Chilly Autumn Morning

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The temperature this morning was quite chilly but with October arriving this Saturday, the temperatures this week will be quite average.  The sunshine was welcome as was the rain (albeit fast and furious) that arrived yesterday afternoon (.5″).  The weekend went well at the gardens with multiple weddings, a huge cross country meet adjacent to the gardens, lots of Homecoming visitors for photos and much more.  We continue to sell mums for $7 at the Parker Education Center but there aren’t many left!  Spring blooming bulbs are also for sale in the Cottage Garden Gallery.  We had an excellent volunteer turnout today and are doing the juggling act of gardening tasks and Holiday Light Show (HLS) set-up.  Nice shot of a morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) above on our chain link fence at the Horticulture Center.

The grounds staff had a busy day.  The welcome rain yesterday allowed us to have minimal watering today but we still needed to check containers and the yard for watering needs as the wind was quite strong despite the cooler temperatures (high of 66 degrees F today).  Larry O. worked on checking out some electrical issues, testing displays for the HLS and lots of watering.  Larry H. worked on repairing path washouts here and there, watered containers and spent a lot more time on getting up lights in the Japanese garden which I bet is 80% done already!  Cindy tidied up in multiple locations with a focus on preserving color and removing unsightly annuals.  She also watered and did an excellent job on the cutting display.  Big John hauled the remainder of our mums up to the main building (only $7 each!), put up lots of HLS lights and had a wide range of other duties.  I was able to get out in the gardens for a tour and am amazed at how nice everything still looks.  I flagged some locations for new trees and continue to work on lots of preparations for 2017 (grants, orders, etc.).

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‘Tardiva’ panicled hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) is looking even more colorful! – woody shrub

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‘Miyazaki’ toad lily (Tricyrtis hirta) – perennial

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nice composition with ‘Sky Rocket’ variegated fountain grass (Pennisetum x advena) in the foreground – annual

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Vertigo® elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) – annual

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‘Bowles Golden’ sedge (Carex elata) – perennial

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this spider was seen hanging out on ‘Torch’ Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) this morning – annual

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We had a great turnout of volunteers despite me showing only one volunteer photo (Alan M., above) in this blog!  Kathy and Eva planted mums in the sunken garden then joined Shirley H. out front in the entrance garden to remove spent annuals.  Alan and Bob K. swept up and tidied many paths out in the gardens.  Dr. Gredler and Rollie did their mowing rounds as Dick H. had other projects including making runs to the dump site.  Ron P. processed, repaired and prepared lights for the HLS.  Vern, Dave and Ron Y. continued on carpentry projects with some help from Steve who continued on some other projects as well.  We also saw Gary S., Maryam, Jim S., Carol S. and some others today.  Peg continued working on our labeling and spent time getting our plant records (woodies) up to date which is most appreciated!

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‘First Snow’ heath aster (Aster ericoides) – perennial

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Unstoppable Upright® Fire begonias (Begonia boliviensis) in the Hummingbird Haven – annual

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these yellow Adirondack chairs receive lots of visitors for the nice (and relaxing) view!

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‘Mariposa’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) – annual

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‘Silver Tower’ maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) – perennial

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‘Velvet Elvis’ lavender spurflower (Plectranthus hybrida) – annual

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‘Fireworks’ rough-stemmed goldenrod (Solidago rugosa) in sunken garden – perennial

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colorful seeds on umbrella leaf magnolia (Magnolia tripetala) – woody tree

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I picked some paw paw (Asimina triloba) fruits today that we’ll sample (tastes like banana custard!)

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