Monday, October 20, 2014

Glorious October

We had a wonderful day outside with sunshine, a blue sky and temperatures around 60 degrees F after a chilly start.  This weather was perfect for gardening and putting up lights and displays for our looming Holiday Lights Show (HLS).  We had another nice turnout of volunteers and while visitation has slowed a bit out in the gardens, we did see some visitors enjoying the spectacular fall color like that of the 'Green Mountain' sugar maple (Acer saccharum) seen above.  We had another mild frost over the weekend which has prompted the continued removal of many seasonals along with plenty of leaf raking!  Our team of grounds staff and volunteers had a very productive day and enjoyed the weather.  Below are some additional photos from this morning.

 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) - woody tree
 fall color on 'Debonair' pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens) - deciduous conifer
 fall color on Gold Spire columnar ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba 'Blagon') - woody tree
fall color of 'Copper Ridges' doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum) - woody shrub
flame grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Purpurascens') - perennial

Volunteers helped both inside and outside today. Above is Patrea working on processing the hundreds of labels that come back daily when we remove annuals.  We peel off the current sticker labels and organize these by height for winter storage and re-use next spring.  She did a great job. Below is Ken continuing his quest involving repainting our larger PVC candy canes before we secure new lights on these for the HLS.  The second photo down shows Bob K. (left) and Jim working on a special project for the HLS.  The third photo down shows Gary (left) and Bob C. heading out.  The guys filled buckets with sand (for our HLS paths when icy) and headed out for removing annuals and collecting leaves.  Alan M. did a nice job collecting many leaves from multiple locations.  Lloyd, Shirley (fourth photo down) and Eva worked on removing annuals in the formal gardens and later split up to additional locations for the same task.  Dr. Gredler was in for mowing duties and "fireman Bill" stopped by to say hi.  Maury and Gary S. ran for pumpkins for the youth education program and both guys moved on to other duties as well.  We also saw Shirley C. (fifth photo down) who came in to remove annuals from her assigned garden area.  She has one "bum wing" but worked one handed and accomplished a lot!  Now that's dedication.  We also saw Dr. Yahr, Marv B., Kris K., Chuck S. and many others today.

The grounds staff accomplished a wide range of tasks today and enjoyed the weather as well.  Pat worked primarily on HLS duties including modifying one of our large (20' tall) obelisks for the show and starting to secure the lights.  Cindy spent most of the day purging more annuals from the "Pollinator's Paradise" which will return to the "Smelly Garden" theme in 2015.  Terry and Big John purged some containers and other annuals along with our hanging baskets and shifted to some significant HLS set-up.  Larry worked on HLS preparations, oiled and sharpened hand tools and had myriad other projects.  I had two meetings, fertilized some lawns and continue to do some budget preparations for next year.  Below are some additional photos from this morning.

 our bananas (Ensete sp. and Musa sp.) are all spiraling out new growth in the greenhouse!
 'Robustissima' grape-leaf anemone (Anemone tomentosa) - perennial (blooming for three months!)
 'Dark Beauty' toadlily (Tricyrtis formosana) still blooming! - perennial
 peak orange fall color on three-flower maple (Acer triflorum) - woody tree
 stems are reddening for winter interest on our 'Flame' willows (Salix hybrida) - woody shrub
 start of fall color on oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) - woody shrub
 'Barker's Variety' monkshood (Aconitum carmichaelii) - perennial
start of fall color on the shady side of a Korean maple (Acer pseudosieboldianum) - woody tree

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