Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Colorful Story & Stroll

Today was another beautiful day with sunshine and temperatures around 70 degrees F.  We have a chance of rain overnight which I hope materializes.  We ran irrigation and set up sprinklers today which is a bit late in the season but the gardens still look good and are getting a bit on the dry side.  Above is a remnant cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) in the "Pollinator's Paradise" theme of the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden.  It's amazing how much color is still out there but some of the looming overnight temperatures could be a "decimating factor" for our tropicals and seasonals.  We had a good crew here today and enjoyed the perfect working weather!  Below are some additional shots from today.

 'October Skies' aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius) - perennial
 intense fall color of the fullmoon maple (Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium') - woody tree
 'Coleosaurus' coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) - annual
fall color on the 'Heronswood Globe' katsuratree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) - woody tree
 We had some handy volunteers around today.  Eva (above) and Kathy (below) did a dynamite job collecting leaves in the fern & moss garden and beyond.  Most of our larger cottonwoods (Populus deltoides) are in this area and the leaves were fluttering down as they raked.  This dynamic duo has been one of our most productive volunteer teams and are here almost daily!  The second photo down shows Tom F. working on processing our 'Thailand Giant' elephant ears (Colocasia gigantea) for winter storage.  We're getting these cut back, potted and stored in a greenhouse befpre the "mercury dips" too much!  Gena and Myrt were in for afternoon leaf collection and Stan did some serious work in the Japanese garden this afternoon.  Rollie made a trip north to Madison to pick up a brick order. We also saw Tom C., Jumbo Jim, Maury (errands), Stan and many others today.

The grounds staff collectively had a wide range of tasks to accomplish.  Above are Terry (left, looking pensive) and Big John putting up lights for the Holiday Lights Show.  The guys had some irrigation to run, containers to water and sprinklers to set-up but spent the bulk of their day putting up lights.  I helped a bit with decorating the gazebo and re-confirmed my fear of heights.  Pat worked primarily on processing, testing and repairing lights but was able to get out in the main parking lot islands for weeding.  Cindy (half day) did some major watering and spent more time primping the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden which continues to look dynamite.  Cheryl had tidying duties primarily around the gazebo garden area and did some watering as well.  I'll be off the next two days so have been preparing maps and lists to make sure the fun continues throughout the week.  Below are additional photos from today.

 great coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima) - perennial (nice blue/green foliage too!)
 fragrant heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens 'Alba') - annual
 'Caramel' coral bells (Heuchera villosa) - perennial
 'Arrabona Red' plume celosia (Celosia plumosa) looking great - annual
milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) spreading seeds
fall color of the Tiger Eyes staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger') - woody shrub

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