93 Days and Counting…

The blog title is in reference to the fact that the opening night (Black Friday) for our Holiday Light Show (HLS) is only 93 short days away and to that point, Larry H. started putting up lights today!  Today was one of our busier Wednesdays this year for both visitor influx and volunteer turnout!  It was a beautiful day with partial sunshine and 77 degrees F.  The 54 degree F morning was reminiscent of October but we’ll take what we get!  Cottonwood (Populus deltoides) leaves are fluttering down early as they usually do so the gardens has the vibrancy of summer with hints of autumn as yet unrealized!  I gave a tour today for 35 University of Illinois Master Gardeners and their guests and we had a great time out in the gardens.  I also saw a retired horticulture professor (Dr. Ken M.) from the University of Illinois as well.  The garden was really quite busy which we like to see.  Our grounds staff of Larry H., Ibhar, Alex and Terry all had wide ranging duties.  Antonio helped Ibhar throughout the day and our volunteer roster of Kathy P., Eva, Terri, Derrick, Marleen, Sharon L., Larry, Hayden, Bill O., Nancy, Myrt, Sue M., Greg P., Cheryl P., Stan, Kristin and many more was an impressive turnout for a Wednesday!

Vermillionaire® firecracker plant (Cuphea hybrida) – annual

Chinese aster (Callistphus chinensis – mix) – annual

SunSparkler® ‘Cherry Tart’ stonecrop (Sedum hybrida) – perennial

Viette’s Little Suzy black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. speciosa ‘Blovi’) – perennial

peak summer color both above and below!

some of my tour above, enjoying the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children’s Garden which looks dynamite

 Shadow King®.Black Cherry rex begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum) – annual

A terrific trio of (left to right), Kay, Kathy P. and Eva (right before they ran over me…)

‘Canary Wings’ begonia (Begonia sp.) are a new variety this year with golden foliage – annual

interesting flower combination of amaranths (Amaranthus sp.) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Majesty’) – annuals

Larry H. (above) started putting up lights – he starts us off every year