I took in most of my winter gear to work today expecting a really cold and nasty day. It was actually quite delightful once the sun came out with highs near 42 degrees F. It looks like the winter gear will be more important for next week when we have rain, sleet, snow and some very cold daytime and nighttime temperatures. Above is the 'Varied Directions' larch (Larix decidua) showing nice fall color before these needles drop (deciduous conifer). The grounds staff worked primarily on Holiday Lights Show (HLS) tasks and we had some great volunteer assistance as well. I didn't see any visitors out in the gardens but there was some action at the main building with some sort of a craft/vendor sale. Below are some additional shots from this morning.
fall color on the foliage of oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) - woody shrub
exfoliating (and ornamental) bark on seven-sons flower (Heptacodium miconioides) - large woody shrub / small tree
fall color starting on cut leaf European beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Laciniata') - woody tree
I love this flame grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Purpurascens') in fall - perennial
Our volunteers continue to be helpful on a daily basis. Kay (above) helped mark more of our dangling icicle lights with ribbon. We do this so we can see the strands which are almost invisible at times. This keep us from walking (or driving!) in to them. We also theorize that the tape helps keep deer aware of these as they pillage the gardens on a nightly basis for sustenance. Years ago we think a buck got tangled in these as we had many come down in one area. The tradition of using marking tape will continue! Kay then moved on to tidying in two other areas. Alan M. was in for another solid morning of leaf collection and has "earned his stripes" as a Grumpy with all his recent efforts out in the gardens. Below are Kathy (left) and Eva heading out to the Scottish garden for more perennial cutting and leaf collection. Pat M. was in to work on some HLS tasks and Dr. Gredler came in for his Friday mowing rounds. Whitey (second photo down) came in to help put lights up in some of our evergreens. He was a big help last year and proved that he hasn't "lost his touch"! Marv (third photo down) finished weeding the moss island and helped move around and "flip" our massive compost pile with our end loader.
The ornamental kale (Brassica oleracea) seen above exhibits some of the frost we observed this morning. The grounds staff had another very productive day. Janice had some desk work and obelisk decorating to accomplish at the Horticulture Center and then shifted to more lights set-up in and near the Japanese Garden. Cindy continued working on (and finished) her significant milk jug luminary project today and helped shuffle some plants back in to the greenhouse. Terry and Big John did some housekeeping at the Horticulture Center to open up space and spent the rest of the day getting out more displays and HLS elements. I was cord boy again and am simply going from one area to the next with my buckets o' cords. Below are some additional images from today and note the smaller scaled "Santa House" at the bottom that will also be part of the HLS this year.
late fall color on Judd viburnum (Viburnum x juddii) - woody shrub
'Chumbyi' rock jasmine (Androsace primuloides) - perennial
one of two neat new elements that will be part of the HLS
nice fall shot at RBG this morning