sky Rocket' fountain grass (Pennisetum x advena) - annual
'Thunder & Lightning' variegated red scabious (Knautia macedonica) - perennial
The grounds staff had a great day out in the gardens (I think) with lots of work accomplished (for sure). Nice colorful crabapple (Malus sp., unknown variety) fruit shot above. Big John hauled mums, ran irrigation, watered, installed a new sign, cut back shrubs and bounced between some other odds and ends including push mowing. Pat also push mowed, cut back grasses, removed annuals, raked, tidied and continues to process our half gallon milk jug donations (Yes! We need 1,500 more to replace our luminaries for the HLS!). Cindy tidied in many areas and watered containers as well. Cheryl also had multiple areas to tidy up and watered containers with Cindy. This "general tidying" in any are includes leaf collection, removal of spent annuals, weeding and general primping. We continue with this process throughout the entire gardens until we get a hard frost which then precipitates much more aggressive removals. Janice worked on some office tasks, the cutting display, general gardening and yard watering. I wasn't much help in the garden but was glad to take care of just a few vital "road trips."
While I lacked time for my daily photos of our wonderful volunteers, I did catch Resa and Cookie above (Cookie to the right). The ladies, after doing their Blues Brothers impression, did a nice job tidying up the North point garden which will host another late season wedding this Saturday. Eva did another great job out in the entrance garden and is keeping the orange theme looking clean and vivid. Don and Pearl were in briefly and both Dr. Gredler and Bill O. were in for mowing duties. Ron K. did more leaf clean-up in the woodland walk garden and installed another batch of perennials in that same garden. He planted a nice assortment of colorful coral bells (Heuchera) which do quite well in that setting. I might have missed some volunteers this morning during my jaunts but we're all collectively keeping up with our gardening tasks and encourage anyone to visit soon before a nip of winter arrives and makes for a different scene! Below are some more recent photos out in the gardens.
white corydalis (Corydalis ochroleuca) - perennial
Swedish ivy (Plectranthus argentatus) - annual
'Wood's Blue' New York aster (Aster novi-belgii) - perennial
'Kickin Pink Chiffon' aster (Aster hybrida) - perennial
Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) out the "side gap" of a pallet planter - nutritious annual
kale (Brassica oleracea) donation that will be planted soon - annuals
the beginnings of a candy cane for the Holiday Lights Show!