Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cords, Lights, Gardening

It was a cooler start to the day but the sun arrived and it warmed up in to the mid 50 degrees F.  Nice shot above featuring the fall color and form of the weeping 'Tidal Wave' katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) from beneath the foliage.  The late season color out in the gardens is still quite exceptional.  I'll be able to photograph nice fall color for the next couple of weeks I'm sure.  Don't forget that many of our perennials get a fall color transition as well.  This blog title is apt as we are really juggling a wide range of tasks including running cords, stringing lights, hauling luminaries and actually gardening!

 fall color on hybrid maple (Acer griseum x pseudoplatanus) - woody tree
 start of fall color for our large sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) - woody tree
 'Dale's Strain' coral bells (Heuchera americana) - perennial
 fall color on weeping larch (Larix decidua 'Pendula') - deciduous conifer
fall color of shingle oak (Quercus imbricaria) - woody tree

We had a sturdy crew of volunteers today.  Above are Kathy (left) and Eva in the Thomas Jefferson Collection.  They were later joined by Mary D. and all three ladies removed annuals and cut back perennials in these thirteen beds.  They later moved to another area for the same treatment.  We're excited about featuring this collection in 2015 with some new additions to the fun assortment of 100+ historic selections.  Below is Kay who hauled back many loads of debris from her assigned garden area in the shade garden.  Vicki O. came in later and spent the afternoon accomplishing gardening tasks like raking and removing spent annuals.  Dr. Gredler was in for more mowing and leaf collection (second photo down, way back in the center on his mower).  Maury ran errands for us which included getting us various items for HLS set-up.  The third photo downs shows continued progress in the center of the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden where a new centerpiece will be installed over the coming weeks (top secret!).  We also saw Marsha M., Tina B., Rollie, Charlotte, Art H. and many others today.

The grounds staff always amazes me with their productivity.  Above is Pat going by with the top 10' of the 20' Tower of Power.  This is the second one he's worked on and they should be up and ready by the end of the week for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS).  Two 20' tall towers like these with lots of lights will certainly be focal points in both the reception garden and formal gardens!  Larry worked on pounding more stakes for arches, loaded up debris for hauling to the dump and bounced between various other projects.  Cindy spent her second day delivering more half gallon milk jugs than the milk man.  She is in the process of spacing out 2,000 of these to line the paths of the HLS for our milk jug luminaries (C7 lights inside each jug).  She also worked on processing cannas and preparing lights.  Big John continued putting out more HLS displays and installing more lights in many locations around the gardens.  Janice jumped in to action with gardening, the cutting display and putting lights on obelisks and in the Japanese garden.  I spent a good half day running cords and have now "wired up" about 10% of the HLS with much more to go!

 starting to see more burning bush (Euonymus alatus) in the woods - not good!
 reddening fall color on Lady in Red ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Tuilad') - woody shrub
interesting bark of Eye Stopper cork tree (Phellodendron lavallei 'Longenecker') - woody tree
fall color on Crimson Spire hybrid oak (Quercus robur x alba 'Crimschmidt') - woody tree
fall color on 'Emperor I' Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) - woody tree

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