HLS Progress Continues

We had a productive day out in the gardens continuing preparations for the Holiday Light Show (HLS).  The rain overnight had abated by this morning but unfortunately heavy winds knocked down some lights which isn’t unusual.  Above are just some of the LED lights we still have to put out in the HLS.  With excellent durability, longevity and minimal power draw…LED lighting has been beneficial for the show and now comprises about 20% of our total lights 370,000 this year).  We also had some great volunteer assistance today and there was plenty of activity at the Parker Education Center as Kris and her volunteers were getting ready for the Fall Symposium (“Naturally Creative“) tomorrow.  It should be a great event and we’re looking forward to a solid turnout.

‘Venus’ coral bells (Heuchera) above – perennial
‘Saturn’ coral bells (Heuchera) above – perennial
this annual sneezeweed continues to bloom (Helenium amarum ‘Dakota Gold’)

There is no shortage of fall clean-up out in the gardens although we’re making it challenging for our volunteers like Alan (above) who have to work around our cords and other elements of the HLS!  Below are Kathy and Dave, who along with Eva, tidied up three different areas.  Marv (second photo down) was in to work on both moss areas that he maintains and he had a gift from “Mr. Moss” (Dale S.) of four bags of collected moss sitting outside the Horticulture Center this morning.  Marv utilized all of this mossy donation (third photo down) in short order!  Kay (fourth photo down) continues to do an excellent job tidying up the Scottish garden and brought back many loads of debris which also included plenty of late weeds she removed as well.  Dr. Gredler was in for some mowing and Dick H. got our three snowblowers ready for action.  The fifth and sixth photos down show students (with their teacher Kath) from Oakhill Christian High School helping with tidying in the Potter Daylily Collection (which they mulched this past spring incidentally!) this morning.   Janice organized this group and they also shifted to the Japanese garden for leaf collection as well.  They are an energetic bunch and I believe Kath has brought them down every spring and fall for the past 10 years easily.  Janice also worked with the Chestnut House volunteers today at the Horticulture Center on a wide range of gardening tasks.  We also saw Gary, Rollie and many others today.




The grounds staff took advantage of another decent day although it did get quite windy and chilly in the afternoon.  Cindy spent time refining the half gallon milk jug luminaries around the route of the HLS.  The entire route is lined with these luminaries which will guide our visitors through the entire show.  Janice worked with our two big volunteer groups today and helped Kris K. with some preparations for the symposium tomorrow.  Big John and Terry had no shortage of HLS set-up duties after they helped clean-up some of the wind damage and downed lights this morning.  The guys keep steadily taking out and placing our displays and their progress has been significant over the past six weeks.  Aside from some meetings, I was able to run extension cords for another six hours today and will need as much time as possible next week to finish up.  We’re almost out of cords due to the expansion of the HLS route so we will bulk up on supplies next week.  As seen below, there is no shortage of November color out in the gardens.

fastigiate European beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Fastigiata’)
‘Ginger Love’ fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) – perennial
“ghostly yellow” fall color of the golden orixa (Orixa japonica) – woody shrub
fall color intensifies above on a leaf of oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) – woody shrub
fall color of Citrus Swizzle forsythia (Forsythia viridissima ‘McKCitrine’)