Light Frost Arrives


Most of the turf around the gardens looked like what you see above this morning.  A very light frost touched the gardens and affected some of our more tender tropicals.  It looks like we’ll have warmer temperatures next week and frost will be more likely towards the end of the month.  We continued to remove some annuals here and there, again with the focus of accommodating our Holiday Light Show (HLS) set-up needs.  We still have quite a few visitors and the color out in the gardens is exceptional with many woody plants heading in to peak fall color and the perennial grasses looking quite nice as well.  This morning was quite chilly but it ended up being sunny, breezy and the temperatures hit the lower 50 degrees F.  Our volunteer turnout was excellent and we all enjoyed this Autumn day.

Cindy and Larry H. took care of our container watering needs as well as some spot watering here and there.  We haven’t had a good soaking rain in a couple weeks and could sure use one soon.  While the gardens aren’t totally drying out, additional moisture this time of year will sure help heading in to winter.  Cindy organized our newly arrived bulbs which we’ll be planting next Saturday, October 22nd at our Volunteer Planting Work Day (8 am – 12 noon, meet at the Parker Education Center, bring gloves!).  See further below for a photo of what we’ll be planting!  Cindy went on to a lot of tidying while Larry H. focused on HLS set-up.  I had some meetings and am “clearing my desk” so I can be “cord boy” for the next five weeks!


‘Emperor I’ Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) becoming extra vivid this time of year – woody tree


fall color on Amur maple (Acer ginnala) – woody tree


the Japanese garden in fall (above and below)

img_5853 img_5857

the new samaras (seeds) of this ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) are quite showy – woody tree


cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) amongst coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) is still hanging in there – annuals


fall color of Eye Stopper™ cork tree (Phellodendron lavallei ‘Longenecker’) – woody tree


Our volunteers continue with a wide range of tasks including continual clean-up and removals around the gardens. Cheryl D. (above) focused her tidying skills in the Japanese garden today.  Note the lights already in place for the HLS in that shot.  I’ll be running cords through there next week, hence the need for some timely clean-up!  Kathy (below) and Eva tidied up the gazebo garden and removed some annuals from the Heirloom Garden.  Kay worked her tidying kung fu in her section of the shade garden and moved on to some annual removals near the arboretum.  Vicki and Steve finished clearing a huge portion of the tropical garden and moved on to some other areas as well.  Bill O. did his mowing rounds while Dr. Gredler over-seeded some turf areas.  Maury went on a fuel run for us and Mary Kay continued updating our reference library records.  We also saw Mary Beth, Dave K. and many others today.


Kathy P. (above, using the same broom she flew in on this morning)


our 2016 bulb order is ready to go in the ground!


flame grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Purpurascens’) – perennial


‘Cheyenne Sky’ switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) – perennial


Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is turning a nice red right now – woody vine


variegated fiveleaf aralia (Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’) – woody shrub


seedheads of Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) – perennial


‘Forever Purple’ coral bells (Heuchera) – perennial


this white foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) didn’t seem to mind the frost this morning – biennial