Monday, October 21, 2013

Juggling Continues Before The Frost

It was a nice day and will probably be the warmest of the week at around 50 degrees F as a high temperature.  The forecast calls for nightly frosts this week which should effectively finish off most of our annuals which we continue to remove daily from around the gardens.  This was a perfect day for a wide range of tasks and with our Monday crew in action, lots was accomplished in the gardens and back at the Horticulture Center.  We're spending more time on Holiday Lights Show (HLS) preparations daily and hope to have significant progress with set-up out in the gardens.  Above is L.P. Tree Service putting lights up on the Parker Education Center.  Thanks to Chris R., John R. and Victor from L.P. whom we'll see shortly for more lights work out in the gardens including the famous "dangling icicle lights."  We are also continuing to work in each garden area to prepare for HLS set-up and the looming winter.  We've probably removed over 50% of our annuals which seems like a lot but there is still plenty to target and we'll chip away at it daily.  Below are some other recent shots out in the gardens.

fall color starting on the Himalayan birch (Betula utilis) which also has the classic white bark - woody tree
looming frost will turn hostas (Hosta) to mush but this 'Praying Hands' is still looking good
even some ferns get fall color like this royal fern (Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis) - perennial

Volunteer efforts today including some boating as seen above and below.  Dick H. (hat) and Dick P. did their annual fountain retrieval, cleaning and storing which is much appreciated.  The guys brought this fountain out in early May and it ran well this year despite occasional tampering by poorly behaved swimmers.  One of the anchor weights had been removed which is frustrating but the unit is now safe and sound until May.  Ron and Gene went on a "pumpkin run" to get pumpkins for the youth education program this week.  The guys then shifted to leaf clean-up (second photo down, Gene with hat).  Ron and his child bride, Bev (Happy 52nd Anniversary!) also put more lights up on arches. The third photo down shows Lloyd (driving) and Jim coming back from one of their many trips with removals from the Giant Garden.  Eva continued with removals out in the entrance garden near the Parker Education Center and Dr. Gredler was in for his mowing rounds.  Del helped organize inside the Horticulture Center and did some painting along with Nancy N. (fourth photo down).  Dave T., Vern and Jim D. continued work on our new PVC displays for the HLS.  Maury F. was in to run many errands for us (thanks!).  Dick H. helped the guys and also ran multiple loads to the dump.  Pat M. continued his lights repairs and continues to make great progress resurrecting lights with various maladies.  Tom C. was also in for some of his pre-HLS electrical improvements. We also saw Geesje, Mary W. (painting and office work) and many others today.

Our Monday grounds crew had no shortage of work out in the gardens.  Both Cindy and Cheryl focused entirely on gardening which is becoming a big priority as the frost comes in this week.  Cindy hauled about 150 new perennials (lots of hostas) out to the color rooms garden for installation this week.  I placed the plants and we'll  hopefully get a "planting team" going tomorrow on these new additions.  Cindy then spent the remainder of her time removing seasonal plants from the gazebo garden area.  There are plenty of annuals out there that will be mushy by tomorrow so removal today is warranted!  Cheryl spent most of her time in the sunken garden finishing annual removals and perennial cutting.  That garden will get more HLS set-up attention this week and ultimately some deer fencing protection will go up in November too.  Terry (Happy B-day!) and Big John were joined at the hip again today and did some container emptying, obelisk hauling and then shifted entirely to putting up lights in multiple areas.  The guys continue to shift their HLS preparations in to areas that we're clearing (which makes sense!).  I placed plants and continue to work on various projects including my presentation for the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for tomorrow night.  Below are some other recent shots from the gardens.

'Silver Scepter' sedge (Carex morrowii) - perennial
start of fall color (going to yellow) for the common hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata) - woody tree
continued color transformation of the 'Sweet Tea' foamy bells (xHeucherella) - perennial
bloom of witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) - woody shrub/tree

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