Friday, October 31, 2014

A Hint of Snow For Halloween

Halloween started with some very light snow (see above) and it was a cold and windy day.  That didn't stop us from getting outside and the holiday was at least celebrated by Phoebe (below).  We don't allow dogs on RBG property but bumblebees are encouraged.  We had some great volunteer help today and while the wind made leaf collection difficult, there were still plenty of perennials and other debris to trim and collect.  Progress continued in regards to Holiday Lights Show (HLS) set-up as well.  With our "premiere lighting" at the Taste of Chocolate event (tickets selling fast!) on November 22nd, we have only three weeks to get everything in place, wired up and tested.  We're on track if we don't get too much more bad weather.  We'll see.  It was still a productive day despite the biting winds and 30 degree F windchill.  Below are additional photos from this morning.

 intense red fall color on 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) - woody tree
 intensifying orange fall color on Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia) - woody tree
 excellent fall color on sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) - woody tree
late season blooms of witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) - small woody tree

The grounds staff had a busy day for sure.  We had some indoor projects and ultimately everyone ended up outside.  Directly above is Cindy working on packing up our cannas for winter storage.  We've been drying them recently and will have volunteer "babysitters" keep them over the winter for replanting in early April of 2015.  Cindy also helped with some HLS lights work on candy canes (with Nancy) and was out stringing the lights for the half gallon milk jug luminaries.  Pat (two photos directly below) finished up efforts on this "Tower of Power" which has close to 2,500 blue LED lights on it.  He's done a nice job with both towers and he came in late yesterday to anchor this structure against the aggressive winds last night and today.  The third photo down shows Terry, Big John and Bob K. (volunteer) working on securing trees for the HLS.  These are the donated trees we picked up yesterday and once in place, they'll all get a healthy dose of lighting.  Bob K. was a huge help today.  John and Terry also hauled out some other displays and HLS elements and continue to "live and breathe" this event daily.  Janice had some indoor projects, helped Kris K. prepare for the Fall Symposium (tomorrow) and also strung some lights.  I was "cord boy" all morning and caught up on other duties after lunch.


We had some stalwart volunteers today.  Eva (above) and Kay (below) both worked on collecting debris from various garden areas.  We are at least 83.5% done with fall garden clean-up and these two ladies have had an integral role in this progress!  They brought back many loads of debris and fought the winds as best they could.  Bob K. helped the boys with securing trees this morning and Dr. Gredler was out mowing.  Nancy N. came in to put more lighting on our giant candy canes. We also saw Marv B., Urban M., Kris K., Roman and many others today.  Further below are additional images from today.

 fruiting structures and fall color for the Eastern wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus) - woody tree
fall color (top) and silver bottom of leaf for 'Fialaspire' silver poplar (Populus alba) - woody tree
 start of fall color on the 'Saratoga' ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) - woody tree
blooms of deadnettle (Lamium maculatum) still going - perennial

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