Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Color Is Dynamite

While I've observed that the timing of fall color this year has been a bit "off", the vividness is still quite nice as seen with the Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger') above.  It seems that some trees/shrubs should have better fall color or fall color hasn't started on some specimens that we would expect.  Regardless, throughout the gardens, fall color continues to peak here and there and the Japanese garden on this overcast day was spectacular (see below).  There was some drizzle overnight but the rain held off today until about 2 pm when it became a consistent drizzle.  However, we did have a very productive day out in the gardens and the rain is certainly welcome and looks likely throughout tomorrow as well.  Further below are some maples showing respectable fall color too!

Shantung maple (Acer truncatum) - woody tree
fall color of 'Green Cascade' fullmoon maple (Acer japonicum) - woody tree

We had a nice distribution of volunteers both inside and outside today. Above are Jim (foreground) and Dave working on a project for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS).  The second photo down shows Ron and Patrea (Pat M. just off camera) troubleshooting lights for the HLS.  This trio has been very productive with testing and repairs this year.  The second photo down shows Ken putting a fresh coat of paint on our PVC candy canes for the HLS.  It's nice to have this progress and we'll likely be working on indoor HLS components tomorrow if it's rainy again.  Dick H. came in to make some dump runs and continues to work on repairs for one of our vehicles.  Maury came in to pick up 70 pumpkins (with Gary S. and Rollie) for the youth education program and ran some errands for us as well.  Gary S. created more labels and Dr. Gredler was in for a full day of mowing out in the gardens.  The third photo down shows Alan M. in the foreground raking leaves with Bob C. and Larry H. in the background repairing potholes.  The fourth photo down shows Larry H. (driving) and Bob C. en route for path repairs.  These guys did some great work as did Eva and Kathy (fifth photo down, Kathy to the right) in the reception garden with Shirley H.  These ladies began clearing annuals with a focus on clearing space for HLS "decorating access."  Del came in later for painting and we also saw Marv B., his son Dan B., Dr. Yahr, El B. and many others.

The grounds staff had an active day.  Big John and Terry "buddied up" again today for some container purging (saving bananas) and ultimately spent most of the day on HLS set-up.  Cindy spent her day purging annuals from various locations which included some dahlias (we're saving) and plenty of spent plants in the "Pollinator's Paradise".  Light frost has hit twice and it shows but there is still an amazing amount of color out there and some annuals are still "going the distance."  With looming rain this afternoon, I went out and fertilized about 80% of our turf areas as the timing was perfect.  I had a meeting and some other duties as well.  All in all, a great day.  See below for more color photographed this morning.

'Twinny Peach' double snapdragon (Antirrhinum hybrida) - annual
very late bloom of Armenian basket flower (Centaurea macrocephala) - perennial (August bloomer)
dinosaur kale (Brassica oleracea 'Lacinato') loving the cool weather - annual
calyces of seven-sons-flower (Heptacodium miconioides) which become showy and colorful after the fragrant white flowers shed their petals - woody small tree
fall color of bloody cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum) - perennial

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