Autumn Brilliance


October has decided to provide another warm spell this week and we all enjoyed the mild 77 degrees F it was today!  The week will turn colder as it progresses but we have another couple of nice days on the way.  Our efforts out in the gardens today, by both staff and volunteers, were significant as we’ll certainly take advantage of this weather while it lasts.  I was distracted (no surprise) by some nice fall color throughout the gardens.  Above is the black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) heading in to some great coloration which will include some very deep reds shortly.  The rain we had Saturday night was most welcome and should keep the gardens damp this week.  We still are maintaining some annual beds and our containers although it’s only a waiting game now until hard frost plunges us closer to winter weather and more garden “purging.”

Larry O. worked on some Holiday Light Show (HLS) related tasks as well as plenty of watering and other duties.  Big John and Bobby K. spent the day putting up lights in a wide range of locations for the HLS.  Larry H. (seen below) also was very involved with HLS work, particularly placing lights in trees.  Cindy started putting out our half gallon milk jug luminaries for the HLS and had a wide range of gardening tasks as well.  I ran a couple thousand feet of cords and have to really sink my teeth in to this task so I’m not the “weak link” in all of this HLS set-up!


interesting fall color on this sumac (Rhus sp.) – woody shrub


nice vignette across the pond to the Russo Family Fountain and observation pier


swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) with some Autumn color – woody tree


the Japanese garden (above and below) looked spectacular today!

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Larry H. (above) getting some lights on a tricolor European beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Roseo-Marginata’)


Our volunteers worked on a wide range of projects today.  Above are Jim (left) and Dave disassembling some of the gazebo railings for repairs this winter.  The guys worked on a wide range of carpentry projects.  Alan, Shirley H., Kathy and Eva all worked on plant removals while Ron R. and Bob K. did some serious leaf collection.  Marcia and Mirjam (seen directly below) did a nice job tidying up the English cottage garden.  Dr. Gredler and Rollie did their mowing rounds and Bill O. was in for some projects. Dave E. started removing elements of the Giant Aquarium for storage until their use next year.   Maury ran errands while Dick H. made multiple trips to the dump.  Mary Kay was in to organize some new donations for the reference library and we also saw Gary S., Steve J. and many others today.  Dick P. made a road trip to pick up some memorial bricks as well.


Marcia (left) and Mirjam (above) taking care of business in the English cottage garden today


Shirley H. amongst the Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia ‘Torch’)


Alan M. (above)


‘Tidal Wave’ weeping Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) – woody small tree


vivid October blooms on ‘Golden Delicious’ pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) – annual


fall color on golden larch (Pseudolarix amabilis) – deciduous conifer


vivid fall color of the Bowman’s root (Porteranthus trifoliatus) – perennial with ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) – woody shrub


fall color tinting on the variegated ‘Mariesii’ hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) – woody shrub



fall color continuing on Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) – woody vine


even without railings, the gazebo and surrounding garden still look great!