Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 28, 2014-Week 2 of this Mears Garden Picture contest.

Welcome to week 2.

It has been a pleasant several days. With Christmas on a Thursday there was almost a 4.5 day weekend. That seems like a long time. We live such busy lives. Saturdays have their assigned tasks, including grocery shopping and other errands. Sundays there is early church followed by time at the office, cooking for the week and then laundry. There is hardly ever time to just sit and read a book or listen to music. How about that really awful thing-doing nothing?
There has been that time this long weekend. It has been pleasant if a little disconcerting.

Actually I enjoyed the mild weather and even did some yard work. There always is so much work to do in the springtime. Getting some work done in December is a bonus. I did notice that there are a few things waking up. I saw some snowdrop tips emerging. After years you know where those first ones will come up. Under some leaves were the little sprouts of the thousands of blue scilla that cover the yard in April. I could be concerned about them but this is what they do. They come up and then survive the cold. Or not, but that is why there are so many of them.

You saw some of these early spring beauties in this last week’s contest.
The winner by a wide margin was the picture of the pink crocuses.

The complete vote total was as follows:
Pink crocuses 28
Blue chionodixa 14
Winter aconite 9
Snowdrops 4

This week I will give you more spring bulbs.

First this week is this dog tooth violet, called erythronium dens-canis. Actually I think it is sometime called a trout lily. Go figure.

This yellow hybrid bloomed on April 19. There is a wild flower cousin that is white that carpets the woods. A picture is in the bonus section of pictures at the end of this post. They do face downwards, making pictures difficult.
Look at this wonderful link for more pictures of these lovelies.

The next picture is another wildflower, the single bloodroot.

This picture was taken on April 20, a day after the previous picture. This one is not a hybrid, but the one that actually blooms in the woods. We have several clumps in the garden. The big clump in the front parkway has faded in the last few years, suggesting that they are not as indestructible as one would wish. You will see the hybrid later in the contest. I do think that the single simple bloodroot is one of the spring flowers that can make me exclaim my approval right out loud, when I am all by myself. That is one measure of something wonderful in my book.
As I think about how it sometimes surprises me I realize how quickly it sometimes emerges and blooms. Particularly if the temperature is warm, it is also gone soon.
I do encourage everyone to find that woods in your neighborhood that has lots of wildflowers. In Iowa City that is Ryerson Woods down by the fairgrounds.

The third contestant this week is another blooming bulb from mid April. This picture was taken on April 19. This is iris reticulata. The variety is Katherine Hodgkin. The group comes in a variety of colors from purple to yellow. I have commented before that the early spring brown makes such a great background.

Completing your field of pictures this week is picture number 4, the camassia.
This taller flower is also later in the year. The picture was taken on May 15, almost a month after the earlier pictures. It can get to maybe 18 inches tall. Is it just a coincidence that all the early bulbs are short? I don’t think so.

So there you have week two. I have enjoyed hearing from all of you that replied. One reason I do this is to hear back from you.

Here are the bonus pictures. You should recognize the while dog tooth violets and the bloodroot.

Here are pictures from now. The poinsettia is one that rebloomed this Christmas.The orchid is such a treat, and really reliably blooms when it comes inside in the fall/winter. The last picture is an orchid bud that should bloom in the next week or so. Isn't it strange. It has never bloomed for me. Each morning I go look to see if it has opened. When it does I will share.

That is it for this week. The sun is bright and shining. What will be blooming next week?
Enjoy the pictures.

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