Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week 2- Mears Garden picture contest- December 12, 2010

Greetings from winter in Iowa City. It is cold and windy and we have a coating of snow and ice a few inches deep, which is all it takes to make everything slow way down. As I type these few lines I hear the wind. It is so much louder when it is dark and cold.
The first week of the contest reminded me why I enjoy doing this. I enjoy this because I hear back from so many of you. I press some buttons and images of snowdrops go everywhere. They go down the street. They go across the country. This last week they even went to a Peace Corps worker in Mali. Wow.

It was in fitting with the cold weather that the first week’s winner was....... the snowdrops.

The voting was as follows:
Snowdrops 30 for 43%
Blue iris 18 for 26%
Anemone 13 for 19%
Hosta + Bluebells 9 for 13%

I actually liked the Hosta picture. It has been my experience that hosta pictures do have a difficult time competing with flower pictures. I guess that is not too surprising.

So here we go for week 2. This is going to be “group picture” week. When I first started this contest I limited it to single flower pictures. That has changed over time. I do understand that group pictures are really very different. They deserve a week of their own.

First here is another early spring flower called winter aconite. I love winter aconite. If only it had a splashier name. I have succeeded in establishing these little bulbs all over the garden. After planting a few hundred maybe 10 years ago, they have spread, forming these wonderful colonies. They pop out of the ground right after the snowdrops. Sometimes gardening is also about “tipping points”. Once you reach some critical mass the plants take off on their own. In the picture you can see the first year seedlings in the upper left hand corner. They will not bloom the first year. This picture was taken on March 10.

Second- you can’t discuss early spring bulbs with some reference to crocuses. Julia read at church this morning from Isaiah- as in the Old Testament.

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and
blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy
and singing. Isaiah 35:1

They have been around for a while and they are worth of rejoicing. Between the snowdrops and the aconite and the crocuses it just makes you want it to be March tomorrow. Well maybe there are other reasons. This picture was taken on March 23.

The third picture is a chorus of pansies. The pansies this last year were up and blooming almost as soon as the snow had melted. I think some of the same buds that formed in November just waited all winter, under the continuous snow cover. This picture was taken on April 17.

Finally there is this wonderful group picture of bloodroot. I finally hit critical mass in the front parkway. They are spreading all over the place. I might even think about moving some around. What a luxury.

So there you have the four group pictures for this week.
Vote away.

As a bit of a cultural diversion this week I thought I would post pictures from our trip to the Denver Botanical Garden this last July 10. The Denver garden brings in some artist every year for cultural diversity. What artist would not want to show off the person’s work in such a marvelous setting?
So here is Henry Moore, as set in the Denver Botanical garden 2010.

Here is also the wikipedia link to Henry Moore, as well as the link to the exhibit from the Botanical garden itself

Stay warm.



Marilyn Swanson said...

Philip, I just wanted you to know that I put the snowdrops on my desktop last week. With all that white background, I had to clear away many, many icons, a very belated housekeeping task. I "met" Henry Moore on the promenade along Lake Zurich when I moved there in 1975. Children loved climbing around and through his sculptures. Thanks for sharing! Marilyn

Catherine Woods said...

Oops, I missed this 2nd week's contest. Had I been able, I would have voted for the crocus!