Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 19, 2014 Week 5- Close-ups

I must be feeling better. I am actually excited about this week’s pictures. When you are under the weather it is difficult to be excited about anything. You know you are feeling better when something tastes good. The next step is to look forward to anything.
I am now beyond that. And the sun is shining. January is more than halfway done.

Let me get right to the contest.

This last week’s voting the great double hellebore was the winner. Here is a picture of that winner.

The full voting was:
Hellebore 32
Epimedium 20
Hepatica 9
Pasque Flower 3

For week 5 I have grouped the pictures of flowers taken from closeup. These pictures really are different from other pictures. It is like comparing different breeds in the dog shows. Sometimes it just isn’t a fair contest.
This first picture is a closeup of the modern art daffodil featured in week 2. Some of these are like the pictures from the Hubble space telescope, or something out of the very early star treks. You can imagine a tiny spaceship flying into all that color.

The next contestant is the central parts of the red Oriental poppy called Beauty of Livermore. Imagine that tiny spaceship flying around that central pocket of magic seeds to be. It is like a treasure chest.

This third contestant is this center of the Night Blooming Cereus. There are several plants that use this name. This also might be Epyphyllum Oxypetalum. This picture really is something right out of Star Trek.

I grow orchid cactus, or epiphyllum. They will be featured in a future showing in this contest. They are cousins of the Christmas cactus we all know and see at the grocery store in the fall. The orchid cactus are big and grow in pots and hang in my trees.

Garden hint alert- If you have shady parts of your garden you must think about growing things hanging from those trees. Height is not impediment. A tall tree just calls for longer ropes.

One great hanging plant in the shade is the orchid cactus. Actually real orchids work as well. (Epiphyllum are not really orchids or cactus.) It is true that they do have to come in for the winter. But what are windows for.

So I had two of these Night blooming Cereus plants that had never bloomed for me. I must have had them for 4-5 years without much happening. but I kept them alive which of course was essential.
In August of 2012 I was wandering around my garden when I noticed something that looked like a bud. By golly, it was. I then looked at the other plant in a different part of the garden, under s different tree. It had a bud too. And eventually they all bloomed. This picture was taken on August 21, 2012. A full set of pictures will come during the week for orchid cacti which will be soon.
What was even more encouraging was that the plants sort of bloomed this past August as well. I say sort of because the blooms never fully opened. This coming year I will pay more attention to things like fertilizer, which can be more called for with hanging plants of all kinds.

The fourth and final contestant this week is the closeup of the purple coneflower, that common wildflower that is so very hearty even in bad growing conditions. I wanted to include one of these coneflower closeups. I had a hard time picking the one to include. I settled on this picture because of all color changes from the orange spikes going to green and the giving way to the pink petals. In the extra pictures this week I have included the other closeup coneflowers. They are fascinating the way the have rows going different directions like a newly planted cornfield on a rolling hillside.

So how about those pictures. Just try to pick one.
I actually had so much fun looking at these pictures and the other closeups that you will get a second dose of closeups next week.

Here are your extra pictures this week.

First here are more coneflowers. This first picture almost was in the contest. I really liked the flecks of pollen.

Here are more.

Here are more poppies.

That’s it for this week. There will be even more great pictures next week.


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