We're at peak fall color for the three-flower maple (Acer triflorum) seen above (and at the bottom). While many trees have dropped their leaves already, we still have significant fall color "peppered" throughout the gardens. It was an amazing day outside after overnight rains. It was sunny and 75 degrees F today and perhaps our last day for t-shirt weather this year. We all enjoyed the weather and had a very strong volunteer turnout today. Our focus is now shifting more significantly towards set-up for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) which will premiere in less than four weeks at the November 22nd Taste of Chocolate fundraising event. Tickets are selling fast for this event so get on our website and check it out! Displays continue to get set-up, cords stretched out and myriad other preparations are accomplished to keep on track with not only the event set-up but the testing of the event prior to the premiere. Gardening, however, will continue as well over these upcoming weeks. Below are some additional images from this morning.
fall color of striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum) - woody tree
fall color of dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) - deciduous conifer
fall color of compact Koreanspice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii 'Compactum') - woody shrub
yellowing fall color of "skeleton-leaf" silver maple (Acer saccharinum 'Born's Gracious') - woody tree
It was a great day for volunteers. Bob C. and Ron R. worked on putting lights on our arches while Pat M. continued his progress on "Tower of Power" #2 which is looking good. He does a very nice job and is as detail-oriented as they come. The carpenters (Dave, Jim and Ron Y.) continued progress on the "elf workshop" which will be a new addition (one of two) for the HLS. Ken continued painting the large PVC candy canes and Ron P. continued his lights repairs. Lloyd (above) collected leaves along with Gary S. (directly below) and Alan M. Kathy (second photo down) worked with Terri (third photo down) and Eva (fourth photo down) on cutting back perennials and collecting garden debris in many areas. Dr. Gredler had a full day of mowing and Maury was out running errands this morning. The fifth photo down shows Dick P. and Dick H. bringing in the 'Russo Family Fountain' for winter storage. The guys also collected the 'Dancing Waters' fountain and have done this for many years. The sixth photo down shows Larry H. (foreground) and Gary B. putting protective netting on the yews (Taxus) in the Japanese garden. This should thwart the deer nibbling this winter although rabbits may continue to be a problem. Jumbo Jim came in with three RECAPPERS this afternoon and continued protecting plants in the Japanese garden for winter and accomplished quite a bit of clean-up as well. We also saw Arnie, Hal R., Mark S., Rollie and many others today.
The grounds staff accomplished a wide range of tasks today. Above is the fall color on a variegated maple (Acer pictum ssp. mono 'Hoshiyadori') which still shows the mottling on the leaf! Cindy worked entirely on HLS today by marking more of the icicle lights (so we don't get tangled in them) with marking tape. She then hauled out many of our 1/2 gallon milk jug luminaries for placement around the HLS route. We get them spaced first and then will wire them up later in the coming weeks. We'll still need access to areas for gardening and mowing so try to do the best we can to balance all of these approaches. Big John and Terry put up many more displays including the start of the sleigh/reindeer in the sunken garden. The guys also emptied some containers and put up additional lights. Larry did a wide range of tasks related to gardening and the HLS. He was a huge help securing some of the new lights so they wont get too tangled up when the winds arrive. I ran cords for a half day and caught up with desk work for the other half. This is a typical day for me this time of year but I'll have to focus increasingly on running extension cords so we're ready to roll. Below are more photos from this morning.
backlit weeping willow (Salix sp.) this morning
fall yellowing of bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) - perennial
rusty fall color on needles of bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) - deciduous conifer
fall color on 'Red Fox' katsuratree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum 'Rotfuchs') - woody tree
pumpkin orange fall color on three-flower maple (Acer triflorum) - woody tree