Thursday, September 25, 2014

Free Day Well Received!

The day started wonderfully with a hot air balloon launch right near the Horticulture Center at 7 am.  One of these days I'll get the courage to go up in one and get some photos of the gardens from a "bird's eye view"!  This FREE ADMISSION DAY was very well attended and it's always nice to see so many visitors out in the gardens.  The weather was perfect with sunshine and 78 degrees F by the afternoon.  There is still plenty of color out in the gardens.  With recent cold evenings, we've removed about 15% of our annuals (those that looked bad) but many are still hanging in there including elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta) like the 'Black Coral' seen below in a container with yellow mums.  We'll be digging and storing many of our best (and most expensive) elephant ears soon before they get frosted.  It was a crazy day with many volunteers out in the gardens this morning!  Below are more photos from today.

 'Black Coral' elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) with mums - tropical
 'Purple Majesty' ornamental millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is still looking great in composition - annual
 'Jazz' little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) getting a fall tinge of color - perennial
Fall Fiesta sugar maple (Acer saccharum 'BAILsta') - woody tree

As mentioned above, we had an onslaught of volunteers this morning and accomplished a wide range of tasks today. Above are Doris and Hal heading out to remove spent annuals from their garden area.  All of our carts were in action and we even had to use the hand carts (see Fran below collecting remnant melon debris)!  The volunteer photos are labeled further below as there were so many people doing such great work today.  Shirley and Betty worked in their garden and we had Ron R., Larry H., Gary B., Vicki O., Barb, Shirley, Mary W., Mary R., Susie H., Bonnie, Eva, Kathy, Linda S. and many others collecting debris in various locations.  Dave, Bob K. and Jim worked on some carpentry projects both inside and out and Ken continued his painting duties.  Ron P. and Pat M. worked on testing/repairing lights for the looming Holiday Lights Show. Dick H. made some runs to the dump and is repairing one of our defunct carts.  Both Dr. Gredler and Bill O. did some riding mowing today as well.  Joel R. came in to work on our aeration system in the pond too!  We also saw Elsa, Lois, Dick P. and many others on this busy day!

 Fran W.
 Betty H.
 Shirley C.
 Bob K. (waking from a cat nap)
 Mary R.
 Susie H.
Barb (left) and Shirley
 Gary B. (left) and Larry H.
 Mary Ann G.
Dick H.

We truly had a paid "skeleton crew" today with only Larry, Janice and myself.  Janice was instrumental in getting our huge crew of volunteers dispersed efficiently this morning.  Janice also had significant watering duties as well as other projects.  Larry ran irrigation and set up sprinklers in our driest areas.  We sure could use some rain!  Larry had myriad other projects and did his Thursday push mowing rounds as well.  I was able to get out in the gardens a bit today, had a meeting and continue to plan for upcoming events and challenges.  Above is the 'Sahara' annual gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) and below are additional images from today.

 asters (Aster sp.) are blooming well - perennial (note the bee!)
 'Fireworks' goldenrod (Solidago rugosa) is showing peak color - perennial
Voting is still going on for the American Garden Award ( display until September 30th.  Above is the 'Arrabona Red' plume celosia (Celosia plumosa) which is one of the four entries in 2014

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