First Day of Autumn – 92 degrees F!

The fall color is starting on the Firespire™ musclewood (Carpinus caroliniana ‘J.N. Upright’) seen directly above.  This is a neat introduction from Michael Yanny of Johnson Nursery (WI) that has excellent form and fall color.  It was a darn hot day. The morning was even muggy but at least tolerable for the start of the day out in the gardens.  We all jumped right in to watering duties knowing that we’re heading in to a hot and dry weekend.  Larry H., Janice and I were on grounds staff and much of both Larry’s and Janice’s day involved watering.  I ran irrigation in many areas too.  Larry did continue working on Holiday Light Show (HLS) preparations later in the afternoon while Janice had some other projects too.  Bobby K. was in to help with a new project out in the arboretum this morning.  I bounced between a lot of projects but was happy to have just enough folks to get through watering and tidying for the busy weekend!

variegated maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Variegatus’) – perennial

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

the sunken garden (above) still has plenty of color!

‘Candy Cane Red’ variegated sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum) – annual (above and below)

‘Summer Jewel Pink’ sage (Salvia coccinea) – annual for us

‘Torch’ Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) – annual

Our volunteers, like Cherly D. above, weathered the heat well today.  Cheryl was tidying up down in the fern & moss garden and has a great eye for “detail work”.  Kathy and Eva were out collecting leaves and both Sandi and Terri were in to tidy up the gazebo borders.  Kristin spent a huge chunk of the day tidying up in the Japanese garden and she does a great job.  Bill helped us water and Marleen was in to help here and there as well.  Dennis put in some “sweat equity” with his north path project today which is looking exceptional!  Jim also worked with four RECAPPERS on leaf collection and tidying in and around the Japanese garden.  We also saw Maury, Hal R. and some others today.  It was brutal heat today but it looks like it will cool down by the end of next week. Keeping everything watered is our number one priority right now.

Kristin (working her kung fu in the Japanese garden)

Sandi (left) and Terri in the gazebo garden

Eva (left) and Kathy on leaf patrol

Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) – perennial

the “anchor” in our Gothic color theme this year – ‘China Town’ plume celosia (Celosia plumosa) – annual

pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) – annual (hummingbird magnet!)

came across these stacked rocks (by visitors) this morning in the Japanese garden – impressive!

this oversized Adirondack chair has been popular this year!

despite lots of leaves drifting down, the shade garden (above) still looks great!

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