Thursday, February 23, 2012

Week 14 February 26,2012- Spring is coming, but kind of slowly

Welcome to week 14 of the Garden Picture contest.

We have gone south for the weekend. We leave the dusting of snow that just covers the blooming early spring flowers. We are visiting my mother in Springfield, Missouri, which is almost 400 miles south of Iowa City. Iowa City became garden zone 5b (changed from 5a) this winter. I wonder what zone southern Missouri is. I looked it up. It is zone 6, maybe even 6b. Think of the euphorbia they could grow. On the other hand it was so hot there last summer that I could never really complain about the heat in Iowa.
When you think about the different parts of your garden, there are microclimates even within the same yard. One area is south facing, and sheltered by the house. I assume without any scientific support that that some plants in zone 6 might grow there now. Maybe I should make a little fence, and have it contain my zone 6 plants.
I look forward to traveling south to see the advancing green. I remember driving south sometimes in March. If we would drive mostly at night we would wake up the next morning and suddenly it would be green. Then there is the game of spotting the first daffodil.
February still seems like we are stuck in time. We have not returned to those balmy January days. It is still largely a gray world. Yet the snowdrops and aconite continue to bloom. We have had little snow. I transplanted by first plant of the year Wednesday. It was a little aconite that had come up in one of the paths. So I moved it to a place that could use some color. One of the real joys of gardening is splashing color around. I can feel like a painter sometimes.

One to the contest.
In last weeks contest the winner, and first picture to advance to the final four, was the pink poppy.
Here were the votes:
Pink Poppy 28
White crocuses 15
Baptista 10
Shirley the tulip 7

In this week’s contest again there is another strong field.

First there is this wonderful red and yellow primrose. The primroses are stirring in the garden. I actually got some primrose seed to try this spring.

Next is this exquisite hellebore. The hellebores are up a few inches at this point. You can see the buds already. There is a picture in the bonus section. And then there are all those little seedlings. I will pot up a few dozen and have them available this spring.

Here is this purple iris. I can’t wait for the iris this spring. I did a major division of my little bearded iris last year. I wonder if they will bloom at all.

Finally there is this double bloodroot. I did find an interesting fact about this mutation. Apparently there are so many petals there is no room for sex parts. It therefore does not make seed. That is a challenging mutation Mr. Darwin. I assume it must propagate by runner (underground).

Vote away.
In the world of strange news I found this news story that in fact was an Canadian Onion like story. I suspected that. It was a little over the line. It is a sign of the times that I was prepared for a while to believe it was real.

VATICAN CITY, ROME—Pope Benedict XVI announced today that the Roman Catholic Church will allow condom use for Protestants. The announcement is the second significant policy change on the issue of birth control by the Vatican since 2010’s announcement that, in some cases, condom use could be allowed for those at risk from AIDS.

This actually comes from a new source in Canada called the Smew. While I saw it last week, google suggests the story was from August of last year.

For your bonus pleasure I have given you images of the emerging real time garden.

Winter aconite is so wonderful. 200 of these bulbs cost $40. It's hard to imagine money better spent.

I will give you a daffodil report from Missouri next week.
Philip Mears

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