Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Decreasing Temps - Increasing HLS Work

It was a cooler day but still quite nice for both gardening and continued set-up efforts for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS).  Above is the fall color on another of our ginkgos (Ginkgo biloba).  Fall color in general has been superior this year and we still have quite a bit of interest out in the gardens.  We actually had a group of high school students (51) tour the gardens this morning with our tour guides (Audrey, Layton, Chuck and Art).  They were from the Eau Claire area and en route to the FFA National Convention in Louisville, KY.  They were a nice group of kids and hopefully they enjoyed their chilly jaunt out in the gardens.   Our grounds staff kept busy and we had another nice day of much appreciated volunteerism.  Below are some additional images from today.
'Red Head' fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) - perennial
 'Flame' willow (Salix hybrida) stems getting redder every day - woody shrub
inflorescences of  'Blondo' Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) - perennial
 start of fall color on the variegated 'Kumson' forsythia (Forsythia viridissima var. koreana) - woody shrub
The grounds staff kept busy with a wide range of tasks.  Cindy (half day) worked on boxing up our elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta) for winter storage and moved on to gardening efforts on the west end of the garden.  Much of the garden is still colorful as seen in the vignette above (Magda and Marleen's assigned garden).  Pat (half day) processed more HLS lights and continued his work on various HLS components at the Horticulture Center.  Cheryl worked on processing our labels for winter storage this morning and transitioned to significant gardening in multiple locations.  Big John and Terry had some light gardening duties but continue to focus the bulk of their attention on HLS set-up including installing displays, stringing out lights, etc.  I was able to run more cords this morning and continue to peck away at tasks both inside and outside.

 fruit clusters of the blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis) - perennial
 fall coloring on cutleaf stephanandra (Stephanandra incisa 'Crispa') - arching woody shrub

We continue to have some great volunteer help and today was no exception.  Above is Roman taking out the mail with help from Kris K. (mom).  He's a cute kid that still owes me a drawing.  Ron P. came in this morning and worked with Pat M. on processing and repairing lights.  Directly below are Kathy (left) and Eva doing more general gardening in multiple locations.  The ladies work well together and had no trouble gathering debris for our increasingly larger compost pile back at the Horticulture Center.  Kay spent most of the morning tidying up her section of the shade garden which included more leaf and twig collection and additional cutting back of some perennials and shrubs.  She later jumped across the path (literally) to start on another area "in need".  Gena and Myrt arrived in the afternoon for more gardening efforts including plenty of leaf collection.  The second photo down shows Janice working with the Chestnut House volunteers as they cleared their raised planter gardens near the Horticulture Center.  These planters had a long run and looked dynamite all season.  Nancy N. (third photo down) came in to put lights on candy canes and Dick P. was in to install more memorial bricks.  Maury ran errands for us and Dr. Gredler did some afternoon mowing.  Further below are additional images from today.

'Black Pearl' ornamental hot peppers (Capsicum annuum) - annual
 golden fall color on columnar silver linden (Tilia tomentosa 'Erecta') - woody tree
Autumn-look on a row of 'Northwind' switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) - perennial
fall color of Royal Raindrops crabapple (Malus hybrida 'JFS-KW5') - woody tree

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