Sunday, January 10, 2010

Picture Contest- Week 7- January 10, 2010

Welcome to Week 7.
Christmas is over. New Years is finished. Here is Iowa we can celebrate this last fractured week because of the Orange Bowl. Go Hawks.
But football is mostly over and tomorrow we will go back to a real 5 day workweek. Yippee.
Actually after a bitterly cold spell, the temperatures are heading in the right direction. There is even rumor of a 30 degree day coming.

We had a great contest this last week. The Blue Siberian Iris proved its pedigree and was a run a way winner. It even broke the elusive 50 % mark.

The final count was
Siberian Iris 34
Pink Daylily 10
Yellow Asiatic 10
Silk Road 10

For this week there are also some dramatic pictures.
First is this colorful columbine. The picture was taken on June 13. There are so many varieties of these not so hearty perennials. While I find that they will seed themselves they sort of come in waves. I will have certain varieties for a few years and then there will be something else. I can grow them from purchased seed, which does give me the chance to introduce certain new colors.

Next is the close-up of the yellow orchid cactus. This May 31 picture shows the intricate stamen and pistil, which I can never keep straight which is which. OK- I looked it up. The stamen is the male one. It has the pollen on it.

Then there is Julia’s favorite tulip, Shirley. It doesn’t have a bad name either. The picture was taken on May 3, two days after Julia's birthday. I like distinctive names like this. There is a peony named Bob. I am continuing to hunt for him however. I have not yet acquired Bob.

Finally there is the Oriental Poppy named Beauty of Livermore. The picture was taken on May 29.
We first met this plant up the street. I didn’t know its name but is was really good. There was a big clump and it was there year after year. All I could find in the stores were orange poppies. They are good but they were not this red. Finally I learned the name and then acquisition followed. I have 3-4 plants established in the front yard and hopefully they will start to spread. The color was/is hard to photograph. This year I think I have come close. I don’t think I have any other flower that gets close to this dark red, this red/red.
The house up the street sold this year, during the summer, after the poppies had gone dormant. I assume the new owner did not know about the red poppies. One day coming home from work I saw a person out spading up the bed. She had no idea what was there or what she had recently put into her compost bag. Sometimes gardening has a dark side. Maybe some pieces of the plant will come back. Maybe it will just have to be a memory, which I can reinforce with the plants in my yard. The lesson of course is that if you get a new yard wait a season before you do much of anything. who knows what may be down below the surface.

There you have this week’s contest. Vote away.

For your bonus enjoyment I have included more columbine pictures, most from previous years.

Stay warm.
Philip Mears


Catherine Woods said...

I had to vote for the columbine -- first, because I love the color combo (and the photo is dazzling!), and second, I live in Colorado where I believe it's the state flower!

philip Mears said...

Catherine- We try to come to Colorado every few years. There was a post on June 24, 2008 from our last trip. The Colorado columbine is particularly special. There was this aspen grove near Winter Park that I particularly remember. There were columbine all over the meadow beneath the white barked trees.

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