We had our first test night for the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) this evening (see above and below) and it went very well. We had some staff, volunteers and two photographers from the Janesville Gazette come down to take a look. My photos don't do it justice and the 20 or so of us that toured thought it looked significantly better than last year. Big John and I had finished running cords and were doing some tweaking of the HLS during the day. We actually had the entire show turned on all day to see what we could address. The importance of the test night is to see what isn't working right or correctly and to identify additional tweaks that we'll accomplish over the next two days prior to the Taste of Chocolate (TOC) event his Saturday. There are still tickets for the TOC available and this event will also feature the premiere lighting of the show. We added another 25,000 or so LED lights this year and they look great (see below). The LEDs have certainly helped with our past power issues in that they don't draw much "juice" and we've amassed them in certain areas this year including the Japanese garden.
It was another cold day although we had some sunshine and it was about 15 degrees warmer than the last two days. Big John and I spent the day working on the HLS. Above is a massing of 'Karl Foerster' feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden. This grass has a nice upright form and can withstand some snow too. The perennial grasses are looking quite nice (see further below) and there is still some other interest out in the gardens. We also saw Maury (ran errands), Dr. Yahr, Chuck, Bill O. and Pat today. It's nice to have some closure with the HLS although we'll do some final improvements tomorrow and Friday. Below are some additional shots from today.
late fall color on the 'Chanticleer' callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) - woody tree
inforescence of 'Silver Tower' maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) - perennial
curled leaves of rhododendron responding to cold temperatures
evidence of our breeze today with this row of 'Blondo' maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) - perennial
Big John and I saw this mass of birds over in Lion's Pond (on thin ice) and John said, "Now that's a Flock of Seagulls"...and we couldn't remember any of their songs.....
here's Bill O. (photo editor for the Janesville Gazette) practicing safety this evening