Happy Halloween! My girls think they're too old (13 and 23) to trick-or-treat but I've always enjoyed this holiday. Unfortunately, the beneficial rains that the gardens are receiving today may make it unpleasant for all but the toughest of trick-or-treaters. It's nice to realize how far we've come this fall with Holiday Lights Show (HLS) preparations as well as garden work. While today was effectively a washout for outside work, the amount of interior activity was impressive. I was able to tour the gardens this morning in the drizzle and with perfect overcast lighting, the remaining fall color was extremely vivid. Above is another of our 'Aconitifolium' fullmoon maples (Acer japonicum) which continues to be my favorite tree for fall color that has a long period of transition and gets better and better. We now have three of these and I'll find room to squeeze in more in the future. Below are three other nice photos in and around the Japanese garden featuring some nice, late season color.
The Horticulture Center was buzzing this morning with plenty of work. The team directly above was processing more half gallon milk jug luminaries which are used to guide HLS visitors around the show. We'll end up using over 2,000 of these this year and we're replacing our luminaries with donations and are recycling the older ones (over 12 years old!). Dr. Gredler (blue) and Ron P. are in the foreground prepping the jugs while in the back are Pat and Gary (also below) filling these with some pea gravel to keep them upright and secure along the route. They had a great system going and we'll continue with this effort throughout next week. The second photo down shows Steve and Vicki working on wrapping our new PVC candy canes with lights. They did a great job and were here almost the entire day working on these. We think they'll be back to finish them tomorrow assuming they don't have nightmares about candy canes this evening. The third photo down shows Ron Y. (drilling) and Jim working on a carpentry project. Dave T. and Vern were also involved and Vern finished his bench lettering project as well. Dick H. ran to the dump, went on multiple fuel runs and continued cutting aluminum for our plant stakes. Maury ran some timely errands for us and Suzy (fourth photo down) was our lone volunteer gardener today although she left after a mid-morning saturation. We also saw Rollie, Arnie D. and some others today.
We had a small, elite grounds force today although we spent quite a bit of time inside today. Cheryl was here for a half day and worked on some indoor projects at the Horticulture Center including cleaning and label peeling. She did head out for some garden clean-up near the Japanese garden as well between rain drops. Janice helped organize our morning volunteers, worked on HLS preparations and is working on some final details for the Fall Symposium this Saturday which should have a great crowd (over 110 registrants and counting right now...). Larry pumped out and drained some of our water features and spent time adjusting some lights in areas where moisture might be an issue. He bounced between some other projects as well. I caught up on much needed desk work but am poised to get back out with my cords. Below are some additional images from the gardens this morning.
yellowing fall color of the moosewood or striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum) - woody tree
the fleshy cones and fall color of bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) - deciduous conifer
our wall of 'All Gold' golden Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra) is still looking great - perennial
the "Tower of Power" in a nice central location (the star is a new addition from Pat M.!)
Cindy's festive candy corn socks from yesterday! Happy Halloween!