Sunday, January 25, 2009

Picture Contest- Week 11- January 25, 2008

Welcome to Week 11, a week that will include the end of January. It will be the end of the coldest month. Actually I checked and January 25 is the first day of the year where the average temperatures for that day are warmer than the temperatures for the previous day.

Speaking of the end of things, it has been a great week. Inauguration day on Tuesday was really something special. For so long the garden has been a place to retreat to, a place to forget the bitter divides and awful things taking place elsewhere. Beyond the garden was this foreign place, where other values ruled, dangers lurked, and you always had to be on your guard. There will still be times when I will need to look for peace in the beauty and color of the garden. The garden will still provide wonderful surprises at every turn.
At the same time I just feel better about those places beyond the garden. I feel better about my country and my world. The garden will still be a joyful place. But there was also a joyful place in Washington DC this week. Let that joy continue.

And let’s think about flowers as the days get longer and warmer and on certain days the melting begins.

Last week you overwhelmingly selected the white poppy. There will be two poppies in the final 16 in just two weeks. (The yellow Iceland poppy was the winner in week 9) The white poppy is the third white flower. Previous winners were the white water lily in week 7 and white crocus in week 2. Week 2- that seems so long ago.
The totals were as follows:

Lilies and lilies 13+4=17 for 23.9%
White Poppy 32+7=39 for 54.9%
Caladium 6+1=7 for 9.9%
Twinkles, the lily 8+1=9 for 12.7%
Total 58+13=71

This week two of the four entries are fall bloomers.

The first picture is of two Asiatic lilies, accurately called “Electric Yellow”. In this picture taken on June 29, you see the wonderful yellow color, which is so different from gold. Yellow is good, but I do not suggest that it be planted right next to gold. This lily has wonderful spots and then there is that white margin.

The second picture is the fall saffron crocus. If you harvest all those orange things you can get that expensive spice, saffron. This picture was taken on November 2. Fall crocuses are an absolute must for the fall garden. They should bloom for almost two months if you have different varieties. The trick is finding them the appropriate companions so they can occupy the same space.

The third picture is the daylily Dream Legacy. Hybridizers really work hard to get that edge. This picture was taken on July 13.

The final picture this week is the other cornerstone of the fall perennial bed, the toad lily. The official name is “tricyrtis.” What a name. Along with turtlehead and bugbane, “toad lily” is near the top of the all time plant names. If a fruit fly sat on a toad lily what would you call it?
This picture was taken on September 1. There were toad lilies blooming until the second half of October.
If you want fall interest in your garden there is no better way to start than getting a bunch of toad lilies and fall crocuses. If you add in some anemones and monkshood you will keep people interested in the garden until the snow finally covers it all up.

Vote away.
For your bonus enjoyment this week there are more toad lilies, including that glorious yellow one called Lemon Twist. Then there are more fall crocuses including the explosion called “waterlily”. You should be able to tell the difference.

Spring is just around the corner.

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