Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Frosty Knockout Punch

The mercury dipped below 30 degrees F last night which was the final blow for many of our seasonal plantings.  The second photo down shows come elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta) giving their opinion about the chilly overnight temperatures.  I'm glad we removed as many annuals as we did prior to today as it looks like we still have plenty more to remove and compost.  The frost sure does look neat in the morning though as seen in the prairie shot above and some images below.  It looks like there will be frost overnight every day this week which will motivate us to finalize clean-up efforts and continue to accomplish our fall gardening tasks and Holiday Lights Show (HLS) set-up.  We're all looking forward to the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner this evening which should be well attended.  We have such a great batch of volunteers helping with so many tasks here at RBG and this event should provide some recognition for all of those vital, donated hours.

'Chumbyi' rock jasmine (Androsace primuloides) with frost
the reaction of elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta) to frost...

It was a chilly start for the grounds staff but everyone ultimately made it outside and was appropriately bundled.  Above is Larry who spent more time putting up arches and is also putting lights on his "pavilion" display in the reception garden.  Big John secured some decorated obelisks and spent most of his day putting lights up in the front entrance garden which includes many conifers.  Cheryl had a half day and spent it well with clean-up efforts in the sunken garden.  Cindy processed some new lights to start the day and then spent her "tidy time" in the gazebo garden which was hit hard with the frost.  Janice decorated obelisks and spent a good portion of day helping prepare for the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner this evening.  Pat (below) spent time repairing lights and preparing displays.  In the image below, he's preparing these orange planters for new, re-purposed displays that we concocted.  It should be interesting!  I actually got my tractor/trailer ready with cords and ran my first 2,000 feet of extension cords.  Two shots down are some of our cords just waiting to be used.  I'll run cords every day now for the next month to keep up with everything being decorated and set-up in the gardens.  It was a productive day for everyone and while the cold is tough in the mornings, it could always be worse!

just some of our many cords for the HLS

With the cold start to the day, we didn't see many volunteers for outside work.  However, above are Eva (left) and Kay planting about 150 new hostas and other perennials in the color rooms garden.  This garden space is receiving a "make over" and the ladies did a great job with this late planting despite some of the pots being frozen solid!  Ron and Bev came in later to decorate arches and Dr. Gredler was in for his mowing routine.  Tom C. continued preparing some of our temporary power cords and Bill O. stopped by as well.  Maury ran errands for us this morning and we also saw Mary W. and many others.  Below are more shots of interest from this morning.

fall color of the 'Aconitifolium' fullmoon maple (Acer japonicum) - woody tree
fall color of bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) - deciduous conifer (tree)
yellow buckeye (Aesculus octandra) capsules splitting open - woody tree
our compost pile continues to grow daily
Don't forget the November 2nd RBG Symposium (see our website)!!!

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