Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Holiday Lights

Today was another beautiful fall day with perfect temperatures and sunshine after a cool start.  The gardens continue to look more "Autumn-like" each day with fall colors, late season blooms and of course, plenty of leaves floating to the ground.  We continue to get more lights out in the gardens daily and the arched bridge above is just one of many examples that are now hinting at the Holiday Lights Show (HLS).  It was also a nice day to garden and we had a great crew of both grounds staff members and volunteers doing a wide range of activities.  Being less reliant on heavy watering on a daily basis has allowed us to spend more time on other duties.  We are still maintaining a lot of color out in the gardens with four more weddings coming up and still many visitors enjoying that last spurt of summer color hanging on this month.  Next week has some cool nights but I'm not seeing frost yet...  Below are some other images from today.

'Blazin' Rose' bloodleaf (Iresine hybrida) - annual
Chinese yellow toadlily (Tricyrtis macranthopsis) - perennial
transitioning fall color of the 'Redstone Falls' foamy bells (xHeucherella) - perennial

The grounds staff, as usual, had a busy and productive day. Above is Cindy who worked on tidying multiple areas, watering and in this photo, is continuing to purge spent annuals out of the All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden.  If I had been witty enough at the time of the photo above, I would have said to Cindy, "Don't be square...".  Get it?  Her staged approach to removals should be an interesting study in which plants will go the longest in to fall and still look decent.  Cheryl (directly below) also tidied in many areas including the English cottage garden and gazebo garden.  She also watered and had some other tasks.  Terry and Big John were attached at the hip and worked collectively on putting up more lights in many locations.  They had some general gardening duties too but spent the bulk of their time on HLS-related tasks.  I was out in the garden checking on various collections and spent time measuring distances that will help us determine our "electrical grid" for the HLS (always a challenge).

nice fall color of the Eyestopper corktree (Phellodendron lavallei 'Longenecker') - woody tree

Our volunteers were very productive today.  Kay (above) spent her morning in the sunken garden tidying up the beds around the periphery of that garden.  She did a very thorough job of removing spent annuals, cutting back floppy perennials and collecting lots of leaves.  With two weddings in that garden this weekend, we will get it nice and tidy over the coming days.  Betty H. (directly below) removed annuals from her garden space near the arboretum and continues to keep her two areas looking neat despite the necessary removals.  Stan was in to work in the Japanese garden and Dr. Gredler did his mowing rounds.  Rollie went on a road trip for memorial bricks that we hope to install yet this fall.  Maury ran errands for us and both he and Tom C. met with me regarding some of our "power needs" for the upcoming HLS.  We also saw Bev F., Mary W. and many others.  Pat M. spent the entire morning repairing lights and he has unbelievable patience to keep working through our large piles of "need to be repaired" strands.  Further below are images from today.

Autumn "tinting" of the 'Ruby Ribbons' switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'RR1') - perennial
'Rave On' coral bells (Heuchera sp.) - perennial
'Vibrant Dome' New England aster (Aster novae-angliae) - perennial
'Honorine Jobert' Japanese anemone (Anemone hybrida) - perennial
'Pomegranate' double purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) - perennial
'Miyazaki' toadlily (Tricyrtis hirta) - perennial
the North point garden is still looking nice and lush
the Ma Chii' in the fern & moss garden today (note waterfall in mid-left of shot)

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