It is finally cooling off, and the summer flowers have just about run their course. These gardeners have pulled up the flowers lining the reflecting pool on the west side of the temple and are putting in pansies, petunias, and other annuals.
Christine holds a pot of pansies - she told me the winter flowers will be glorious during the winter months, and will reach their zenith next April.
It takes a lot of back-breaking work to keep the temple grounds looking so beautiful.
I took a shot of this flower to illustrate that the summer flowers are becoming quite brown and dry looking. They have just about had their day.
The scaffolding on the temple has reached the south side - the last side to be touched up by the renovation process. Tiny fissures in the stone are being repaired, buffed, and painted.
On the north side of the temple, this gardener has pulled out the flowers around the second reflecting pool and has laid out quite a long 'train' of annuals awaiting their turn to be planted.
These potted plants will be planted beside the palm trees.
These bulbs awaiting planting could be tulips or possibly hyacinths. It will be interesting to see what flowers they produce. I could almost imagine being back in Holland.
Another sign of fall is the advent of preparations for Christmas Lights. These are the lights that go in the palm trees.
Jon Jackson and Dee Hobbs are co-chairmen of the event for 2012. This will be Brother Hobb's last year after being chairman for 9 years. This is a big job - he's probably ready for a rest!
A rented crane lifts the men high enough to attach the light 'fronds' to the palm trees.
The lights are attached to 60 palm trees on the north side of the temple.
It takes a lot of work to get the temple grounds ready to turn on the lights Thanksgiving weekend.
The lawn will be reseeded for the winter months on October 8th. The heavy equipment can't drive on the grass after that date because the constant watering makes the ground too soft. Hence, the lights have to be installed the first week of October.
On October 2nd we were excited to receive two new sisters to coincide with the buzz of activity outside. This lovely young lady is Sister Valladares from Honduras.
Her companion and trainer will be Sister Cottrell. They are Spanish-speaking sisters. Sister Valladares loves to sing and I've excitedly drafted her into the VC choir.
Our other new arrival is Sister Hamstead from Atlanta, Georgia. She came from the same stake in Atlanta that our Sister Schwartz is from. They had a fun reunion.
She will get double the training, double the teaching from Sisters Anderson and Shurtz. Lucky girl!
With these new sisters, we now have a compliment of 26 sisters here at the VC. With the addition of
five full field sisters serving with our VC sisters, we now have 31 under the VC umbrella. This promises be a productive transfer!