Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Autumn!

While fall color is just starting to show, a couple of trees like this fullmoon maple (Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium') are really "strutting their stuff" today.  This color will transition through some nice oranges as well.  Despite Autumn arriving on the calendar, we've had cool nights and mild days for a couple weeks now and certainly enjoyed a beautiful day of sunshine, fluffy clouds and 72 degrees F.  We had a very productive day out in the gardens although watering became more important as we haven't had significant rain in quite some time.  We also had a great turnout of volunteers throughout the day and continue to maintain and primp the gardens for maximum color as long as possible.  Below are some additional images from this morning.

 Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) - perennial
 'Mystic Illusion' dark-leaved dahlia (Dahlia hybrida) - annual (one of the most popular in the gardens this year...note the bee in the middle too!)
 the Jungle Garden is hanging in there despite the cold nights
 Mona Lavender spurflower (Plectranthus hybrida 'Plepalila') - annual

Our volunteers were all dressed in layers this morning but it warmed up nicely.  Above (left to right) are Peg, Kathy and Eva.  This trio did a nice job removing spent annuals (primarily coleus) and installed mums for quick color in the sunken garden.  With more weddings over the coming weeks, we try to maintain and augment color throughout the gardens.  Cookie and Resa (driving) below did similar work in the North point garden which is their assigned garden area.  They did a nice job and that garden continues to look very showy.  Vicki came in to help Janice with gardening tasks and Bill O. did his mowing rounds.  Jumbo Jim and I did a tour of the Japanese garden to identify fall/winter projects and Shawn W. was in that area cleaning up the water features.  Del (second photo down) continued work on his reindeer cutouts for the Holiday Lights Show and both Bev D. and Deb G. were in for some meetings and other tasks.  We also saw Dr. Yahr and some others today.

The puffball mushrooms can be seen around the gardens right now and the one above was placed on a rock (by a visitor?) in the Japanese garden.  It looks like a dinosaur egg!  Our grounds staff had a busy day of tidying, planting, watering and primping.  Janice worked on tidying the front entrance garden, planted, did the cutting display and worked on other projects as well.  Cindy started the day watering and continued her fine-tuning in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden which continues to look excellent.  Cheryl had multiple areas to tidy up (formal gardens, terrace, etc.) and had some watering later in the day.  Larry continued running irrigation, helped haul supplies this morning, push mowed and helped with other tasks as well.  Big John also mowed, watered, collected debris and continued with other projects as well.  We had a very productive crew today.  I was out in the gardens for a bit this morning and continue to be drawn to my desk and the overflowing "in box".   Below are additional images from this morning.

 variegated hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla 'Mariesii') - woody shrub
 'Long Red Slim Cayenne' hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) in the Thomas Jefferson Collection (see sign below)

 Japanese garden waterfall
the Azumaya in the fern & moss garden

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