Saturday, December 15, 2007

Picture contest- Week 6- December 16

Wow- week 6. After this week we will have selected half the finalists. This is progress. We are half way through December and pretty soon the days will be getting longer. That is always important for me. I get used to it being dark. I get up in the dark. I come home after work in the dark. I do understand on some instinctive level that when the dark goes away it will be spring.
We certainly do not have spring. We have winter with ice and snow. We survived the ice storm, losing power for only 3-4 hours. We certainly seem to be in a weather pattern of winter precipitation. On the other hand we have avoided the big snowfalls and the trees mostly survived the ice storm, so one should not complain.
So here is the vote for last week, Week 5
Frog wins- Frog wins- Frog wins

The first number is the electronic vote, the second the write in or email vote.
1- Bluebells 13+5=18 or 24.3%
2- Carnival Lily 8 or 10.8%
3- Frog 31+9=40 or 54.1%
4- Twin Poppies 4+4=8 10.8%

The frog wins by a landslide, finishing the third week in a row where the winner won a majority of the vote. At the bottom of this post there is a slideshow of the winners so far. Enjoy.


On to the contest for this week.
I think I have a good lineup for you this week, with lots of good colors.

1- Tinos, the Asiatic Lily. This is the first and only Asiatic Lily picture in this year’s contest. I like this picture and I am not quite sure why. As with many close-ups the interior of the flower is interesting as the dominant color fades into something, in this case a surprising green. Yellow is not splashy, but is perhaps elegant. There is the sharp contrast with the dark brown of the anthers and stigma (that's what those things are called) and the yellow and white of the petals.

2- Fall Crocus- So here is another great blue picture. Fall crocuses are similar to their spring cousins. They really are a wonderful surprise sometimes showing up when it is still hot in early September. This one bloomed on October 27 this year. It was that late because I just planted it in September. They will in fact bloom right after you plant them. It makes you wonder what have they been doing before you got them. This may be the saffron crocus, with those orangy things being what the saffron comes from. The patterns on the petals make such a great contrast with the orange things, whatever those things are called.

3- Here is the wonderful pink lupine. I fell in love with lupines many years ago at a hotel in Greeley Colorado. It was June and the beds were full of all these colored hybridized lupines. Several years later we went to Yellowstone and saw the fields of wild lupines. Sometimes they are hard to grow. I have had times when I hit the tipping point on reproduction. That is the point where you grow enough of whatever plant that the seedlings keep coming in ever increasing numbers, more that filling in for the casualties that occur in the hear of the summer.
They do drive florists crazy because they will not bloom all the way up the stalk at the same time. You should be able to see that they are a member of the pea family.

4- Finally this week there is this waterlily picture. I do not believe that it needs any comment. Maybe it is unfair competition to include waterlily pictures in this contest.

Bonus pictures
So let me plug Asiatic lilies this week. Asiatic Lilies are the first of the Lilium group to bloom. This picture was taken on June 21 this year. The first of these lilies bloomed for me on June 2. They are a little like clockwork. They bloom over about a 30 day period, which usually is the month of June. There is sometimes a little garden lull in May after the cascade of spring bulbs. The Asiatic lilies bridge that time into July which is high summer in the garden with daylilies and other lilies creating a complete riot of color in the garden.
I have five pictures for you of Asiatic lilies.
1- Here is Lollipop, a cheerful and vigorous plant that is about the first one to bloom in the garden. This picture is from June 2. It spreads rapidly. Several years ago I gave a chuck to a friend who lives several blocks away. Amazingly the plant at my friends house started blooming on the same day that its former companions started blooming back at my house.

2- Then there this wonderful orange of Sunshine Glory. It should be no surprise that this plant was on the cover of one of the catalogues for lilies. This picture was from June 13.

3- This is Electric Yellow also blooming on June 13. It has those wonderful spots that someone worked hard to get.

4- If you carry the spots to their natural conclusion you get this variety, called Latvian Promise. The pattern comes in several colors. This picture was from July 3.

5- Here is a full picture of Tinos, allowing you to see it on the stem. The grey is the street in front of the house. I do garden right down to the curb. To see much of the garden all you have to do is drive by.

Here are two more lupine pictures. The first is a blue lupine from 2007. The second is the most wonderful clump I think I have ever had, from 2005. The clump did not survive but there are still seedlings coming. Having identifies an area where it will grow that is where the seed should go.

The pumpkins had a rough week, what with more ice and snow. In a way what is hardest for them is the periods above freezing when they do begin to droop. We had one brief period when it got to the upper 30’s this week.

As a last feature this week here is a slideshow of the winners so far. You picked them. At some point you will get to narrow this group to a final four.

Have a great winter’s solstice. Longer days are coming.
Please pass this contest on to your friends.


Shady Gardener said...

Ah, yes. It was hard to chose between the water lily and the others. I love asiatic and oriental lilies, etc. But I fell for the electric blue crocus! Beautiful!

Diann said...

Ah, the water lily gets me every time... :)

Anonymous said...


I didn't get a chance to comment last week, so I'll do it now. Regarding the frog--Puleeez! Why didn't you just put a baby on a lily leaf?! I may have to recruit a team of voters to counter this extra-floral juggernaut.(Of course the picture was totally charming.)


Joan said...

Frogs are part of the Mears' garden/pond/yard...I really liked seeing a different aspect of the whole garden life - it's not always just about beautiful flowers - as is shown in the frog picture and the first week's winner - a picture of an emerging poppy.
But, a baby on a lily leaf would definitely get my vote - as long as it was floating in your pond. Could you do that, Philip?