Sunday, December 14, 2008

Picture contest- week 5- December 14

So here we are again. It's another week gone by. It’s time for some more diversion from our wintry blues. Let’s call it the middle of December. That would make it the midpoint between October 1 and March 1. I assume that this information is helpful. By the first of March I should be able to go outside and poke around with a stick. Maybe there will be a snowdrop here or an aconite there.
We are actually having a 36-hour thaw in Iowa City this weekend, with temperatures up into the 40’s. Maybe I can go rake some more leaves. Actually I did go out and see if there was any snowdrop action. There wasn’t.

Update It actually got up to 55 degrees today, Sunday afternoon. The snow is mostly gone, but what is left is a kind of dirty grey. You can almost smell the dirt when you look at it. This is only temporary. A front is coming through sometimes in the next few hours and it is forecast to get to 6 degrees tonight.

In last week’s contest the winner was the Bluebell picture. It edged out the Iceland poppies. The poppies still have chance of moving into the finals anyway. The top 4 second place finishers will also move on the final round in February, along with the 12 weekly winners.

Here are the voting totals for last week (the first number is the poll number from the blog, with the second number being the email votes):

Composite picture 10+3=13 for 18.3%
Bluebells 21+7= 28 for 39.4%
Epimedium 7+1.5=8.5 for 12.0%(yes someone split their vote, not something I encourage)
Iceland Poppies 17+3.5=20.5 for 28.9%
Total vote 55+16=71

So far the second place finishers have been
Week 4 Iceland Poppies 28.9%
Week 3- pasque flower 28.4%
Week 2 Triumphator lily 26.9%
Week 1 Pink Daylily 29.5%

So let me tell you about this week’s contest. I know that I will have a hard time voting this week. Of course that is my goal. I try to come up with a balance of pictures, both in terms of seasons, types of flowers, and colors.

The first picture is Shirley, the tulip. What a great name for a flower. It’s about as far from a Latin name as you could get. I know there is a peony called Bob. I do not have this plant, and not for want of trying.
Shirley is one of my wife Julia’s favorite flowers. This picture was taken on May 3, which means it was probably blooming on her birthday, May 1.

The second picture is a white shooting star. The official name is dedecatheon. This picture was taken on May 24. If you are from eastern Iowa you may know Rochester Cemetery. Rochester Cemetery is about 20 miles east of Iowa City along the Cedar River. It is 13 acres of high oak savanna, even though it is actually classified as a prairie/savanna. Amidst the big old oaks there are more wildflowers than you can imagine. In mid May there are thousands of shooting starts, from white to pink. At the cemetery you can also find my favorite named wildflower, the hoary puccoon.

The next picture is another daylily, this one called Delmar. I was so enamored by Delmar when it bloomed for me the first year, I did something I have never done before or since. I bought another Delmar. It is so…. I am not sure what. The pink goes well with the dark green background in the picture. The greenish center of the flower is just an added bonus. Sometimes pictures make my toes curl. This picture was taken on July 5 this year.

Finally there is the Siberian Iris, called Jeweled Crown. The picture was taken on May 29. Siberian Iris come after the bearded iris, and before the Japanese Iris. Iris make such a wonderful progression throughout the garden year. You can start with the very little ones in March and April and go all the way through to July when the Iris show ends with the Japanese. I have been expanding my Siberian Iris stock for several years. They do want sun. For that reason in my yard they have heavy competition with the daylilies and the lilium. They do have a major difference from the beard iris. The Siberian Iris, like the Japanese and Louisiana Iris prefer to be wet. Siberian Iris actually have roots as opposed to rhizomes, or longish bulbs. I plant some of my Siberian Iris at the end of the downspouts.

There you have it. Vote away.

As I have said before, I really enjoy putting together the bonus section. This week there are pictures from the garden and from Colorado.
From the garden I have more tulips for you.
Then I have some Siberian iris.
Finally I have this wonderful daylily picture that almost made it into the contest. The lily is called San Ignacio and was so close to Delmar that I didn’t think both could be in the contest. But I thought you would like San Ignacio.

I also have these pictures from Colorado. They are flower pictures of related flowers to some of the contestants this week.

Enjoy the week. In just one week the days will start getting longer.

1 comment:

IBOY said...

Philip... I used to live in Gilbertville on three acres of sandy red cedar woods and prairie, and had lots of hoary puccoon growing there. Did you know "puccoon" is a morph of an Indian word that refers to plants used by the Indians for dyes?