Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mears Garden picture contest-Week 8- January 23, 2011-It is still cold.

Welcome to week 8 of the picture contest. It is still cold.

What is so remarkable about springtime is how the garden changes so fast. I can wander around and it seems like there will be something new every day. This time of year is just the opposite. Every day is cold, and the landscape is the same- just snow with the splashes of grey. Blah.

Yet here we are, just about at the halfway point in the picture contest. (It will last 17 weeks.) In just a short time it will be Groundhog Day. Then it will be Valentines Day and not long after that, it will be time for the girls’ (where does that apostrophe go) state basketball tournament. For those of you not from Iowa, that is the last weekend when there will be a snowstorm.

So in the middle of this cold grey depressing wintry time, look at pictures of a better time. Find a good picture and fill you screen with it. Feel the warmth of May and June. See the trees in bloom or the hosta in full leaf.

So back to the contest.
Last week the orchid cactus pair ran away in the most lopsided week this year.
The full totals were:
Orchid Cactus 51 for 68%
Daylily 9 for 12%
Tulip 9 for 12%
Crocus 6 for 8%
Total 75

In this week’s contest the color white is the theme. White is an interesting color if you think about it. It can be splashy, but I don’t know why. I guess it goes with any other color. It can be a good color in low light- at dawn or dusk.

So here are your contestants this week.

First up is the lily Nymph, with the picture taken July 2. This really sturdy Orientpet really has done well over the 4-5 years I have grown it. It is all you would ask in a lily. It comes back. It is very sturdy. That means it does not need a stake. It has lots of blooms. It absolutely would be one of the top 5 on an acquisition list. I will think about the other 4. Look at the bonus picture for an additional picture.

The next picture is the Oriental poppy Royal Wedding. This picture taken on May 22. Oriental poppies punctuate the garden. I splash them here and there. When they bloom, either in orange, red or white, they can become a focal point. I am not sure how I would feel about a mass planting of these wonders. Of course the centers are like Jewell boxes, an interesting metaphor given their closely related family member, the opium poppy. You must see the bonus picture of the different color Jewell box, a picture that is not in the contest because it was not taken in my garden.

The third picture, taken on May 25, is this great white Siberian Iris. I don’t know where this one came from. I do not even remember planting it. It is just bigger than any other Siberian iris in the garden. I really should give it some kind of reward this year. Maybe it should get some extra special fertilizer.

Finally here is the giant snowdrop- well it really isn’t a snowdrop at all- called a leucojum. It is called the summer snowflake, even though it blooms in the spring. This picture was taken on April 10, this last year, which was a rather early spring. There is also a cousin called the spring snowflake, which is shorter and blooms- you got it- earlier. Here is the wikipedia entry for leucojums.

That’s it for this week. Vote away.


For your bonus pleasure this week here are more white flowers, the full Nymph plant in bloom, and the aforementioned poppy center, taken at the Chicago Botanical gardens in Glencoe taken on June 5. The Chicago garden is really something to see. We managed to get to five wonderful gardens in 2010. In addition to the Chicago garden, we got to the Missouri Botanical garden in St. Louis, the Denver Botanical Gardens located in…Denver, the Brooklyn Botanical gardens in Brooklyn, and Longwood gardens, outside of Pennsylvania.

The last picture was also taken at the Chicago garden in early June. It shows a mass planting of California poppies. With a budget and volunteers one can do amazing things.

Have a safe week.

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