Sunday, December 30, 2007

picture contest- week 8- December 30

Week 8
It is the week to welcome the New Year. It is a time to reflect. It is a time look ahead. We had more snow this week. Some of the coldest weather of the year is due in a few days. On the other hand there is suppose to be a break in the temperatures with some 40’s predicted next weekend. Two years ago we had a snowy December followed by a January thaw. There were actually pansies that emerged to bloom at that time. Could it happen again?

The votes are in from last week. Finally we had a real contest. Perhaps as a testament to the political race in Iowa it was a three way race all week. The winner was the picture of the blue forget me nots. There were strong second and third place finishes from the daylily close-up and the white iris. The daylily nosed the iris out at the end for second place. The daylily actually got more electronic votes than any picture. But with the strong write in vote, (email votes) the blue picture won again.
We will just have to see how the vote totals of 38-28-25 matches the political finish this week in Iowa.
Here were the actual votes. The electronic vote is listed first.

1- Forget me nots 14+10= 24 or 38.1%
2- Yellow Lily 5+2=7 or 11.1%
3- White iris 11+5=16 or 25.4%
4- Daylily close-up 16+2=18 or 28.6%
I should mention that in this contest there will be 4 wild cards picked for the final 16. The wildcards will be the four highest finishing pictures, by percentages. So far the highest finishing pictures that did not win were

Daylily close-up- week 7 28.6%
Spider Lilies......... week 2 27.6%
Calla lily............... week 1 27.6% (I will worry about higher math if necessary)
White Iris.............. week 7 25.4%

Bluebells week 5 24.3%
Caladium week 3 22.9%

Let me tell you about the pictures for this week.

1- Blue anemones. More blue. What can I say.? You like it. I like it. So here is another blue picture. Anemones are a wonderful little spring bulb. This picture was taken on April 15, not long after the big freeze. The bulbs are cheap.(You can get 100 for $20. The tiny shriveled up black bulbs look like rabbit droppings. You cannot plant them upside down since you really can’t figure out which is up. And just like the crocuses (from earlier in the contest) they do clump up over time. In fact the catalogues say they become ground covers. They come in other colors- white, pink, blue and maroon. Don’t you just like the word maroon. It is a so much better sounding word than purple.

2- Daylily Indy Charmer. I had some difficulty thinking about why I liked this picture so much. It is a full flower daylily, not a close-up or a group picture. The colors are subtle. It has that ring in the middle. I think I like the way there are several colors. This was one of my favorite daylily pictures for 2007.

3- The yellow orchid cactus. Orchid cactus are so wonderful. They are also called epiphyllum. They are cousins of the well-known Christmas cactus. One difference is that they bloom in the summer. I guess the other difference is that they bloom big. The bonus section this week will be devoted to more orchid cactus pictures and information.

4- Another Oriental lily, this one a great pink called Twinkles. The catalogue listed this as being “icy pinkish white”. I like the spotty things on the petals. This picture was taken on July 6, mid summer. It only gets morning sun after the sycamore tree leafs out. I am amazed at how these lilies do just fine with less than full sun.

There you have it. Votes are due by Saturday at midnight. You can vote electronically or by return email.
For the bonus section this week I have pictures and footnotes about orchid cactus. To start with they are not orchids. And they are not cactus. How's that for a name.
I started growing these plants about 8-10 years ago. I got some from a nursery in Virginia and they have been growing and dividing ever since. I got reds and yellows at the beginning, so that is what mostly bloom at the moment. I am getting other colors. My goal in ten years is to have about the same number of plants I have now, about 25, but that they will be all sorts of colors.
1- They do not need much sun, so they are an ideal plant to hang in the trees. In fact they really do not like direct sun that much.
2- The major drawback is they get big and have to come inside in the winter. At the same time they don’t mind going dormant and perhaps even need the rest. When they are big they will not fit on windowsills. What is ideal is a standard bar stool.
3- They are easy to propagate. To make starts you just cut off a piece, harden it off for a few days and then put it in dirt.
4- When you hang them in the trees they can stop traffic very easily.

So how about some pictures
First here are pictures of the plants at a distance. These plants are hanging from the walnut tree in the front yard. Yes that it is the same walnut tree which now hosts the pumpkins. The first picture is June. The second picture was yesterday. It is hard to imagine all that green at the moment.

There are pictures of the two biggest plants, one red, one yellow. Then there are the individual pictures including the wonderful pink flower, that I keep encouraging to get some friends.

The final pictures, as is my custom, are pictures of the pumpkins. First there is the one that looks like a chipmunk at this point. Second there is our Obama pumpkin. The plants in the garden are not above politics. In fact the jade plants have supported many political candidates over the years, including the Senator from Illinois.

So have a great week. If you are in Iowa I hope that the lines are not too long at your caucus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a lovely treat for New Year's Day! I must confess that sometimes my vote is swayed by your written comments, so that it's not only the flower, and not only the photo quality, but also the words which move me. Keep writing!