Christmas Changeover is 3.5 days of absolute botanical mayhem as the conservatory and garden displays go from Chrysanthemum to Christmas. I honestly had no idea what it would be like or what extraordinary feats the small army that descended on the conservatory could achieve. Many of us students were assigned to teams that worked in particular areas but I got to bounce around to different teams so I was able to see many areas of the Conservatory displays take shape and come together! Check it out:
DAY 1: Sunday night. The fun started at 5pm.
Before the mayhem commenced, Karl and Lauren demonstrated the fine art of mum deconstruction and composting detail (save rubber cane caps, remove plastic stem clips, cut mum stem at base to separate from root ball, remove bamboo cane, root ball goes to soil bin, herbaceous material in the compost. Repeat a couple thousand times!)
Then everyone scattered and attacked the plants.
After a few hours this is what was left The beds were then tilled and prepared for planting.
The first plants begin to arrive (transporting these Poinsettia standards was no easy task). Once the standards are in place, it's time for the understory of Artemisia absinthium to go in
Moving the boxed citrus trees was a challenge, no thanks to the mum baskets!
The Thousand Bloom, which took over 15 months to train and was on display for only 6 weeks, was whacked!Hudson takes down the pillar cascades
And Dean and David cart out the rest
Nick contemplates jumping into the hole to hide
Day 2: Monday
And Karl is way too perky!
The conservatory bees will see new life at Macy's in Philadelphia
The Mediterranean Garden being transformed to a 'California Patio' (we'll see how CA it looks when it's done!)
Day 3: Tuesday
While I was working in Greenhouse Production back in September, I was given this homework assignment: to write up the details about growing the Poinsettia Standards. At Longwood, you never know who might read your homework!
On the morning of the fourth day, the last of the mum baskets comes down.
Gavin took charge of this kale tree in the fruit house
By midday, the beds and displays were ready for their debut to the holiday guests
Even the Children's Garden gets a touch of the holiday floral spirit
Christmas cactus baskets in the Acacia Passage
Andy is very proud of his work!
The orchid house wreath
Framing is up
Pieces of the carpet begin to arrive
Hundreds of plants are handed down into the fern floor assembly line style
And then the magic begins
A floral masterpiece!
And in what seemed like no time at all, this....
Was transformed to this...