Wednesday, October 8, 2014

50/50 Mix Today

Today was not a 50/50 mix in terms of weather but of tasks.  About half the work involved traditional autumn gardening (leaf collection, removing spent annuals, etc.) while the other half involved preparations for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) which isn't really that far away on the calendar.  Directly below are Terry (left) and Big John putting lights on one of three large pyramids in the entrance garden.  Above is our front sign with the digital screen sharing that we are still "Celebrating 25 Years in 2014"!  The year isn't over yet and either is the color.  That bed (tidied by Cheryl today) still has plenty of color with 'Fireworks' fountain grass (Pennisetum x advena) in the foreground, mums and the dark maroon 'Vertigo' elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) in the distance.  We had another great turnout of volunteers and it was a very productive day that started quite cool and ended up a pleasant 65 degrees F with a moderate breeze.  John and Terry worked primarily on HLS work although they also had some odd jobs and watering duties.  Cindy (half day) and Cheryl worked on gardening tasks. Cheryl and I went over to Green-Tek and BFG Supply here in Janesville for a great tour.  It was nice meeting both Paul (President of Green-Tek) and Dave (Manager at BFG Supply) this morning and we enjoyed touring their operations and envision a long business partnership with both companies.  Below are some additional images from today.

rose hips are starting to color up nicely in various locations
South American verbena (Verbena bonariensis) - annual
remnants of the pink theme like these cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) still look good - annual
mixed cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) stll going strong - annual

Our volunteers continue to help daily with a wide range of tasks.  It's important to note that this Horticulture Blog focuses primarily on grounds volunteers but every day we have volunteers assisting in the Cottage Garden Gallery, with educational offerings, tours, etc.  The many thousands of hours that are donated every year by hundreds of volunteers are vital and much appreciated.  Above is Pat C. yesterday in the fern & moss garden inventorying ferns and existing labels.  We're getting an idea on what died over last winter and through the year so we can order replacements and fill this collection out again.  Below are Kathy (with flags) and Eva (next photo down) who did a great job sprucing up our front flower bed with a focus on late season weeding and removals.  Kay (third photo down) spent another day primping her garden space in the shade garden which seems to have a new set of leaves on it daily.  She did a nice job tidying up her space with many cartloads of debris returning to our compost pile.  Tom (see bottom photos) was in to help with processing HLS lights as well as lots of work with preparing our tropicals for winterization.  Janice was in to work with the Chestnut House volunteers (fourth photo down) and they did a great job processing 3,000 tulips (Tulipa) that will be planted in the entrance garden in a week or so....  Gena, Myrt and Nancy came in for significant leaf clean-up this afternoon and Urban arrived for debris collection and more pruning.  Maury ran errands and we also saw Dr. Yahr, John J. and many others today.  Further below are additional images from this morning.

'All Gold' Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra) - perennial
'Alpha' pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) - annual
'Gold Angel' Japanese shrub mint (Leucosceptrum japonicum) - perennial
Illumination 'Flame' hybrid foxglove (xDigiplexis) - annual
One of our many toadlilies (Tricyrtis sp.) continues to bloom well this month
Our bananas (Ensete) and other tropicals really clogged up our greenhouse where we intend to store them so Tom (below) worked his "kung fu" and the end result at the bottom was more organized and easier to water for sure!

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