Sunday, February 24, 2008

picture contest- week 16- February 24

I was going to start this note by noting that spring is nowhere to be seen. I won’t do that. It has been sunny for several days and it is amazing how warm 25 can feel. Some of the streets have been cleared even though sidewalks…
Stop. I am not going there.
This coming week will be March. The girls’ basketball tournament is this week and the next big snowstorm…Stop.
What I really like in late winter is the sound of melting snow. We will get a lot of that sound I think in the next month.

My seedlings are coming up. I have lupines, Iceland poppies and columbine, which by the time they get to the garden I will have forgotten what colors they are.
It is time to make the next round of orders from the catalogues. Some catalogues are amazing. I have a new one from a company called Forest Farm, located in the great northwest (aren’t they all)(my apologies to Connecticut).It has virtually no pictures. I like the subtle arrogance of a plant catalogue that has no pictures. This catalogue has wonderful plants others do not. There is a white European monkshood and a pink one too. Monkshood are really good flowers for the fall. This catalogue has many shrubs and trees, which as a category does not appeal to me. But they sell 17 different kinds of ginko trees, which I guess is not surprising since male and female trees are sold separately. I think everyone who knows ginko trees knows why.
So white and pink monkshood have made the wish list and now need to be actually ordered.
And how about penstemons? There are pinks and blues to be acquired from Bluestone Perennials, one of my favorite companies. They are so green as a company that they give you free shipping if you send them back their shipping peanuts for recycling. They also allow you to play with many different coupons. I am a sucker for that kind of pitch. It must have been the case that some member of the family went to marketing school and now is in charge of specials. There are coupons for money off if pink flowers are ordered or if you purchase any aquilegia.(columbine). You get five dollars off if there is an order over $85 or 20% off if the order is before March 15. It becomes hard to calculate sometimes. But it is fun nonetheless.

So on to the contest.

Last week the pink waterlily advanced. For the third week in a row the highest seed plant advanced. The pink entry in the finals will have a good chance as the blue vote will be split between the first two entries, with another potential one this week.
Here were the results:

1- Pink Waterlily 28+9=37 for 47.4%
2- Hosta 18+3=21 for 26.9%
3- Coneflower 4+0=4 for 5.1%
4- Calla lily 15+1=16 for 20.5%
The first number in the addition is the electronic vote, the second the email vote.

This week’s contest will determine the last entry in next weeks final final week of the contest.

The first contestant is the frog. Remember the frog. It won the contest from week from week 5, with another over 50% vote. It was controversial from day one. Should an aquatic creature, an amphibian no less, be allowed to compete with flowers. Well, you had no problem giving the frog you votes in the earlier round. Let’s see about this week.

The second contestant is the blue Japanese Iris, another blue majority winner from week 10. I love Japanese iris. They are a plant that makes me try to adjust the contours of the garden so there can be more. I am currently trying to start some seeds from this plant. There were tons of seeds. I will report on germination in a few weeks. I find it interesting to see which seeds start easily and which do not. I can order an interesting anemone from a seed catalogue and then I read the packet. It says to start the process by planting the seeds in a plastic bag and then waiting 90 days. If I only could have read those directions before I ordered the seeds, I wouldn’t have bothered.

The third contestant is the closeup of the yellow waterlily. As I mentioned at the time this was in the first round, this one begins to look like some creature from the original Star Trek series. The ship is being pulled towards this unknown thing out in deep space. The reverse engines will not work. What will happen? Go yellow.


The final entry is the blue anemone clump. This is the one spring bulb entry in the semifinals, the picture being taken on April 15. Do you think the snow will be gone by that date this year? One thing that could happen is that there will be a late spring, which is then compacted into 3-4 weeks. Boo.
I just can’t wait for the spring flowers.

There you have it. Vote and get your friends to vote. All you frog enthusiasts out there- you better find some friends to vote as well. The blue wave will over whelm you.

Here is the bonus section.

I also want to encourage you to make some comments yourselves. At this point I am really getting ready for this winter stuff to all be over. I am particularly waiting for particular flowers to appear in my garden. How about if you tell what you in particular are waiting for. For example I am particularly waiting for that first winter aconite, along with the spring trillium. What are you waiting for?

You can use the comment section this week on the blog. Or you can return email me with you comments and I will publish them next week, with first names only.

So here are pictures of winter aconite from previous years. These pictures were taken on March 1 and 10th, 2006.

Then there are the trillum. They are a little later, but oh how wonderful they can be.

I have told you about orchids. They are a great way to get through the winter. This picture is an orchid that just started blooming last week. One thing about orchids is that they can bloom a long time. I have some phalanopsis that have been blooming for months.

Finally here are some pumpkins. They really are shrinking up a lot these days. They are really getting quite fierce looking.

Have a great week and let us welcome the month of March.


Vicki said...


What a lovely respite from all this cold, snow and gloom!

Probably my very favorite plants is a spigelia. We saw them in St. Louis on a garden trip a few years ago and I hunted down some seedlings. Boy was I disappointed when those things arrived! I refused to pay for much more than the shipping and planted them with hope. One of six survived and has bloomed for two years now. It pops up late in the spring and I look fo it everyday with hope that it will make it through the winter. The dark red contrast with the yellow keeps me entertained for at least a month.

Also, I love the appearance of the daffodils and red tulips. What a lovely sign of spring!

I could go on and on, but enough for now.

Thank you Phillip for making these days brighter!


Judith said...

Sigh. I think I'm waiting to see what survived under the leaves I didn't rake and the perennials et al I didn't cut.
Also, I think it's coming: the storms are getting further apart. It's the inverse of labor pains getting closer together.

Meanwhile, if anyone needs a gardening book, or a mystery or something to get through the rest, the Shelter House Used Book Sale is March 1st 10-3 at Trinity (College and Gilbert), Iowa City.