Today was another chilly start with overcast skies most of the day. However, it warmed to about 65 degrees F (with sunshine later) and was a great day for gardening and capturing vivid colors out in the gardens. Above is one of our cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) specimens in the "Pollinator's Paradise" theme of the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden. The bee was just warming up this morning! Directly below are the formal annual sections with a view back to the Rath Environmental Center; our original visitor's center. We had a great turnout of volunteers today and really accomplished some solid work out in the gardens. Further below are more images from today.
formal gardens looking South
'NuMex Easter' ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum) - annual
pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) - annual
'First Snow' heath aster (Aster ericoides) - perennial
Ron P. above was working on repairing lights for the Holiday Lights Show and was pleased with his progress until I pointed out the crates behind him still needing his attention! We had a wonderful turnout of volunteers today with a strong focus on outdoor work. Ken was inside painting our giant Adirondack chairs and Dr. Gredler came in for late morning mowing. Directly below are Betty (left) and Shirley before they descended on their respective garden areas for "purging" of spent annuals. They did a great job. The second photo down shows Larry H., who along with Ron R., did a nice job collecting leaves in various locations. I told Larry that I was going to show his wife Amy this photo of him with another woman...Gary B. watered mums and really helped out in the yard with some final Fall Plant Sale closure. Dick H. made some runs to the dump due to all the debris we're accumulating while Dave, Bob K. and Jim D. worked on a siding project (third photo down). Kathy and Eva (fourth photo down) did a nice job in the sunken garden with removing some unsightly plants and installing mums for extended color. They are a great team and will continue working in that space tomorrow. Mary Ann (fifth photo down) watered and tended the Thomas Jefferson Collection which is still looking good as we head in to Autumn. Hal and Doris came in to work in their area which included removals and mum additions. The sixth and seventh photos down show the elite team of Bonnie, Suzie, Mary R. and Sue C. collecting leaves and debris in the fern & moss garden. The ladies were very thorough in a space that really needed their collective attentions. We also saw Dr. Yahr, Joe V., Charlotte and many others today.
The grounds staff helped coordinate our many volunteers and had their own set of tasks to accomplish. Larry continued to run irrigation, began testing displays for the Holiday Lights Show and had mowing and other duties out in the gardens. Janice helped get our volunteers organized this morning and worked on myriad other gardening projects around the garden. Big John helped haul and water mums at the Parker Education Center (still for sale at $7 each!), watered, planted up containers and bounced between other projects as well. I had a series of meetings and I gave a tour for members of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum which visited today. If you've not been to see that garden/facility up near the Twin Cities, put it on your "to do" list. Below are additional images from this morning.
the fruits of the Japanese spikenard (Aralia cordata) are coloring up nicely - perennial
sweet Autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) looking (and smelling) good - perennial
the 'Painted Lady' sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is still blooming strong - annual
early fall color on the fullmoon maple (Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium') - woody tree
'New Zealand Purple' castor bean (Ricinus communis) - annual
some neat changes will be happening in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden soon...more to follow...