Monday, November 10, 2014

The Last Best Day Of The Year?

This bench quote above will have more applicability further up north in Wisconsin over the coming 24 hours with up to 18" of snow predicted in some locations!  I think we'll dodge the bullet but will have some rain and possibly sleet.  At the time of typing this blog, it's 60 degrees F and sunny right now and ended up being a gorgeous day!  We had a great turnout of volunteers as is typical on a Monday and along with grounds staff, were able to accomplish many tasks.  Our grounds staff are ending their seasonal tenures soon with Janice, Jenny and Pat already done, Terry, Cindy and Cheryl finishing this week and John and Larry continuing on for a bit.  Our focus is on the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) set-up although gardening duties still exist and our volunteers are helping accommodate those tasks before the snow flies.  Below are some additional images from today.

fall color on 'Magicien' deutzia (Deutzia hybrida) - woody shrub
fall color on Japanese orixa (Orixa japonica 'Aurea') - woody shrub
reddening fall color on paperbark maple (Acer griseum) - woody tree
a few pansies (Viola wittrockiana) are still hanging in there!
We had a great crew of Grumpies this morning.  Bob K. (above) was put in "solitary" for awhile but came out to help with carpentry and lights set-up after serving his time.  Jim, Dave, Bob, Dick H. and Vern helped move the elf house (see below) in to place.  These two structures will be decorated (inside and outside) and are new additions to the HLS this year.  Maury, Dick P., Rollie, Gary and Mark S. brought over lights and decorations for the Parker Education Center and did some early interior set-up for the HLS.  The guys all shifted to other projects as well.  Alan M. (third photo down) earned overtime today with lots of raking (well in to the afternoon) and along with Ken and both Patrea and Kathy (fourth photo down, Patrea driving), the gang brought back many loads of debris.  Dr. Gredler was in for mowing and Urban came in for some afternoon pruning.  Pat M. had some HLS work to accomplish and Ron P. helped test and repair lights for the decorating project at the other building.  Whitey (fifth photo down) was decorating trees most of the day and has been a consistent fixture out in that area since late last week.  Bob K. shifted over to help in the early afternoon.  Gary B. and Bob C. finished putting lights on our HLS arches and Larry H. did a nice job continuing to put up netting on select shrubs for winter deer protection.  The sixth photo down shows Maury helping move our tropicals from the greenhouse to the horticulture center for winter storage.  Lots of guys helped and this was coordinated by John and Terry.  Del did a nice job sweeping and we also saw Janice, Dr. Yahr, Carl (new Grumpy) and many others today.
 with safety a primary concern for us, Jim (left) and Dave are helping move over pieces of the "elf house" seen below being painted by Vern
nice to have Vern (above) back in action

The grounds staff had another busy day made easier by the great weather.  Above are Cindy (orange) and Cheryl bonding near the ever-growing compost pile.  The ladies emptied more large containers for the winter and shifted in to some very significant decorating with lights.  Larry helped L.P. Tree Service (see directly below) get set-up for lights on the building and worked on the lower portions of the building as well.  A big "THANK YOU" to Chris, John, Matt and Vic from L.P. Tree Service for three days of help with setting up the "upper elevation" portions of the HLS!  Big John and Terry had lots of HLS progress today with displays, lights, etc. and helped, as mentioned above, with our shift of larger tropical plants.  I ran cords for about a half day and was trapped with time sensitive desk work for the remainder.  I'll keep "plugging" along daily (this joke is getting old but is quite apt).  Further below are more photos from this morning.

fall color on a Siberian iris (Iris siberica) - perennial
fall color on Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense) - perennial

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