Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Special Birthday

Dr. Gredler celebrated his 90th birthday today and can be seen at the far end of the table above.  Doc's son Phil (back right next to Doc) bought lunch and we enjoyed celebrating this occasion.  Dr. Gredler's mowing contract with RBG was extended another 10 years so we expect him at work tomorrow.  It was a crazy day out in the gardens with plenty of visitors, grounds staff activities and a bumper crop of volunteers (for a Tuesday!).  The weather was 25 degrees F chillier than yesterday but it was a comfortable gardening temperature for late September.  It was a very productive day.  See photos below that were taken this morning.

 the mums still look cheerful throughout the gardens
 'Peach Crisp' coral bells (Heuchera) - perennial
 seed formation on the umbrella magnolia (Magnolia tripetala) - woody tree
Autumn combo of 'Red Bull' big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), 'Little Spire' Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) and Black Lace elderberry (Sambucus nigra 'Eva')

We had some excellent help today out in the gardens.  Above is Larry H. who continued collecting leaves and helped haul back many containers of elephant ears (Colocasia) for processing prior to storage.  Rollie (directly below) came in for some mowing duties and was relieved by Dr. Gredler at mid-morning.  Bill O. was also in for some mowing duties.  Ron K. (second photo down) did a great job with tidying in the woodland walk garden which is accumulating leaves hourly!  Ron did a nice job and hauled out many loads of debris.  We had plenty of leaf clean-up today by Kathy, Eva, Fran and Becky (see images further below).  The seventh photo down shows Resa (driving) and Cookie headed out to the North point garden for tidying and digging up elephant ears (Colocasia sp.).  The ladies did a nice job and Larry H. was a big help hauling back their plants.  Pat C. came in to process labels and is doing a fern inventory for me in the fern & moss garden.  We also saw Dr. Yahr, Maury, Betty and many others today.

Fran (left) and Eva

We had a large grounds crew today with plenty of action.  Larry ran irrigation, watered and bounced between a wide range of projects.  Big John push mowed, watered, put up lights, planted and kept busy with myriad other tasks.  Janice was able to work on the cutting display, do significant primping in the Thomas Jefferson Collection and had other projects as well. Cheryl spent most of her time primping in the gazebo garden which needed some major help.  She potted up some tender tropicals and had some significant watering as well.  Cindy spent time in the sunken garden tidying up and later moved to the English cottage garden.  She also had some watering duties.  Pat also push mowed but then shifted focus to Holiday Lights Show preparations.  I had my morning tour and continue to attack my desk work. Below are some additional images from today.

 strawflower (Helichrysum bracteatum) - annual
'Arrested Development' aster (Aster laevis) - perennial
 the elephant ears (Colocosia sp.) are starting to be brought in for winter storage as the evenings get colder
 nasturtiums (Tropaeolum sp.) don't mind the cool nights and continue to bloom strongly - annual
 Sanguna 'Radiant Blue' petunia (Petunia) - annual (part of the American Garden Award program with voting closing today...)
 the Japanese garden still looks beautiful in fall
We had a great tour come up from Illinois.  Nikki K. (U of I Extension) brought up a group from Illinois and we had an enjoyable 2 hour tour (seen  here in the Thomas Jefferson Collection with Janice pretending to work in the foreground)

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