Sunday, February 1, 2009

Picture Contest- Week 12- February 1

Welcome to Week 12, the last week where you will see new pictures in this year’s contest. In a week the playoffs begin, with four weekly contests with the 12 winners and 4 highest second place finishers.
And let's all February, the real window or doorway (or some other part of the house) into spring. (How would “stairway” work?) I can have that positive attitude today after January departed with a day yesterday where the temperature got almost to 50 here in Iowa City. We still have snow cover but yesterday you could walk around outside without your winter coat. It was great.
It does makes you want to start spring cleaning, whether it is in the garage or in the basement where you should have some seedlings started but you just haven’t gotten around to it.

But enough of all this.
In last weeks contest the results were amazingly close, particularly in the blog poll. At one point the first three pictures were tied at 14 each. The first number is the poll number. The second number is the email voting. So here you have it.
The winner was the Blue crocus. Here are the details.

Electric Yellow Lilies 16+3=19 for 27.1%
Blue fall crocus 18+9=27 for 38.6%
Daylily Dream Legacy 15+3=18 for 25.7%
Toad lily 5+1=6 for 8.6%
Total 54+16=70
Here are the last four pictures that I picked out for the contest this year. It is a somewhat irrational process. In fact for the bonus pictures this week I have included the seven pictures that just didn’t make it to the top 48. There really were some good ones that did not make my final cut.

The first picture is a little dwarf bearded iris. This one bloomed on May 3. Iris are one of the 4-5 backbones of the garden. The others would be hosta, daylilies, lilium and spring bulbs.
This particular picture captures that velvety quality that makes these plants wonderful. It is not just sparkly. It is deeper than that.

This next picture is a fall crocus. It is speciosus albus. I planted it this fall and it bloomed on October 18. That is one of the features of fall blooming crocus. You can just buy them in August, plant them and they will bloom that year. I will let you know next year whether it comes back. Between last week’s winner and this picture you can certainly see the possibilities for the fall.

Then there is Pizzazz, a name that could never appear in a Scrabble game. (OK purists- is there a second letter z in any one game, which I suppose could be combined with 2 blanks?) This flower, filmed on July 20, was so wonderful that after it bloomed I ordered some more.

This last picture, taken on October 5, is the seedpod for a castor bean plant. Sometimes I think seedpods should have their own contest. What a color? Here are some interesting facts about castor beans. Wikiipedia says that they have been found in Egypian tombs dating back to 4000BC. Castor beans can be refined into a deadly poison called ricin. Some garden centers will not sell the seeds for that reason. I grow them as annuals.

So vote away.
For the bonus pictures here are the seven pictures that almost made it into the contest. One is an orchid. Orchids get hung in the trees in the yard from late May until mid September. Some of them actually bloom in the summer as did this one phalanopsis.
The white ray flower is bloodroot. The white lilium is Casa Blanca.
That is it for this week. Enjoy the longer days.

1 comment:

Miriam said...

Must be hard to choose. Thanks so much for doing this.