Sunday, November 29, 2009

Picture Contest- Week 1- November 29, 2009

Welcome to the Fourth Annual Mears Garden Picture contest, featuring pictures from 2009.
Here is how it works
Each Sunday evening for 12 weeks I will post 4 pictures from the garden for 2009. You get to vote for the one you like best. Those 12 winners and the 4 highest finishing second place pictures will advance to a round of 16. At that point, over the next 4 weeks you will pick the four finalists. There will then be that one last vote for the fan favorite for garden year 2009. By that time winter will be mostly done, at least in Iowa. (In theory)
You can vote two ways. I would prefer that you vote on the Mears garden blog located at
At the blog there should be a place to vote at the top of the page.
You can also vote by just replying to the email. I guess that would be the write-in vote. In case you do not have my email address, it is
At the blog you should also be able to go back and look at the archive. You can find last year’s contest as well as pictures throughout the year.

There is a place for Comments at the bottom of the weekly post on the blog. Those are much appreciated. If you comment on the blog we can all appreciate your comments.

Each week on the blog I will do several things. I will give you the four pictures for that week’s event. I will tell you how the voting went the previous week. And I will tell you a little about news from the garden as the dark season progresses. Oh- there is also a bonus picture section each week on the blog.

I hope you enjoy the contest. Let’s begin.
Week 1- November 29, 2009

Welcome- The contest is starting a little later this year, than previous years. Part of that is that it just doesn’t seem like winter yet. And this contest is all about getting through the winter. For now the garden is still going strong. We continue to have some days in the 50’s and the pansies are putting on a show. Winter will arrive any day now. At the same time the dark gloomy cold time has not started. It really will be just another 3 months before we can start looking for snowdrops.

So here are the four contestants for the first week’s contest.

The first picture this week is a spring wildflower called bloodroot. This picture was taken on April 15. It grows in the woods in Iowa and appears several places in my garden. I usually forget where it is planted. This creates one of those wonderful garden moments when you find something new of an early morning. I love spring as it seems like there can be those moments almost every day. This plant slowly forms clumps and can be obtained from some of the bulb companies.

The next picture, taken on the Fourth of July, is the daylily Primal Scream. The daylilies had a good year, what with adequate moisture and all (both this year and last). Primal Scream, in addition to making the all name list, is a vibrant orange. The beads of water never hurt in creating a winning picture.

Third is the caladium red Flash, looking like some elaborate shield. Caladium are a mainstay of my garden, adding color to potentially deep shade areas from July to October. This picture was taken on July 14. They are non-hardy bulbs, that could be dug up each fall if you were interested. I just get new ones each year that I start indoors when the first spring annuals leave the grow lights starting outside. (That is usually about April 1.)

Finally rounding out this first week is this pink Oriental poppy. The picture was taken on May 29. Oriental poppies come in many colors. There are pinks and whites and reds. There could be an entire contest just with Oriental poppies. The spice up early June and then completely disappear. This picture was taken on May 29. That actually is a short time of the year that sometimes needs spicing. The bulbs are done and the high summer with lilies and daylilies has not yet begun.

So there you have it. These are the first week’s contestants. Pick one if you can. The season has just started.

Bonus section.
This is all a lot of fun for me and I hope you enjoy it. I get to pour over all these pictures and pick ones to share. There are so many. Many of these seem just as nice as the ones selected for the contest. I admit some degree of arbitrariness in the selection process. Nevertheless here are bonus pictures.
These are other pictures of caladium and bloodroot.

That’s it for this week.

Philip Mears


Marilyn Swanson said...

Dear Philip, this was a perfect day for me to start receiving your flower pictures. The day turned gloomy in the afternoon, and I began to dread winter. Your flowers really perk me up. Thanks! Marilyn

Anonymous said...

Yay!!! The Winter Contest has begun!! That means it's closer to Spring already!!! :)


Judith said...

Welcome back to the contest. And the "why don't I put some of [almost anything] into my garden? And every year some of the Mears Garden Sale does go in.

Dave said...

Good to see the contest starting up again. Got to love the bloodroot -- this is one of the easiest contests ever for me to choose.

Anonymous said...

Yea!! The contest is back up again...

Catherine Woods said...

It's wonderful to re-view these splendid photos and be carried through winter, which here in Colorado also seems to have hardly begun!