Monday, November 2, 2015

A Warm Start for November

It was a gorgeous day today with sunshine and a high temperature near 70 degrees F.  This entire week looks pretty good as far as weather as well.  We all took advantage of the mild temperatures for gardening work and the continued set up of the Holiday Light Show (HLS).  The weather brought out more visitors which is nice to see and I'm still quite impressed with the late season interest that is evident out in the gardens.  The fall color on this Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia) above is quite impressive in the Japanese garden where I spent most of my day running cords for the HLS.  We had a superb turnout of garden volunteers today.

fall color on Royal Raindrops crabapple (Malus 'JFS-KW5') above
'Blondo' maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) - perennial
'Bloodgood' Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) seed from underneath
fall color on weeping larch (Larix decidua 'Pendula') - deciduous conifer
fall color on 'Fenway Gold' Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) - woody vine

Today was another day with so many volunteers that I'm hoping I don't miss any! Above are Maury (driving..poorly) and Gary as they were hauling our terrace furniture off site for winter storage.  Below are Joe (left) and Alan planting some of 1,000 tulips they installed this morning with Bob C.  These three guys then moved on to clearing out containers and collecting leaves.  Dave, Eva and Kathy (left to right in the second photo down) have been an amazing trio recently and cleared two areas and moved on to a third later in the morning.  Jim D. and Ron Y. worked on carpentry projects while Rollie and Dr. Gredler mowed.  Del was in for various tasks and Dick H. ran to the dump and helped with some other duties as well.  Dick P. was in for brick installation.  Ron P. and Patrea continued their lights repair for the HLS which is extremely helpful!  John (in third photo down) and Paul from L.P. Tree Service were back to finish putting up the "dangling icicle lights" for our HLS.  We also had a great visit from Larry O. (fourth photo down) who took a spin out in the gardens with my "cart o' cords".

It was nice to see Larry O. today (seen above).  We had a busy day out in the gardens with the entire grounds staff focused on HLS set-up.  While we do have lots of volunteer help with the set-up, facilitation and take down of the event, few understand that the grounds staff puts up over 90% of the show for two months prior to the premiere lighting at the Taste of Chocolate event (November 21st this year).  Big John and Terry put up signs, displays, trees and lots of other HLS elements after helping get set up for some of our volunteers this morning.  Cindy continued with excellent progress on the half gallon milk jug luminary placement and wiring.  This is a huge project that has a set-up sequence that is affected by many factors.  Larry H. worked on connecting and marking our 500+ dangling icicle lights throughout the gardens while Bobby K. finished his fence project near the gazebo which addresses a safety concern we had with HLS visitors near the pond.  Bob also worked on draining and clearing one of our water features.  I ran cords almost the entire day and am close to finishing the Japanese garden which I think has the most trees/shrubs with lights.  It was a great day to be outside for sure!

Autumn crocus (Crocus sativus) in bloom today
fall color on one of our hybrid Japanese maples (will add name tomorrow)
fall color on sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
'Emperor I' Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
fall color on dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) - deciduous conifer