Sunday, January 11, 2009

Picture contest-Week 9- January 11, 2009

Welcome to week 9. We are over half way through the entire contest. Way to go group.
Here in Iowa City winter continues. On the other hand it was just warm enough this week to get most of our trees trimmed. We have lots of mature trees, including an enormous elm tree in the front, a sycamore in the back, a linden on the side, and the walnut and buckeye trees must go somewhere. Tree guys don’t like my yard since there are lots of plant labels and gazing balls and hanging pumpkins and other obstacles. Did I mention that this task has to get done at a time of year when things are not growing? Yet it has to get done. I need to lift those trees up or the sunny areas will shrink away.
So just you wait for the spring and the garden will shine with that much more sunshine.

In last week’s voting the winner was the Yellow Iceland Poppy.
Here are the full voting results
Yellow Poppy 23+5=28 for 41.2%
White Iris 8+1=9 for 13.2%
Red Daylilies 13+4=17 for 25%
My Precious Lily 12+2=14 for 20.6%
Total 56+12=68

The winners of the first 8 weeks include an anemone, a crocus, a tulip, some bluebells, an iris, a waterlily, an orchid cactus and the yellow poppy. It is quite a diverse group. The first four weeks’ winners were all from April. Since then you have selected pictures from one from May and the last three from July. I do think these last 4 weeks should give you a chance to advance pictures from later in the year.

Here are your picture choices this week:

1- This is another Orientpet called American Way. I planted this in 2006. It had been described as having “Gargantuan lemon yellow blooms”. It did not disappoint. This bloomed on July 13 and was about 5 feet tall.

2- This as you all should know is a purple coneflower. And then there is the bee. Coneflowers are so wonderful as close-ups. They have rows going every which way. The plant breeders have really been working with coneflowers making all sorts of colors and even funny shapes. I am trying a few of the other colors but the jury is still out. I mostly have purple coneflowers in between my daylilies and lilium. The color contrast can be fantastic. They also spread so much that show up all over. This would be invasive but I just pot them up and hand them off during the year.

3- This is a fall anemone, perhaps Honorine Jobert. I absolutely love these plants. They are about 3 feet tall. They have many blooms per plant. This picture was taken on September 14. In the bonus pictures you will see that they were in bloom from around mid August to mid October. They seem vigorous, some varieties spread and they come in a variety of colors. There are also doubles. In the bonus pictures you will see a real close-up of this flower. I struggled as to which to put in the contest and settled on this one. I like a picture that shows more than just the flower. Here you can see the buds and stems and leaves.

4- As the last picture this week there is another crocus. This picture, taken on April 2, contrasted with the Orientpet, illustrates the difference between yellow and gold. The gold of this crocus, particularly with the brown background makes you just want to hibernate until March and then go out and watch for bulbs.

Vote away.

In the bonus section this week first I have two pictures that almost made the 48 pictures that you are seeing these several months. The first is the close-up of picture 3 in the contest. I was really torn which I liked best. This green lemon surrounded by yellow things would make any art project proud. And then the white backdrop. What a concept.

Then there is another coneflower that just got weird. This has red pieces and the outside is white.

Then there are more anemones, throughout the fall. The pictures are in chronological order, starting with the first buds on August 10, and going to this great big since white flower on October 18. AS a group they do make a statement. You really must have them in your garden to fill up the last third of the season.

That is it for this week, as we push on to a better and warmer time.

Philip Mears

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