Today was extremely foggy to start the day as seen above. The tree is a black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) which I think has a striking winter form. Regardless, it was a day that promised some rain but thankfully, there was no precipitation (as of 4 pm) and we all spent the day out in the gardens doing a wide range of tasks. We were prepared for indoor tasks (which we may be doing tomorrow) but I was happy we made more progress with garden clean-up efforts and Holiday Lights Show (HLS) set-up. Below is a nice shot of the arched bridge in the distance framed by some trees in the woodland walk garden. We had another day with productive staff and a great crew of volunteers focusing particularly on gardening duties and needs.
My day consisted of what you see above. This is one of the five heavy-duty outlets that Tom C. rigged up for us and they are going to be very helpful. Big John and Terry rolled out all five of these (a collective 2,000 feet or so) which was no small effort. I helped as well but we ultimately ran these to areas that have been a bit "light" on electricity or hard to reach without many cords in sequence. Suffice it to say that these may be the savior of the HLS (assuming no rain which is the bane of this event!). I'm systematically going from garden to garden and wiring up what I can and still have a solid 2 weeks of this duty. John and Terry put up many more displays including ten of the new PVC pipes for the HLS (one seen directly below). You'll just have to come to the HLS to see how cool these are going to look! The guys bounced between so many projects, it was tough to keep up. Cindy did a nice job setting out more half gallon milk jug luminaries and focused her clean-up efforts on the west end of the garden. I saw her bring back many loads and she apparently was startled by (or perhaps startled...) a raccoon during her gardening activities. Cheryl bounced between debris collection, cutting back more perennials and some late season planting. She was in multiple areas and always is very thorough. Further below are some other images from the garden today.
'Redstone Falls' foamy bells (xHeucherella) going through a color transition that started in May - perennial
'Glamour Red' kale (Brassica oleracea) looking awesome - annual
Our volunteers were instrumental in completing many tasks today. Above are Ron (left) and Pat who have been our primary lighting repair technicians over the past six weeks and they finally finished the last of the repairs. We'll have some odds and ends but these guys have been stoically plodding through crate after crate of "lights in need" and did a great job! Others helped but these guys were the ringleaders and saved us a lot of money with their skills (and patience). Below is Kay tidying up her area nicely. No leaf escapes her attention. She later joined Eva in the shade garden and the ladies really did a nice "purge" with leaf collection and perennial cutting. Many a cart load came back to our compost pile. The second photo down shows Nancy (left) and Myrt who focused their efforts on leaf collection in the color rooms garden and Scottish garden. They made efficient use of their cart and various containers for their debris! Stan was in to put more deer protection on the yews (Taxus) in the Japanese garden and Maury ran some errands for us. Dr. Gredler was in for his mowing rounds and now has a challenging obstacle course with so many lights and displays around the gardens. The third photo down shows Patrea peeling and processing our annual labels which is a huge task. She put a nice dent in this project and we'll keep at it over the coming weeks so we can store those labels for re-use next year. Vern was also in to work on painting the lettering on another new quote bench that we'll install in spring. Further below are some additional shots from the gardens today.
"reddening" stems of the 'Erythrocladum' striped bark maple (Acer pensylvanicum) - woody tree
tricolor European beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Roseo-Marginata') still showing some pink variegation which is much more pronounced in spring
fall color (sometimes more orange...) of the three-flower maple (Acer triflorum) - woody tree
'Milan' coral bells (Heuchera) still looking nice - perennial
fall color of a perennial geranium (Geranium wlassovianum)
cool fall color variability for the Shantung maple (Acer truncatum) - woody tree