Tuesday, November 4, 2014

HLS Is Coming Together

Above is a double orange pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) still toughing it out over the start of this colder month.  There are still a few scattered blooms here and there out in the gardens and fall color is still nice on some specimens.  However, the winter landscape looms closer with each day and while we had some nice rain (.4") overnight, today was nice and very productive with highs near 50 degrees F.  Much of our focus has shifted to the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) set-up although we had some volunteers continuing with fall clean-up around the gardens.  We had a busy day at the gardens too with RBG being an election polling place with plenty of traffic today.  L.P. Tree Service came and finished hanging our dangling icicle lights and our irrigation guys (Evergreen Irrigation, Rockford, IL) came to repair some problems and winterize our system.  Lots of action but a great day was had by all.  Below are additional photos from this morning.

fall color transition on double-flowering kerria (Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora') - woody shrub
 'Circus' coral bells (Heuchera villosa) - perennial
decay on a larch (Larix sp.) stump - cool
 our biggest 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) looking good - woody tree
Ruby Ribbons switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'RR1') - perennial

Our gardening volunteers (like Kay above) continued cutting back perennials, collecting leaves and accomplishing general tidying.  Kay focused on a couple areas including our east border which really needed her attention.  Below are Kathy (left) and Eva (maniac driver) bearing down on me on their way to collect debris near the North point garden.  They brought back many loads of debris and have been such wonderful and reliable volunteers almost daily.  Bill O. was in to collect leaves as was Alan M.  Dr. Gredler did his mowing rounds and Maury ran some errands.  Bob K. came in most of the day and helped John and Janice with lights installation throughout the Japanese garden and beyond.  Jumbo Jim brought in two RECAPPERS this afternoon and they did a great job decorating more of the arches for the HLS.  We also saw some others today.

 some of my handiwork a-cording to me (get it?, a-cording..?)

The groundstaff had no shortage of tasks today.  Larry helped our irrigation guys most of the day but also helped with some HLS arches and other duties.  Big John had various odd jobs but spent the bulk of his time decorating the Japanese garden with thousands of LED lights (most of them newly donated).  Janice helped with this task but also had other jobs here and there including putting lights on more obelisks out in the gardens.  Pat M. did some quick repairs on lights and worked on two other vital, HLS projects.  Both Cindy and Cheryl (seen directly above) did a nice job continuing to place and wire up our "milk jug luminaries."  This is a long process although the final appearance of these lining the route of the HLS is quite pleasing to the eye.  I was cord boy most of the day and continue to hope I can keep up!  More photos from today can be seen below. 

 fall color on oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) - woody shrub
 donkeytail spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) looking sharp - perennial
 'Blue Sparkle' compact larch (Larix laricina) - deciduous conifer
 pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) blooming out of season but appreciated! - perennial
 fall color on 'Buttered Rum' foamy bells (xHeucherella) - perennial
variegated wintercreeper (Euonymus sp. - not sure on variety) - broadleaf evergreen
fall color on Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) - perennial

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