It was quite frigid this morning with a light breeze and temperatures around 20 degrees F. We all knew what was coming and were bundled in many layers. Overall, it was a lot more pleasant that I expected and warmed up to around 30 degrees F or so. This was much better than working in the wet snow yesterday and we all had plenty of fresh air out in the gardens today as well as beautiful blue sky. Above are some icicles on a Diabolo ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Monlo') which will hold leaves well in to November. Directly below is the last vestige of nice fall color on one of our serviceberries (Amelanchier sp.) near the sunken garden. We had a small grounds crew today but did also have some nice volunteer assistance for Holiday Lights Show (HLS) set-up needs and some garden clean-up. Further below are some other shots from my frozen camera today.
oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) with snow on top of late fall color - woody shrub
Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis) covered with snow - perennial
Our grounds staff did a nice job on both gardening and HLS set-up duties. Above is Cindy who spent the bulk of the day collecting leaves and other debris and also cutting back perennials. She targeted many areas and hauled back some impressive piles. She hauled out some HLS supplies for volunteers coming in later in the morning too. Cheryl (bundled up below) continued her tidying work in the fern & moss garden which had a large volume of leaves and other debris. She continues to do a great job in that area which requires a huge amount of attention late in the season. She'll likely finish that area tomorrow. Larry helped wire up many areas with cords and worked entirely on HLS preparations. Big John decorated more trees and shrubs with lights, hauled out screening trees, processed lights, staked displays and bounced between myriad HLS duties. I ran cords for another 6 hours and am on track to finish by Thursday. We'll have some corrections next week but I'm confident the HLS will look "totally awesome".
We did have some great volunteer help today. Above is Bill O. (one of two Bill O.'s here today) who is the Photo Editor from the Janesville Gazette. He was in the gardens to photograph a function and this was the best smile he could muster (looks like a "pre-sneeze"). Bill is also a RBG volunteer and is involved with our Home Garden Tour committee. Bill O. (#2) was in to collect more leaves and debris from around the gardens. Steve and Vicky finished setting out all the luminaries (thanks!) and Vern was in for some carpentry projects. We also saw Dr. Gredler, Bob K., Dick H., Barry B. and many others. Below are some other images from today.
'Silver Tower' Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) - perennial
'Ozawa' ornamental onion (Allium thunbergii) still showing some color - perennial
late fall color (typical) of the 'Chanticleer' ornamental pear (Pyrus calleryana) - woody tree
fall color on the needles of the dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) - deciduous conifer
all these crates had lights...the HLS is getting close to being ready!
"Every blade in the field, every leaf in the forest, lays down its life in its season as beautifully as it was taken up". Henry David Thoreau