Monday, October 28, 2013

Impressive Progress

There is impressive progress regarding three phenomena out in the gardens.  First of all, the fall color is getting better in many areas and the 'Aconitifolium' fullmoon maple (Acer japonicum) seen above is one example that I continually notice as it seems to transition to something better each day.  We are also doing a nice job continuing with our Autumn gardening tasks including plenty of clean up today.  Our Holiday Lights Show (HLS) preparations are going well too and today was a great day to get outside for a wide range of tasks.  Directly below is Pat M. putting some finishing touches on the "Tower of Power" which he modified last winter to accommodate the star (built by Pat) and all these lights.  The second photo down shows some additional Grumpies helping get this 20' obelisk up in place.  I always know that my Monday blog will include lots of comments on our wonderful volunteers and that is certainly the case today.

The Grumpies had a busy day which included leaf/debris clean-up and lots of bench hauling.  Above are Dick (goofy red hat) and Jim carrying one of many benches back for winter storage.  We store these out of the elements and will touch them up (re-sanding and re-staining) as needed over the winter months.  Ron W., Ron Y. and Gary also helped with this process and have developed a nice system for keeping track of all these benches and returning them to their original locations in the spring.  Ron W. and Jim also made their last run for pumpkins for the youth education program this week.  Dick H. ran to the dump and helped with other projects while Dr. Gredler did his mowing and leaf collection all morning.  Pat spent all his time on HLS work including the "Tower of Power" seen above.  Bill O. helped haul debris and Lloyd, Gene and Dick K. all helped collect leaves and debris from around the gardens.  Vern, Dave T. and Jim finished our new PVC "Pipes of Light" that will go out in the gardens very shortly (maybe tomorrow...).  Directly below are Mary and Roy who did a great job clearing annuals and perennials from the shade garden. Eva also helped in this area.  Mary W. (third photo down) helped paint our new PVC "candy canes" with Nancy (second photo down).  Tom C. came in to work on more of his HLS "power improvement" projects too.  We also saw Linda K., Art H., Ryan C. and many others.  

The photos both above and below describe my contribution to RBG and the HLS today.  I have become my alter-ego known as "cord boy" and have run almost half the primary cords for the show but will have many more full days of getting everything connected for the HLS.   The power upgrades that Tom C. is working on will be uber helpful too and we're looking forward to the upgrades.  Larry finished his "lights pavilion" in the reception garden and helped bury cords and prepare other displays.  Tomorrow he'll be involved with the shut down of our entire irrigation system which can take up the entire day depending on how it goes.  Big John and Terry bounced between garden tasks like emptying/hauling containers, digging out annuals, etc. with HLS preparations like putting up more displays and lights.  Cindy did a solid morning of gardening (perennial cutbacks) near the North point garden, spent quite a bit of time placing our half gallon milk jug luminaries and packed away some of our remaining plants in one of the greenhouses.  Further below are some additional shots from today.

neat aster (Aster sp., unknown variety) still blooming
fall color of the fragrant snowball viburnum (Viburnum x carlcephalum) - woody shrub
interesting (and cool) look for a goldenrod (Solidago sp.) going to seed
'Gold Zebra' foamy bells (xHeucherella) - perennial
fall color of one of our serviceberries (Amelanchier sp.) - woody tree
telltale fruits (stinky) of a ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) that we now know is a girl!  

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