Today turned out to be a dandy with some sunshine and a high near 60 degrees F. This was a perfect day for gardening and for the continued set-up of the Holiday Lights Show (HLS). I can't help but wonder how many more days like this we have left as it looks to be cooler and rainy later in the week. The photo above was from yesterday with the guys moving both oversized Adirondack chairs in to place. The photo below was from this morning and we've already seen guests getting their photos taken while in these chairs! We had another great turnout of volunteers and it was a very productive day overall. Most leaves are down and while we still have a couple weeks of garden clean-up, our emphasis is shifting dramatically to daily HLS set-up. Further below are some additional photos from this morning.
yellowing fall color on fernleaf buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula 'Asplenifolia') - woody shrub
'Raydon's Favorite' aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius) - perennial
yellowing needles (normal!) for this 'Hillside Winter Gold' white pine (Pinus strobus) - tree
witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) still blooming well - small tree
There was a lot of teamwork in evidence today. Above are Larry H. (left) and Gary B. continuing to put a fine mesh over our tasty yews (Taxus) in the Japanese garden. This netting should deter deer this winter and accomplishing this task is vital prior to putting lights on these for the HLS. Below are Eva (left) and Kathy continuing their onslaught of cutting back perennials and collecting leaves. It sure doesn't take them long to fill a cart! The next two photos down show Ken and Alan respectively. The guys teamed up for leaf raking and collection in many areas. The fourth photo down shows Dick P. installing our last brick order for the season and we're glad he had a warm day for it. Dave T., Ron Y. and Jim D. worked on various carpentry projects today including building some steps for guests to get up in to those giant Adirondack chairs seen above! Pat M. worked on HLS tasks and Ron P. was a big help with lights repairs as well. Dr. Gredler was in for mowing duties and Maury ran errands this morning including returning the giant screen we rented for the successful Fall Symposium this past Saturday. The fifth photo down shows Bob K. heading out to put lights on some of our recently obtained evergreens. He does a nice job and returned for some afternoon action too. Marv B. came in this morning and helped with various projects including turning over and condensing our massive compost pile. Jumbo Jim brought in four RECAPPERS this afternoon and the guys helped with more garden clean-up efforts and HLS preparations (lights on arches). We also saw El and many others coming and going today.
progress continues on the new centerpiece in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden
this has been our only deer sighting yet this fall but we know they are poised and ready for nibbling
The grounds staff had another great day. Above are Big John (left) and Terry working in the English cottage garden where they put up a wide range of displays. The guys also helped haul things back and forth and have been super reliable with daily HLS progress. Below is Cindy who continues to live and breathe running the lights between the 2,000 half gallon milk jugs which she continues to place along our HLS paths as well. Larry continued work on setting up HLS arches and bounced between different projects throughout the day. I had a solid day of running cords and will need to maximize my time doing this as our timetable is getting tight for set-up, testing, tweaks and finalizing the show before the big Taste of Chocolate event on November 22nd. Check this event out on our website as tickets are selling fast!
perennial onion (Allium thunbergii 'Ozawa') in full bloom