Saturday, December 6, 2008

Picture contest- week 4- December 7

Welcome to Week 4
If you would like to receive the contest pictures by email tell me that by email and it will be done. My email is

Well here we are, coming to you from the deep freeze that is called Iowa. We are one week into our snow cover and already 10 degrees doesn’t feel so bad. And it is what date? December 7. It is going to take quite a bit of effort to get to February this year. But at week 4, you can almost think we are a month into the contest. In another few weeks there will be holidays, the days will get longer, and just about then it will be time to plant some seeds. That should really help.

So where are we with the contest?
Here are last week’s results. The winner was…the tulip. When in doubt, bet on the tulip. The tulip advances to the final round, which will start in 9 weeks. (The second number is the email votes)

Monsella tulip 27+5=32 for 43.2%
Pasque flower seed heads 17+4=21 for 28.4%
Blue lupine 8+7=15 for 20.3%
Bela lugosi daylily 7+3=10 for 13.5%

So who are the contestants in this cold week number 4? I really like the selection.

1- The first picture (July 5)is somewhat of a rarity in the contest. It is sort of a composite picture. It is yellow Asiatic lilies with the spent heads of the globemaster alium. (remember week 2?) The purple is long gone but the yellow and green work well together. I also find that this picture has more motion that I have had in a picture in a while. In the background there are some hosta leaves accentuating the circular feel from the alium. Is that artistic or what.

2- Then there is blue picture. (April 27) This is a close-up of the Virginia bluebell, with its fancy name of Mertensia Virginica. Don’t you like it when there is an educational dimension to visual fun? The April garden is awash with bluebells. They are really taking over. On the other hand I have started potting them up early in the spring as a way to control their spread. They make great sale plants for my spring sale. They grow from a little vertical tuber. If you pot them up before they get more than an inch or so out of the ground they will bloom nicely in the pot and transplant just fine. Since about 60 million plants come up each spring there are plenty.
You do have to be careful where they grow. They will crowd out certain other spring plants, like the smaller epimedium, but they go well with large hosta. Just look at the bonus pictures this week.

3- Here is the flock of epimedium. (May 1)The variety in the picture is called x. rubrum Sweetheart and it is as vigorous as it is ethereal. What a combination. I am more excited about epimedium than probably any other plant at the moment. This attraction should last at least until the next lily catalogue arrives. Right now I am planning on getting a whole bunch more varieties this spring. Since they are relatively small, it is a little easier to make room for new ones, than if you were getting new peonies. The flowers are so small however that I may need a different camera. I may have to go stimulate the economy at some point. Let me also give you this link to an epimedium website where there are many pictures.

4- The fourth picture is two white Iceland poppies. (July 5) Iceland poppies are about the most delicate flower in the garden. I can grow them from seed, starting in January. They come in pastel colors. White flowers are special. After the contest is over I may have one week on this blog with just white flowers.

There you have the contestants for week 4. Vote away.
Garden News: Just a week after I was wondering whether the hellebore buds would open. I wonder no more. Each day now seems the same. I look out the window and see white. What is so magical about the garden is change. You discover something new everyday. What new plant or flower will emerge today? Not now.
So I look at photographs and catalogs and ponder where I will put 10 new epimedium plants. (What is the plural of epimedium? Epimedia? I must read about peony seeds. I collected seeds from some tree peonies this fall. On the other hand what would I do with 25 peony seedlings? What can I learn from Google?
So here is the bonus section. In a way this section is the most fun to put together. I am not bound by any particular format, or even number of pictures. I can just go back through this year’s pictures and pick some.
This week I started by picking bluebell pictures and then just kept finding bluebell pictures. One of the pictures is a fancy stitch job that the camera can do when I can remember how to do it. You take multiple pictures and the camera or the computer stitches them together.
In the Spring bluebells form this wonderful backdrop for so many other plants. In these pictures you can see bluebells with hosta, iris, pasque flowers, and even epimedium (if they are vigorous and a bigger type like this one.)

I wish you a warm week.

1 comment:

IBOY said...

Philip... I think it's "epimediae"???
Your first bonus picture is a looker!