Sunday, January 4, 2009

Picture contest- week 8- January 4, 2009

My goodness, we are already up to Week 8 in the picture contest. There are only 12 regular weeks, followed by 4 weeks of runoffs between the winners in the regular season. For those of you doing the math we will also have 4 wildcard entries advance. Those four will be the highest percentage second place finishers.
Then in week 17 there will be the grand finale as you pick the overall best picture of the year.

The winter continues here in Iowa. We have finished those 3 or 4-day work-weeks that were certainly welcome. Now it is somewhat of a grind as we push on toward February.
But the days are longer, even if they are not much warmer.

But on to the contest.

Last week the winner was the orchid cactus. The poppy finished a strong second and should make it into the next round.

Poppy 17+7=24 for 35.8 %
Snowdrops 6+4=10 for 14.9 %
Orchid Cactus 25+5=30 for 44.8 %
African Queen lilium 3 for 4.5%
Total 51+16=67
(The second number is the email vote, the first the poll numbers)


Here are this week’s contestants.

1- This is a yellow Iceland poppy from July5. There was another Iceland poppy in week 4. I think of them as an annuals. They are reasonably easy to grow from seed. I will start them this month and put them out the first of April. I do have to be a little careful putting things out early. It is not so much that the temperatures will hurt them. You can deal with that by taking the flat out for a week before they go into the ground. The bigger problem is that they will be about the only green thing in the garden at that point. For that reason they will be the object of every rabbit in the neighborhood. We have neighborhood dogs and cats, which do a decent job patrolling for rabbits. At the same time even one is enough to mow down a clump of crocuses or freshly planted Iceland poppies.

2. This is a white Siberian Iris. The picture was taken on June 5. This particular plant just showed up in my front yard several years ago. It is not labeled and I do not remember planting it. That is one of the joys of gardening. There are just all those surprises. This iris is quite large and as impressive in person as it is in the picture.

3. This daylily is named Scarlet Pansy. As I mentioned several weeks ago, this is one of those pictures that just make you fell warm. This can be needed in January. This is a later daylily, with this picture being taken on July 23.

4. Finally here is the lily My Precious. The picture was taken on July 23. It is what is called an Orientpet. That means that it is a cross between an Oriental lily and a Trumpet lily. All these lilies are called lilium, to distinguish them from daylilies. The group includes Asiatic lilies, Oriental lilies, Trumpet lilies, some little species lilies and then all the crosses between those kinds that the plants guys can come up with.

Lilium are not anywhere related to daylilies. They do make for a good companion plant with daylilies as they all like sun with the lilium usually being taller that the daylilies.

Lilium pretty much captured my personal first place designation this last year, taking over from the daylily.

That’s it for this week.

Here are some bonus pictures.

First here is a set of more lilium pictures. Like iris, lilium have wonderful sequences. The Asiatic and species come first in June. Then come the Trumpets and Orientpets. Finally, well into August will come the Orientals. They actually go longer than the daylilies, which also can stretch out almost two months.

These last three pictures come from real times as they say. The clivia is blooming now. I try to keep them dormant but occasionally one will just decided to bloom on its own.
The next picture is a little miniature orchid. It is on the windowsill over the kitchen sink where it gets south sun and some nice humidity. It just started to bloom. You are correct if you thought the blooms were maybe a half inch in size.
Finally I mentioned last week that we do cookies this time of year. Well, there is nothing like a message in cookies.

Have a good week. This will be a better year.

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