10 Days Until Autumn


Despite Autumn being 10 days away on the calendar, the combination of cool mornings, leaves falling and other factors, it feels like a “touch of fall” out there!  We still have plenty of color including the recent blooming of the Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale ‘The Giant’)  seen above.  We have these throughout the gardens and they really catch the eye.  While fall color hasn’t really started yet, we are definitely seeing a shift out in the gardens although the bulk of our annual plantings still look pretty good.  The trick now is to extend maximum color all the way until hard frost!


Our grounds crew kept busy today.  Larry H. watered, tidied and put up more LED lights in the Japanese Garden.  Big John also started on putting up lights (woodland walk) after other duties related to the plant sale.  He also had watering and other tasks.  Terry did quite a bit of touch up shearing today after he was done with garden tidying and leaf collection.  Everyone helped water containers today which were deceptively dry with all the recent wind.  Cindy tidied up three different areas today and had her share of watering as well as the cutting display.  I visited Cindy in the Hummingbird Haven and it was very active with lots of hummingbirds in attendance.  This is likely the busiest time for them as they start heading south.  Bobby K. worked on some projects including preparing for a major power upgrade in advance of our big Holiday Light Show set up.  I helped out in the Clearance Plant Sale today but also was able to get out in the gardens and check on things.


‘Flower Tower’ tall tickseed (Coreopsis tripteris) looking excellent at 7′ tall! – perennial


‘Gold Sun’ zinnia (Zinnia elegans) – annual (AAS)


‘Red Sun’ zinnia (Zinnia elegans) – annual


‘Blondo’ maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) – perennial


the terrace is still quite colorful with AAS Winners!


bottle gentian (Gentiana andrewsii) – perennial


nice “critter under a backlit leaf” shot!


We had an excellent turnout of volunteers today.  It was beautiful day to be outside and we all took advantage of it.  Above are Dick H. (left) and Larry after unloading significant woody debris after some chainsaw work.  Eva, Kathy and Brian tidied in the entrance garden along Palmer Drive and brought back many loads of debris.  Ron R. and Bob K. (new Grumpy) did lots of leaf clean-up while Alan did the same and was a huge help with plant sale watering.  Joy, Tina, Roy and Mary ran the clearance plant sale today and did a very nice job during a day that saw fairly steady traffic.  Dr. Gredler and Rollie did their mowing rounds while Maury ran multiple errands for us.  Kristin and Stan tidied in the Japanese garden while Dave E. worked on some path improvement near the gazebo.  Kay worked her “kung fu” in the shade garden which accumulates leaves daily!  Larry O. helped with a wide range of projects this morning.  Peg was in to make some more labels and our carpenters (Dave, Vern, Jim and Ron Y.) were in for some other projects including making some new benches.  We also saw Gary, Maryam, Chris D., Polly, Pam, Mark S. and many others today.


Eva (foreground) and Brian


Kathy P. (above…trying to blend in with the obelisk)


Terry (above) touched up many boxwood (Buxus) hedges today


Kristin in the Japanese garden (later joined by Stan)


lots of cottonwood (Populus deltoides) leaves down (Ron in the distance)


Ron R. (left) with new Grumpy, Bob K.


Big John experience early Holiday joy by getting out more lights for our Holiday Light Show (HLS)


Dave E. above with path repair


Dr. Gredler doing his mowing rounds above (around the prairie)


‘Black Olive’ ornamental hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) – annual


sweet Autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) – semi-woody vine


this is our biggest ‘Thailand Giant’ elephant ear (Colocasia gigantea) which is quite impressive right now


‘Autumn Ember’ begonia (Begonia hybrida) – annual


if you haven’t gone through the Giant Aquarium yet…come check it out!


the flamingoes continue gather visitor interest along our pink border!



‘Raiche Form’ white wood aster (Eurybia divaricatus) – perennial


fruits of Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) – perennial


the Abyssinian bananas (Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’) looked excellent today


fruit (almost ripe) of the ‘Sunflower’ pawpaw (Asimina triloba) – woody tree