I think fall color is at peak out in the gardens after touring today. The maples are outstanding right now. Above is the Korean maple (Acer pseudosieboldianum) looking nice near the arboretum. The gardens have a wide range of reds, oranges and yellows right now and visitors this weekend will certainly get a treat. We had a busy day out in the gardens but the weather was perfect with overcast skies and a high in the mid 50 degrees F. Great gardening weather was appreciated by both volunteers and staff. We had many volunteers this morning and a productive grounds crew. After one last wedding this afternoon in the rose garden, the outdoor wedding season comes to a close and we can really turn our attention to getting set up for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS). The premiere lighting of this event is a component of the November 22nd Taste of Chocolate event which is currently open for ticket sales. See our website soon as this is traditionally an event that sells out very quickly. Below are some additional photos from my walking tour of the gardens this morning.
color coordination seen above in the North point garden with yellow Adirondack chairs overlooking the fall color of the willow-leaf bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii) - perennial
red maple (Acer rubrum) looking sharp - woody tree
shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) is looking like pure gold right now - woody tree
sumac (Rhus sp.) looking spectacular - woody thicket
The volunteers kept busy today with lots of garden tidying. Above (left to right) are Kathy, Terri and Eva. These ladies did a great job continuing to purge the reception garden of spent annuals. We're clearing spaces like this in advance of HLS preparations and the ladies shifted to the sunken garden later where John and Dawn were working (next photo down). Ron K. (second photo down) did a great job continuing to collect and haul off debris from the woodland walk garden. He's a heck of a worker and as reliable as they come. Shirley and Kay (third and fourth photos down respectively) did a super job purging annuals and cutting back perennials in the shade garden and larch area. These veteran volunteers were productive as usual which is no surprise. Tom F. (fifth photo down) continued purging the last of the Jungle Garden (will be back in 2015!) and had other projects to attend to as well. Cookie and Resa were in this afternoon to begin purging annuals out of the North point garden. Dr. Gredler came in for his mowing duties and we also saw Marv B., Dr. Yahr, Jris K.,Tom J. and many others today.
The grounds crew had a very busy day. Cindy spent time continuing the arduous task of purging annuals and cutting back perennials in the "Pollinator's Paradise" garden and also did the cutting display and some greenhouse watering. Pat continued his efforts on preparing lights and displays for the looming HLS. Pat will also be in charge of getting the two 20' tall obelisks (aka..the "Towers of Power") moved and decorated with lights. Big John and Terry had some gardening tasks including push mowing but then shifted to more HLS set-up in various garden locations. I'm working on the 2015 budget and finalizing some tasks related to past and upcoming events. Below are some additional images from today.
'Double White Shades' pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) - annual
start of fall coloration on dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) - deciduous conifer
'Ozawa' ornamental onion (Allium thunbergii) just starting to bloom - perennial
fall color of the fragrant abelia (Abelia mosanensis) - woody shrub (fragrant spring blooms)
speckled fall color of 'Autumn Moon' fullmoon maple (Acer shirasawanum) - woody tree
clear yellow fall color of tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) - woody tree
nice Japanese garden shot this morning