Sunday, December 19, 2010

week 3- Mears Garden picture contest- December 19, 2010

Welcome to Week 3 of the Fifth Annual Mears Garden Picture contest.

As some of you from previous contests may remember I try to stay positive. Sometimes that is easier than others. It is still cold and we have a snow cover. On the other hand we are about to get to the winter solstice. By next weekend the days will start getting longer. Well, at least the days will not get any shorter. There will come a time at work in several weeks, when it will not be entirely dark when we leave the office. And there will be seed catalogues. I really try to get my hands in the dirt every day. While I will not plant seeds until January one of my techniques in the winter is to propagate annuals, all the time. I brought in some impatient cuttings in October. They rooted in two weeks. I also cut a few pieces of Persian shield, this wonderful purple annual that also starts from cuttings. I have these glass containers all around with cuttings in them. Last weekend I took a few Christmas cactus cuttings from a friend’s house and they are now in water.
It’s all about contact with growing things. Avoid the newspaper. Play with plants.

So how about the picture contest? Last week was group picture week. The winner was the pansy group. They took an early lead and held off a spirited challenge from winter aconite.
The full scoring was as follows:
Pansies 27 for 39.7%
Aconite 21 for 30.9%
Bloodroot 13 for19.1%
Crocus 7 for 10.3%

This week there is another theme. It is the color pink. Sometime I should just have a color contest. If red were to go up against yellow I just do not know who would win.

First up is the pink epimedium, probably a variety called ‘Purple Prince’. I really like epimedium, even though they are difficult to photograph since there are so small. They bloom in the spring and are amazingly vigorous. This picture looks like either spiders or Christmas decorations, suggesting that my mind can be strange at times.

Second is the pink lupine. Lupine are really nice, even though they are a little tricky. I have reached the point where I get new volunteers in areas of the yard where they have been before. If I can keep some starts going throughout the hot part of the summer, they will be big enough to bloom the next spring. I have found them relatively easy to grow from seed, inside.

Third- is lollipop- the Asiatic lily. This is a reliable lily, which actually bloomed on May 30. This year. I must have obtained 4-5 of them 10 years ago. I have now 30. You say lollipop. I say clump. If I was in the lily dividing business they could be all over.

The fourth entry this week is the majestic tall bearded iris. Bearded iris are just… majestic. The group ‘Bearded iris’ starts out the spring with the little short ones coming first, in April. Then they bloom in one size or another for the next month. This one bloomed on May 5. It was an early spring. They come in all colors, and give frilly its true meaning. I actually prefer the shorter dwarf bearded iris. The taller ones sometimes need staking, which seems to me like too much work. When the sun is out they have little that can compete.

So there you have it. Vote away.

Here are some extra pictures, of lupine and epimedium.

Happy holidays and I hope you can take some time off.

1 comment:

Catherine Woods said...

I voted for the pink epimedium and yet, I wished I could have cast two votes this week. I love the frilly pink bearded iris as much. These 2 varieties are quite a study in contrasts! All in all, terrific photos. Hurrah for the solstice! And hurrah for the shift back toward the light that follows on the soltsice's heels!