Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week 9- February 15, 2015-stuck

Welcome to week 9.
I hope with this little venture back to the garden last year, we can all slog our way through this winter. While last week it seemed like we took a step backwards, this week we just seem stuck. The snow is still mostly there. The cold continues to come in waves. Yesterday, Saturday, was particularly brutal. While out driving I made sure that I had my hat and gloves on before I got out of the car. Then I tried to release the seat belt with my heavy gloves on. It was amusing. I wonder why we live here.

Let me give you pictures to warm your week.
In last week's contest there was a tie. The poppy and the orchid cactus were close all week. Then, for several days the poppy remained ahead by a single vote. On Friday a vote came in and they were tied. A final vote was cast on Saturday. That person voted for some other picture. I will let both of these  wonderful pictures advance to the finals in a few weeks.
Here are those great pictures from last week.

The full voting was
Poppy 24
Orchid Cactus 24
Daylily 9
Amaryllis 4

After last week's red week I thought I would tone down the colors this week. Here are your contestants for Week 9.

This is my regular cactus. I got a plant from a neighbor 5-6 years ago. It made side shoots or whatever you call those little round things all around the bottom. Soon there were 6 and now twice that many. Then one day  about 3 years ago, when it was so hot, it bloomed. The flowers were worth the wait. I carefully left the plants in their pots, letting them get crowded. Then someone told me they like lots of room.
Transplanting these thorny plants requires several pairs of gloves.
The flowers come later in the year. This picture is from September 25. It had bloomed earlier as well.
They do have to come inside, but have no trouble going dormant. I value that in a plant.

Breed Apart daylily

This is daylily Breed Apart. It is one of my favorite daylilies. I liked it so much 25 years ago that I got two plants.

Orchid cactus

This is another orchid cactus. This flower is from a mature plant. Please see the bonus pictures to appreciate the full effect.
What is ever so special with this flower, like the cactus above, is that you see the buds coming sometimes for weeks.
The flowers last maybe into the second day. The regular cactus, in picture #1 only blooms the one day.

Pink lupine

This is the pink lupine. This close up shot gave an entirely different view. I liked the repetition.
This bloomed later than some of lupine. It actually bloomed on June 1.

There you have this week's group. It is not bad for a substitute.

Here are the bonus pictures

Mostly I give you orchid cactus pictures.

The first pictures of the buds were taken on June 29. The flowers started about July 6. Here were pictures taken 3-4 days later.

Here is another picture of the cactus flowers taken on the same day. Around the base of the plant there is all that weed called sheep sorrel. I was at the hardware store yesterday. They sell plants and have a few cactus. Their cactus had a sheep sorrel weed growing in it. I should add that I use needle nose pliers to weed my cactus.

That's it for this week. February is thankfully the shortest month. We are over half way done.

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