Nice view above across the observation pier to the Russo Fountain and arched bridge in the distance. The yellow leaves are the fall color on a redbud (Cercis canadensis). We've had rain predicted today and have been able to get a lot of work done as this system works slowly towards us. At the time of typing this blog (2 pm), we salvaged a day outside that I thought would be a "rain out". We can sure use the rain and I hope it's significant when it arrives! The gardens continue to go through the annual transition from the removal of annuals, cutting back perennials, leaf collection and ultimately to the increased appearance of Holiday Lights Show (HLS) elements like the lights below on this paperbark maple (Acer griseum). We had a great group of volunteers in today and were able to get a full day out in the gardens with more palpable progress daily on the HLS. The second photo shows some of our empty spools with those lights already placed out in the gardens.
Terry (left) and Big John putting up the sleigh and reindeer (Terry is working on Rudolph's nose...)
fall color on a buckeye (Aesculus sp.)
smooth blue aster (Aster laevis 'Arrested Development') - perennial
'Redstone Falls' foamy bells (xHeucherella) - perennial
With the delayed rain showers, we had plenty of time out in the gardens and our volunteers took advantage of this with removing annuals, cutting perennials and some leaf collection. Above are Kathy and Dave who along with Eva (directly below) worked in the gazebo garden and shade garden on all of these tidying tasks. Kay (second photo down) was in to help in the shade garden and these four volunteers did a wonderful job today. I'm not sure what Kay is laughing at but am sure it had something to do with my excellent sense of humor. Marv (third photo down) tidied up his moss garden areas which are looking great. They require constant tidying with all the leaves and evergreen needles dropping on these spaces. Dr. Gredler came in for mowing and Bill O. stopped by as well. Maury ran some errands and Jumbo Jim was a big help with three RECAPPERS. Jim and the guys worked on some tasks at the Horticulture Center and tidied up the Japanese garden. The Chesnut House volunteers (fourth photo down) helped Janice out in the Thomas Jefferson Garden and with some inside projects. We also saw Art and many other volunteers as well.
John, Terry, Cindy, Janice and I all worked on significant HLS tasks today as well as some gardening odds and ends. Cindy cleared out some containers and made great progress with the half gallon milk jug luminaries which will line the HLS route. Janice decorated more obelisks, had gardening tasks and worked with our Chestnut House volunteers. Big John and Terry put up the sleigh and reindeer (as seen above) which is no small task. The guys have been steadily chipping away at this HLS set-up along with rest of the grounds staff. I ran cords most of the day and was pleased with the progress. A rainy day would have set me back a bit so I was glad to continue the momentum and next week I can start final "wiring" on two garden areas that are completely decorated.
'Sweet Tea' foamy bells (xHeucherella) - perennial
'Peach Parfait' coral bells (Heuchera) - perennial
'Running Tapestry' foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) - perennial
'Cheju-do' dwarf reed grass (Calamagrostis hybrida) - perennial
'Solar Eclipse' foamy bells (xHeucherella) - perennial
witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) - large woody shrub
neat geometry on this portion of a paper wasp nest - cool!