Thursday, October 17, 2013

"While The Weather Outside Is Frightful..."

"...the inside is do delightful".  It literally drizzled all day and fluctuated between a light mist and a medium rain.  Needless to say, much of our garden work was put on hold due to the sloppy conditions out in the gardens.  However, with some quick maneuvering in the Horticulture Center, we were able to have about 12 volunteers working inside all morning on Holiday Lights Show (HLS) tasks.  Above is the work area with volunteers testing lights, repairing lights, processing lights and working on displays.  It was a very productive morning and these were tasks just waiting to be done on a rainy day!  There was some HLS work out in the gardens but we'll have to catch up on more traditional gardening like plant removal and fall gardening tasks in better weather.  Below is our certificate (suitable for framing) that arrived from All-America Selections (AAS) regarding our 1st place for the Landscape Design Contest (second year in a row).  We're honored to receive this recognition and hope to accumulate some more!  Further below are additional photos from our wet garden.

fall color of 'Green Column' black maple (Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum) - woody tree
'Vertigo' elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) still looking good - annual
fruit cluster of American mountain ash (Sorbus americana)

As seen in the topmost photo, we had a nice volunteer turnout although no volunteers were out in the gardens. Directly above are Jim (left) and Vern working on some portions of new HLS displays.  Dick H. (below) is re-purposing this PVC pipe (1 of 10) for use in the HLS (you'll just have to see how these are used and how cool they'll look!).  Dick also ran to the dump with some garden debris.  Dr. Gredler, Bob C. and Nancy N. all painted our new "PVC candy canes" today.  Vicki and Steve secured lights on to our other candy canes while Shirley, Suzy and Pat R. processed lights and decorated obelisks.  Eva helped with lights processing and also peeled stickers off of our annual labels for re-use next year.  Maury ran many helpful errands for us today (and brought back some yummy apple cider).  Ron P. and Pat M. worked on lights repair all morning and we also saw Rollie M., Kris K., Terry N. and many others.

Larry and Big John toughed out the weather most of the day with outside HLS set-up duties.  John put up more lights on various shrubs and structures while Larry put up some of our earliest "arches" which will soon be decorated with lights.  HLS attendees walk under these and they look pretty neat when many are used in sequence along a pathway.  John and Larry also had some periodic indoor projects but both of their days were filled with pre-holiday joy.  Janice helped coordinate our morning volunteers, worked on lights, helped Kris K. with some pre-symposium duties and accomplished other tasks as well.  It's not too late to register for our November 2nd symposium (New Old Favorites for the Midwestern Garden) which promises to be an awesome event (see our website).  Cheryl was in for a half day of HLS work and matching labels to many of our "soon to be planted" perennials.  I helped coordinate our indoor team, had a meeting and am bouncing between various projects and HLS preparations.  Below are more recent photos taken out in the gardens.

'Numex Twilight' hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) - annual
fruits of the 'Toba' hawthorn (Crataegus x mordenensis) - woody tree
fall color of honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis) - woody tree
our 'All Gold' golden Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra) "waterfall" - perennial
'Strictus' porcupine grass (Miscanthus sinensis) - perennial
fall color of Amur maple (Acer ginnala) in the Japanese garden - woody tree

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