Sunday, December 13, 2009

Picture Contest- Week 3- December 13, 2009

Winter- It had to come. It is after all one of the main reasons for the picture contest. Winter comes and we try to survive.
Here in Iowa City we had 10 inches of snow midweek, complete with interstate and University closings. There was snow, then wind, and then bitter cold. What a trio. There was a certain camaraderie however for those daring souls who braved the elements and went to work, like most of us at the law office. (I work at a law office in Iowa City.) We had pizza for lunch two days in a row. It was casual, even more than usual.
So now it all is white. It is also the same every day. It seems like there has always been snow on the ground.

It is a time for that other reality- photographs. Somehow a picture of everything just being green becomes more attractive this time of year. Listen to me. We have only had winter for something like 5 days so far. What will I be like in February.

FORMAT ALERT- I have added another extra post, this one all about bluebells. It is right below this post, after the bonus pictures.

Here was the voting for last week. The Bluebells and Epimedium combo was the winner. The close-up of the Anemone and the snow picture in the spring had good support. I don’t quite understand the lack of support for the iris. Sometimes the voters just have a will of their own.

Bluebells and epimedium 24+2=26 for 41.9%
Japanese Anemone 18+1=19 for 30.6%
Yellow Iris 2 for 3.2%
Winter aconite in snow 14+1=15 for 24.2%
Total voting 58+4=62

Here are your four contestants this week.

First up is this May 6 picture of the Dr. Seuss entry, the Crown Imperial Fritillaria. This 2 foot tall spring bulb comes in several colors, including red, orange, and yellow. It also comes in brown and green. Brown flowers? Well we shall see. I planted some.
I find it difficult to get to these fritillarias to bloom a second year, but sometimes you just get a bulb and call it an annual. Tulips are sometimes like that. With tulips, even the highly hybridized varieties can usually be coxed into a second year.
Maybe it is all location and fertilizer. I will test it out again this spring as I found several sales of crown imperials this fall.

This next picture, from May 2, is a real stunner. It is an Iceland Poppy. Unlike the Oriental poppies each plant will keep blooming as long as the weather stays on the cool side. I treat them as annuals, and indeed grow them from seed. In fact I should start them in the next month. When I get those first sprouts we will all celebrate the start of the new garden season.
The flowers are smaller than the Orientals and if anything are even more like crepe paper. Check out the extra Iceland poppy pictures in the bonus section lower in this post.

This next picture is a daylily called Tiger Kitten. The picture was taken on August 2. If there was an award for bright color, this almost fire orange would be at least a finalist. Click on the picture on the blog. Fill your entire screen. You will get more color than almost any other picture this contest. I found the daylilies to be particularly good this past summer.

Finally there is this wonderful newcomer to the garden this year. It is a hearty orchid called cypripedium reginae, the Showy Lady- Slipper. The picture was taken on June 7. It does bloom later than the little yellow lady slippers.
It is the state flower of Minnesota, and is a wildflower. Imagine finding that on a walk in the woods. This one took about 3 years to grow big enough to bloom. I actually have planted a second one and can’t wait for May to see how they will do this year.

So there you have it. Happy voting.
For your bonus enjoyment there are extra Iceland poppies, some little yellow garden orchids, and another shot of the Crown Imperial fritillaria.
As a final shot I have this overview of the backyard. As I looked at it, it just seemed so…green. And so far away.
Enjoy the week.


Marilyn Swanson said...

Philip, your photos are particularly stunning this week. In our currently white world, it makes me grin to see such strong and beautiful colors. Thank you!

Dave said...

I voted again, even though I think the anemone got screwed last week. I'm hoping to impeach the winner in a few months.

Catherine Woods said...

I love that Showy Lady Slipper -- reminds me of summer times spent camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northeastern Minnesota during my growing up years. I'm with Dave on loving the anemone last week. Flowers emerging from and surrounded by snow touch me like nothing else!

Janet said...

On the fragrance scale, most flowers seem to range from neutral to pleasant. Not so this Suessian wonder, the fritillaria--it's actually rank! But it's so bizarre looking that I love it.