Saturday, November 24, 2007

Picture contest- Week 3- November 25

Welcome to the Third Week of the Second Annual Mears Garden Picture Contest for 2007. Thanksgiving is over. We had our first snow, about an inch if that counts. There is nothing like snow on the ground to put a punctuation mark on the end of the garden season. On the other hand it melted and I did buy some sale daffodils yesterday. I have been sticking them around the yard. Maybe the season is not done until the ground is completely frozen.

For those of you that missed the information about the Contest please either read the Week 1 entry on the blog or the information at the end of this post. Basically we are voting each week for a favorite flower picture. At the end of 12 weeks the winners and some runnerups will advance to the final rounds. Votes are due by Saturday at midnight.

Throughout the contest I do three things.
First I tell you about the vote totals from last week.
Second I tell you about this week’s pictures.
Finally I give you the bonus section, with a few extra pictures on the blog.

Voting week 2
#1 closeup nymph 14+5 =19.... 25%
#2 daffodil 5+2 =7..... 9.2%
#3 spider lily 17+4 =21.... 27.6%
# 4 peony 19+10= 29.... 38.2%

The first number is the electronic vote and the second is the write in vote(email)

The peony wins after a spirited contest. The online voting stayed close all week. Trailing the field was the daffodil, but its supporters were really committed.
For those of you following the contest among the potential wildcard contestants, the Spider daylily finished with 27%. This compares with the first week’s runnerup, the calla lily’s, 28%. As in so many things every vote counts. If you really like a picture go find someone else and get them to vote too.

This week’s pictures
1- Michigan Lily- This is a species lily that I know as a Michigan Lily. A “species” something is a plant found in the wild. It is not hybridized. In the world of wildflowers a plant can often be called many things, usually in different parts of the country.

2- Pink Waterlily. This is one of the hearty water lilies that lives in our pond. They stay out all winter. They really are rather magnificent. They not only survive over the winter, but each spring, when I clean the pond, I have several pots with the tubers having grown over the edge of the pots. The only thing to do at that point is to break them off and find them homes. If you ever have a pond that needs a waterlily, let me know in the early spring.

3- Caladium party. I grow caladium, a not hearty bulb from Florida. It does not want to grow until the temperature in the ground gets to 70 degrees. Even with global warming that does not happen here in Iowa until almost June. They grow in the shade, come in many colors, and pose for many pictures, particularly in the early morning. This picture was taken on August 10. Did I say August? They really brighten up the garden in August and September. I do not bother to bring them in each fall. Each year I just get more bulbs, start them inside, and enjoy them even in the deeper shade. These were directly under the crab apple trees. They do not seem to need much water. I absolutely recommend them for a companion for hosta.

4- Crown Imperial Frittilaria. This Dr. Seuss creation becomes a focal point of the early spring garden. They also come in reds and yellows. I find them a little hard to grow, at least the part where they keep coming back every year.


So here is the bonus section. Think of it like the footnotes. The pictures in this section appear only on the blog.
Here are two other pictures of the Michigan lilies. The first looks kind of like a spaceship descending. Maybe you can notice the whirril pattern of leaves. They are all together on the stem. This is different from the leaves on most of the Oriental and Asiatic lilies.

I mentioned the pond. We have one in the back yard. Our daughter Katie dug it when she was 12. She told us we needed a water feature so we told her to make one. So she did. Over a decade later it is still there, a little in need of some repair, but still a wonderful place for fish and some frogs. There will be more about the frogs later in this contest. Here is a picture of the pond in late May with the Siberian iris.

Here is the Thanksgiving flower this year, a hearty cyclamen of some variety. I planted it in September and never thought it would bloom this fall. I was walking by the place where it grew the other day, saw it, and exclaimed out loud. It is those little moments that keep the gardener going. Here it is almost the first of December and there is this dainty little thing.

Finally here is your weekly pumpkin picture. I tried to do a utube thing but I am not yet there. But it is something to wait for. Courtesy of Julia's family coming from Chicago for Thanksgiving, we now have an entire solar system. There are 9 pumpkins in or around the walnut tree at this point. When Julia’s mother asked why we were doing this I explained that if she checked, there were just not many other houses with pumpkins hanging in the trees.

Have a grand week.

Contest Information
Each Sunday evening for 12 weeks I will post 4 pictures from the garden for 2007. You get to vote for the one you like best. Those 12 winners and the 4 highest finishing second place pictures will advance to a round of 16. Over the next 4 weeks you will pick the four finalists. There will then be that one last vote for the fan favorite for garden year 2007. By that time winter will be mostly done, at least in Iowa. (in theory)


Shady Gardener said...

Partial to waterlilies. I love water gardens, too. Used to have one at the "other place." ;-)

Anonymous said...

Despite the punky pluck of the odoriferous frittillaria, I have to go this week with the glorious lilly that needs no help from us.--Janet

Philip Mears said...

If you think it is odoriferous then you know this flower. At least it repels moles which is sometimes a good thing. It also blooms before the windows are open in the springtime.