Warm Tones of Autumn


Today was sunny and warm with temperatures in the upper 70 degrees F.  We still haven’t dried out from previous rains so only focused on watering in plantings and containers today.  I was able to explore the entire gardens today and was quite impressed with how well our staff and volunteers “nurture color” along this late in the season.  A frequent compliment from our September and early October visitors is “I can’t believe there is still so much color!”  While we are removing spent annuals here and there, the overall effect is dynamite including those neat, unplanned combinations like the ‘Purple Flash’ ornamental hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) with the blooms of ‘The Giant’ colchicum (Colchicum autumnale) popping through (seen directly above)!  Pretty neat.  Directly below is a nice warm combination perfect for this year!


Thursdays are usually quite busy with grounds staff and volunteers and today was no exception!  We had an excellent turnout of volunteers (like Hal and Doris in the top photo) that accomplished a wide range of important tasks today.  The grounds staff bounced between many projects as well.  Cindy converted some containers to beautiful fall arrangements and spent time tidying up multiple areas.  Larry H. hauled plants, push mowed and continued putting up many more LED lights in preparation for the Holiday Light Show (HLS).  Big John sheared boxwood (Buxus) and yews (Taxus) in the formal gardens, push mowed and had a wide range of other projects.  Terry planted kale (Brassica) in select spots, watered containers and tidied up multiple locations.  I spent significant time processing our “yet to be planted” items in the yard and went out and started flagging final destinations.  It was a super day.


‘Sedona’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) with ‘Hopi Red Dye’ amaranth (Amaranthus hybrida) – annuals


‘Inferno’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) – annual


popcorn cassia (Cassia didymobotrya) is putting out another strong flush of fragrant blooms! – not hardy


Monarch Promise™ milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) – not hardy


‘Tabasco’ hot pepper (Capsicum frutescens) – annual


‘Hortensia’ double cutleaf black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia laciniata) – perennial


Above are the Fall Plant Sale tents being disassembled for storage until our Spring Plant Sale over Mother’s Day weekend in May of 2017.  Ron R., Lloyd, Steve J. and Dick P. worked on this project and all four guys split off later for some other duties later in the morning.  Bob K. (new Grumpy) moved plants, emptied plant sale buckets and helped Alan disassemble plant sale tables after Alan was done watering mums.  We continue to sell mums for $7 each from the Parker Education Center and bulbs are available as well.   Kathy and Eva tidied many areas and Betty H. was in to tend to her assigned garden space.  Vera, Winifred and Brian purged spent annuals from the front slope while Dave E. continued his brick leveling project near the gazebo.  Larry O. mowed, weedwhipped and did many other jobs.  Bobby K. spent the day preparing for his big electrical project tomorrow.  Ron P. worked on preparing lights for the Holiday Light Show (HLS) while Ron Y., Dave, Jim and Vern continued on carpentry projects including building some new benches.  Dr. Gredler did his mowing and Hal and Doris (top photo) planted some mums in their garden space as well.  We also saw Gary, Chuck S. and many others today!


Jim (left) and Ron Y. putting a sign on a memorial bench


Ron P. preparing icicle lights for the HLS


Hal and Doris (pausing their uncomfortably public friskiness to pose for this photo…)


Steve J. (left) and Dick P.


Winifred (driver), Vera and Brian


Bob K. (left) and Alan


Ron R. (left) an Lloyd o the right


Bobby K. getting ready for a nice electrical projects


‘Zebra Stripes’ plantain lily (Hosta) – perennial


monarch on seven-sons-flower (Heptacodium miconioides) – woody shrub (fragrant!)


Autumn Charm™ variegated stonecrop (Sedum sp. ‘Lajos’) – perennial


Molineux David Austin rose (Rosa ‘Ausmol’) – woody shrub


our tropical beds are still looking lush and colorful


‘Black Stockings’ elephant grass (Pennisetum hybrida) – annual for us (here 9′ tall!)


‘Coleosaurus’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) – annual


‘Dipt in Wine’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) – annual