Saturday, December 3, 2011

Week 2- December 4,2011-December is here

Welcome to week 2 of the Sixth Annual Mears Garden Picture contest.

December-It is a month that invokes so many different emotions.
There is of course the holidays, with the office party and baking of a million cookies.

Then there is "dark". What a great word. It really fits the time of the morning when I was writing this. More and more I find myself writing these words in the early morning when it is…dark. It is hard to remember that in June and July it is getting light out by now.

As to December, there is also weather and driving.
When we left the office on Thursday,December 1 there was a light rain and it was 35 degrees. For just about the first time this fall I started to worry about driving in the winter. We live in the upper Midwest. We have lived in Iowa now for 45 years, having come here for college in 1966-67. You would think we would be used to it.
We do seem to have crossed some weather line with the arriving of December. The 7-day forecast shows days when it will not be above freezing. There are lows of 11 degrees coming.

But this is not a blog dedicated to Iowa’s weather. I suppose I should not be defensive about mentioning the weather. I do think gardeners, like farmers, always obsess about the weather. Is it too hot or dry or humid? There is always something.

This is a blog about getting through the winter. When we get to December that is progress. In 90 days it will be March. That is time to look for snowdrops. In a month it will time to think about seeds and starting a few plants under lights. How’s that for positive?

But lets talk flowers and pictures and colors.

In week 1 there was a spirited contest between the primrose and the daylily. The winner was the primrose. It is hard to deny red and yellow when they get together.
The full voting was
Primrose 23
Margaret Seawright, the Daylily 18
Crocus 13
Bloodroot 10


Have I got a contest for you this week.

First up is the big white trillium. Trillium are wildflowers that come in a number of varieties. This white one, grandiflorum I think, turns pink over time. There are a number of flowers that turn color over time. Bluebells for example can start out pink. The picture was taken on May 1.

The second picture is this purple pasque flower. The official name is Pulsatilla. After a few false starts, that means the plants died, I have a couple clumps that do come back for me. This picture is from May 7. May is a glorious month. We could have a vote sometime as to our favorite garden month. There would be so many strong candidates. I think April might get my vote.

There are also red and white pasque flowers. I have the red one. There is a picture in the bonus section. The white one is on my wish list.
Almost every flower is wild somewhere, or somewheres. What is the plural of somewhere? There are flowers that are found in the woods. One place on the Internet talked about pasque flowers being found on the tundra. That’s not the woods. Then again someplace else on the internet lists the pasque flower as being sometimes called a prairie crocus. Go figure.
It also has neat seed heads later in the spring. The pasque flower is the state flower of South Dakota.

This next picture may well be my favorite picture for years. I will be interested in seeing your response. It is of course the pink poppy. This picture was taken on May 30. I am not going to say anymore. Fill your screen with this picture and just relax.

The fourth and final picture for the week is this little yellow bearded iris. I love little bearded iris. They are cute. They do not need staking. I separated most of my little bearded iris this fall. They do need that care every 5-6 years. I may miss out on some bloom this coming spring, but you just wait for 2013.
This picture was taken on May 7, giving us an all May month. I did not intend that. It just happened. May is a good month.

So that’s it for this week. Give me your comments. Tell me why you like a particular picture. Tell me what you think about December. As I finish this writing it is still dark. At least I do not mention that four-letter word that starts with c or that other word that starts with s.

For your bonus viewing I have just a bunch of pictures.
Here are more trilliums. These first two are the grandiflorum first white and then pink.

The little one with the black center is T. simile. It has come back for me 2 years now, but it has not spread. Do you know that gardeners are sometimes greedy. If you have something nice, you want more of it. There really is only so much space.

Here are more pink poppies. They do not need comment.

Here is the red pasque flower.

Drive safely.


Catherine Woods said...

Gorgeous flower pictures this week -- and with trillium being one of my favorite flowers, you can imagine I was in heaven. And that poppy . . .

Thanks always for the reminder about the light to come in March! I do enjoy the reflective time that winter darkness affords though . . .

philip Mears said...

I also look forward to the winter solstice. From that point on, the days get longer. While it is only a minute here and a minute there. It all adds up. There is that great day in January when you leave work and there is still light in the sky.