Soak In The Autumn Colors

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The day started with light rain and drizzle but the sun made an appearance later in the morning which brought smiles to all of us (note photo above…get it…smiles?).  The grounds staff continued with some work out in the drizzle and we had some great volunteer help inside with a wide range of projects.  This time in October continues our juggling act of tidying, primping, removals, planting and preparations for the Holiday Light Show (HLS) which gets closer on the calendar every day (of course!).  The sunny afternoon was welcomed by all!

The grounds staff consisted of Larry H., Cindy, Big John and me.  Larry H. had some minor watering and put protective mesh on the remainder of the yews (Taxus) in the Japanese garden (deer protection).  The rest of his time was strictly related to HLS preparations in multiple areas.  Big John checked water features but also spent the day with HLS progress.  Cindy did a lot of tidying in multiple areas, watered and pre-dug some begonias that we’ll process to save over the winter.  I had some meetings and continue to catch up on some extremely time sensitive desk work.  I was able to get out in the gardens to mark some HLS elements and took all of these photos today.

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fall color of yellow buckeye (Aesculus octandra) – woody tree

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flower progression to pink on ‘Tardiva’ panicled hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) – woody shrub

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the corner planting maintained by the Robb’s features some very warm colors!

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Jolt™ Pink interspecific dianthus (Dianthus hybrida) – annual

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‘Redskin’ dahlia (Dahlia variabilis) – annual

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‘Blondo’ maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) – perennial

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fall color of Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum ‘Green Column’ – woody tree

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Our volunteers were in a great mood today except Nancy (seen above) who offered up her paint brush every time I gave her some tips!  She did a great job starting to paint this giant obelisk from yellow to black.  Once complete, this glossy black obelisk will really shine with lights for the HLS.  Kathy and Eva had some indoor work during the drizzle and later continued their “purge” in the sunken garden with removing annuals and cutting back some perennials.  Alan helped Dick H. continue to dice up and haul off a decent chunk of a green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) which was dying of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) – see photo below. We’ll start working on the large blue spruce that was downed as well.  Jenny and Dave (below) did a nice job tidying up the Hosta Hollow and cut back the hostas.  Cutting them back now is so much more efficient than when they turn mushy after a frost!  Bill O. was in for his mowing and Dr. Gredler came in to aerate some lawns.  Our Garden Development & Maintenance Committee meeting consisted of Gary, Larry H., Maury F., Big John, Hal R. and Christy M.  We also saw Janelle, Vern, Mark S. and many others today.

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Dave (above) and below with his beautiful wife Jenny in the foreground

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Eva (above and below) with Kathy P. in blue

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brightening stem color on ‘Flame’ willow (Salix hybrida) – large shrub when trimmed back every March

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colder evening temperatures add some color to golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) seen above – perennial

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Japanese spindletree (Euonymus hamiltonianus) – large woody shrub

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when Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) leaves turn yellow in fall, they emit a fragrance like cotton candy! – woody tree

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‘Purple Dome’ New England aster (Aster novae-angliae) – perennial

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Mystic Illusion dark-leaved dahlia (Dahlia hybrida ‘Knockout’) – annual

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it will be sad when the cold challenges these elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta) – tropical

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another green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) bites the dust – woody tree

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nice color on this trial garden coneflower (Echinacea ’16P03′) – perennial

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