Sunday, February 7, 2010

Week 11- February 7, 2010- Picture contest

Welcome to Week 11.
We have made it to February. It is still winter, as those of you on the east coast know all too well. On he other hand the other morning it was sunny and 20 degrees at 7:30 in the morning. The birds were out and it felt a little like April. It was good.

There was a spirited vote this last week, week 10. It was tight from start to finish. In fact for the first time that I can remember, there was a tie for first place, between the dark red daylilies and the peach Iceland poppy. For that matter the toad lily was very close to making it a three-way tie.
Here were the votes, counting the emailed votes.
Night embers- daylily- 21
Iceland Poppy 21
Toad lily 19
Anemone blanda 11
Total 72

I should add that some people for whatever reason, can’t or don’t vote electronically on the blog poll. If you send me a return email and tell me your choice is a particular flower, I count it as an email vote. Those votes are added to the totals from the blog poll. If you vote on the blog and send me an email telling which flower you prefer, please tell me at the same time that you voted in the poll. Otherwise your vote would be counted twice, and something terrible would happen…not really. I do like to get those return emails. I actually like to hear from all of you. Please use the Comments feature and tell me what you like this week. Maybe Laura in Philadelphia can tell us about the snowstorm.

We are getting near the end of the first round of voting. There will be 12 weeks of voting for new pictures. Then I put the 12 winners (including those in a tie) into the next round with however many it takes to fill up a field of 16. There are four seeded flowers (that is almost a plant joke).
For the next four weeks we have a playoff, concluding with the finals in March, where we pick the best flower picture of the season.

Enough of that.
Here are this week’s entries.
First there is the white Oriental poppy, probably called Royal Wedding. The picture was taken on June 2. Year in and year out this poppy produces some great pictures. As I have said before, if you find the morning when there has been a heavy dew or light rain, winning pictures are all over the garden.
Sometimes I should have a post just about wet flower pictures. Maybe there is a better name.

This next picture is another illustration of how you can get a wonderful picture with bluebells and almost any other flower. In this case it is the little yellow bearded iris. The picture was taken on May 3.

The third picture, taken on May 22, is a lupine, another member of the pea family. Baptista is another springtime pea. Lupines have frustrated florists forever since they just will not bloom on the stem, all at the same time. Lupines are wonderful perennials, even though they are a little tricky. They do not like the hot summers. In my garden they will last for 2-3 years, and then hopefully seed themselves. I also start a few each year from seed, right about now, to keep up the cycle. There is nothing quite like an enormous lupine. A picture of the biggest lupine I ever had is in the bonus pictures.

Speaking of plants that do not come back for more than a year or two, here is a great rudbickia I found and planted last year. This picture was taken on August 8. Once again the hope of the gardeners in Iowa is that there will be new ones from last year’s seeds. Ultimately you need 5-10 plants in one area to achieve this result. You also have to watch yourself in the springtime so that you do not get too energetic in digging up the soil where the seeds are to come again.
So there are this week’s pictures. Let me know what you like.
Katie update: Katie spent this last week in Port au Prince, in a tent. She was back in Santo Domingo for the weekend, where there was a shower and the Internet. While in Haiti she has been able to keep in contact with us using her blackberry. She is going back to Port au Prince Monday and is trying to set up some food distribution systems. Apparently there is not much being done at the moment outside of Port au Prince, where there was considerable damage in the rural areas.
I am trying to assemble nice large garden pictures for sale as a fundraiser for her work. I have the pictures selected and am just trying to get someone who can print them for me. Hopefully there will be a special post about that next week.
Please keep Katie, the other relief workers, and all the Haitians in your thoughts. Now that it is no longer on the news each evening, this is more important than ever.

Have a great week.

For your bonus pleasure there are mostly lupine pictures. The first picture is from this enormous plant in 2005. I have ever had one that big again.

The last picture for comparison purposes is the wildflower in Colorado called Golden Banner. It really is more of a pea than a lupine. I like it when I can find the wildflower that corresponds to the flowers in the garden.


Catherine Woods said...

I have loved lupines since the late 70's, years I spent living in London, England (now there's a country with the most amazing shades of green I've ever seen)! And being a Coloradoan these days, it's great to have you highlight one of the state's wildflowers, Golden Banner, and help me understand the connection with lupines! Thanks.

Pat O'Conner said...

Hi, Philip! That white poppy is a knockout, and so are all the lupines in the bonus pictures. I'm so glad you mentioned that lupines last about three years. I thought I was doing something wrong when my two- or three-year-old plants failed to reappear in the spring here in NW Connecticut. Now I know! I'll simply plant new ones. Meanwhile, blessings be on Katie's head!

Judith said...

I always vote through the blog--also it's easier to see the photos that way. Looking forward to your fundraising garden photos, may do my Christmas shopping before Easter.

philip Mears said...

Catherine- My favorite memory of wild lupines is from Yellowstone National Park. We visited there in the early 90's. I remember carpets of the white lupines. I do have to say that the colors available in the hybrids are much more striking. When they are in a big bed, like one I remember in a hotel in Greeley, there is nothing better.

philip Mears said...

Pat- With lupines, as with some other perennials an issue can be whether to let them go to seed. I imagine that deadheading does help the original plant last longer, and will encourage reblooming. But the seeds will really come up the next year. It is so much fun in the spring to find the little lupine seedling, which is so recognizable.

philip Mears said...

Judith- I should find out this afternoon whether a downtown camera place can make good big pictures.
A big question I have is whether I should make some available already framed. That does add the to cost, much more than the cost of the print.
I think I will find out about cost and then maybe ask people what they think.