Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week 2 Picture contest- December 13, 2015

Welcome to week 2 of the picture contest for this winter. December slowly slips away. It is almost half over. In exactly 98 days from thoday, Sunday,  it will be Spring. (March 21)  I figured it out on the date calculator webcite.
This past week was an easy one, with temperatures mostly in the 50's. I was raking up one can's worth of debris each day. Of course I filled one can with about 15 square feet of garden this morning. But I persist. The tortoise gets the early worm. What?

In this last week's contest the winner by a small margin was the daffodil.

The full vote total  was
Daffodil  18
Dogwood 16
Iceland Poppy 15
Crocus    10

 So now on to Week 2

When I think about flower pictures I realize there are many types of pictures. There are closeups and panoramas. There are single flower pictures. Then there are the group shots. This week I feature group pictures. For most of the plants I have given you the single flower shots in the bonus section. Sometimes it is hard to compare a group picture with an individual flower. That is why I chose to have this week's contest be all group pictures.

Daylily Ruby Spider
This first contestant is a great daylily called Ruby Spider. This picture was taken on June 24.
I think if I had to start a daylily team this would be the first one chosen.
Despite its name it is not a traditional "spider" daylily. I show you one of those in the bonus picture section. It does feature big flowers and they It makes a large clump which can be one of those focal points that you want to have in the garden.
This past year I moved it down by the street for two reasons. First the dogwood had grown and was shading the daylilies planted nearby. Second I wanted it to make the statement I knew it could make.

There was a problem with the statement this year. Not long after this picture was taken I had a deer visitation. I live in town. Deer have sometimes appeared over the 32 years we have lived in our house. One winter there was a real herd one morning, perhaps as many as 15. That is unusual.
But there is a creek nearby. They wander over from Hickory Hill park. Mostly this has not been a problem. This year one deer showed up and stayed for days. I found it actually in the backyard several afternoons. There I was, with my broom, imitating Mr. McGregor. (who was chasing Peter Rabbit for those of your who need me to explain some references.) At the same time you do feel foolish chasing a deer. What are you going to do? Chase it over to your neighbors?

This April 5 picture is Chionodoxa, probably forbesii Blue Giant. This is one of many little spring flowers that really makes a person long for April. Since we have been gardening in our yard for 30 years all the little bulbs have spread. This is what you want. Naturalize is the term that sometimes gets used. Another way to say that is that they just take over. But then they finish, go away, and something else just fills their space.
Actually these little flowers pretty much stay in their places. They do clump up over the years as you can see.There are pink and white chionodoxa. The blue variety adds to the several different blue carpets that come in the spring.

Double Bloodroot

Thia is the wonderful double bloodroot clump that I originally planted in 2008. This year there were so many in the clump, I think 20, that I dug up a little corner of it and moved four of them over by the street. I dug them when they were just emerging. They did not miss a beat. This picture was taken on  April 15.

This is a wonderful  annual called lantana. I think the variety is Luscious Citrus Blend. I don't always like annuals. It seems like they are a lot of work. I bought a flat of lantana this year. They thrived in the mostly sunny spot they occupied. I will bring them back to that same place this coming year. They also held up into November, even taking a little frost without complaint.  They really did add color in September and October, when color is sometimes hard to find.

When I looked this plant up I was told it likes neglect and is very heat tolerant. Maybe I should get a second flat in the spring.

I have underused annuals forever. If I have a sunny space it seems like I fill it with sunny perennials. Daylilies or Iris or even a clematis or two really covet that space.
I know that there are quite a few annuals that deserve more consideration. I have really liked the tall zinnas I have tucked in places the last two years.

When we were young and crazy we lived on a farm. That was a long time ago.
We were there for six years, including the three when I went to law school. We had as much sunny space as we wanted. We gardened about a quarter acre. One year we even grew peanuts. Another time we more successfully grew sweet potatoes. I still have a fifth place ribbon I won at the Iowa State Fair for my Kennebec potatoes.
Let me get to the point. On the farm we also grew a real big patch of moss roses. They are a wonderful little annual that has so many flowers that there are always many tiny new plants in the spring.  The patch eventually must have been as much as 100 square feet. In the early summer I would transplant the little plants all around that space which is why it grew so big. Then we put a chair in the middle of the patch. When the sun was right you could sit in the middle of all that color and not worry about Richard Nixon.

So there are your contestants for this week. Vote away. Get your friends to vote. I would also remind you that on most computers if you click on a picture it will give you a slide show of all the pictures for the week. You may also be able to fill the screen with the pictures. Some are really good that way.

Here are your bonus pictures for the week.

The first set of pictures features bloodroot.This is the emerging clump of double bloodroot. The picture was taken on April 5. It surprised me that is was already up at that point.

This is a clump of the single bloodroot. I normally think they  bloom earlier than the double variety. This picture was taken on April 11. Obviously this particular clump was later than the double bloodroot in 2015.

This of course is the single picture of a double bloodroot. It is rather spectacular. It almost looks like a waterlily.

More lantana.

This is a real spider form daylily. It is called Red Ribbons.

Here are more pictures of Ruby Spider.

Here are pictures of little spring bulbs. Some varieties are omitted as they may be featured in future posts. The little blue flowers are squill or scilla. They carpet the ground in early spring. When I have been raking off the leaves this weekend I have been finding little squill shoots all over the place. They spread all over, in a very non aggressive way.
The white flowers in the second picture are snowdrops. They tend to clump up rather than carpet the area. Maybe after 50 years, or much planting you can get the carpet of snowdrops. There is a house up on Summit Street that has reached that point. There is one picture of pink chionodoxa.
The mass of little white flowers are Puschkinia. It is good to have alternating carpets.
The pink clump of something in one of the pictures is a corydalis. Every year I say I am going to get more and then time passes. You need to find the combinations of early spring flowers that play well together.

That's it for this week. I do appreciate the comments and emails with your thoughts. Votes are good and serve as some sort of validation I suppose.
It will be cold at some point. Let us all think about Springtime.



Annie Tucker said...

Sure love being part of the Picture contest again!
Even tho it's relatively/disturbingly warm, we don't have any flowers blooming right now.
Yay for flowers and color and living plants!
Many thanks!

Catherine Woods said...

Hurrah for the 2015-2016 Picture contest! I love your photos and commentary and comparing your weather with what I'm experiencing here in CO. Plus I'm a sucker for blue in flowers, being very fond of squill.