It was another beautiful day although overcast skies in the afternoon led to some light drizzle. Above is some morning light coming through this bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) as it gets its amber fall color. We had another very productive day out in the gardens with lots of volunteers and our dedicated grounds staff. We are still doing plenty of garden clean-up as more leaves fall hourly. We've removed over 75% of our annuals and will likely finish purging our seasonal plants by next week. Set-up for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) will become more focused next week as we're able to get up more lights and displays in areas that have been "winterized" and are open for decoration. Below are some additional photos from this morning.
fall color of American smoketree (Cotinus obovatus) - woody tree
ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) leaves in a granite basin in the Japanese garden
fall color of the Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia) - woody tree
peak fall color for the Korean maple (Acer pseudosieboldianum) - woody tree
It was a great turnout of volunteers this morning with a good showing from the Grumpies as well. Above is Ron P. working on never-ending lights repairs for the HLS. Below are Bob K. and Ron Y. (second photo down) painting a new "elf house" for the HLS. This will be decorated both inside and outside for the event and is a new addition for the 2014 show. The boys look dapper in their matching blue smocks. Jim D. and Dave T. were also in the mix for working on this and some other carpentry projects. Ken was nearby continuing his painting project on the giant candy canes. The third photo down shows Ron R. (left) and Bob C. working on bringing back the doors and windows from the Jungle Garden. The guys did quite a bit of work in that area including bringing in many of the stakes. The fourth, fifth and sixth photos down show Peg, Sue and Bonnie all collectively working in the fern & moss garden and Japanese garden collecting leaves. The ladies did a great job and both Kathy and Eva did a super job too continuing to purge annuals from the front entrance garden. Jumbo Jim and two RECAPPERS did a nice job of continuing to remove annuals from the garden and worked on other tidying activities as well. The seventh photo down shows Alan M. and the eight photo down is Gary S. The guys were the dynamic duo with raking in a wide range of areas. That next photo shows our yellow, "Tower of Power" poised and ready to be put up (which it was with plenty of helping hands). Pat M. did a great job of getting this structure ready and up in good order. One down, one more to go. We also saw Hal and Doris R. (gardening), Maury, Bill O. (mowing), Bill O. (#2), Sue M. and many others today.
The grounds staff worked on a wide range of activities today. Larry (above) started pounding stakes for the arches that will go over many of our paths for the HLS. Larry also had many other duties related to the HLS and helped keep our volunteers moving today. Big John (below) worked primarily on HLS duties like installing displays (bunny below), stringing lights, etc. He and Terry started the earliest on this event and will likely be among the most involved in terms of total hours. Cheryl did a great job gardening primarily in the sunken garden which needed to be finished in order for HLS decorations to be set up there. She is a thorough gardener for sure! I had grandiose ideas about running cords today but had some meetings and other budget preparations and duties for 2015. Further below are more photos from this morning.
another American smoketree (Cotinus obovatus) with increasingly orange fall color - woody tree
dwarf feather reed grass (Calamagrostis hybrida 'Cheju-Do') - perennial
nice shot of the waterfall in the Japanese garden this morning
the Japanese garden still has plenty of color!