Sunday, February 7, 2016

Week 10- February 7, 2015

Welcome February and welcome week 10.
*Alert! The problem with putting up the poll is not me- but Blogger-I assume they are working on it.
Monday pm- some tech people have communicated and are working on the problem
Wednesday pm- still nothing-I am starting to worry about what happens if no voting is possible this week
Friday am-I have been told that my post on the help line has been moved to the main thread-I feel so much better-not
I guess I just work on Sunday's pictures
February as we all know is the shortest month, although it doesn't feel like it sometimes. Then comes March and that means "spring", sometimes.
        The politicians are gone from Iowa.  Seeds are planted. The days are longer. We actually just passed the 10 hours of sunlight mark in Iowa.
        We are off to Chicago for the weekend. Maybe there will be a trip to the orchid store. There will be acres and acres of orchids. Just the thing for a winter weary gardener.

Your winner in Week 9 was the white waterlily. I sometimes think that it is just unfair to let the waterlilies participate. As someone told me, this flower absolutely glows. It is a worthy winner. But how will it fare at the next level?

The complete voting results were:
Waterlily  26  for 43%
Cactus  13
Iris  17
White bluebells   4

Here is this week's contest

#1 Bluebells with Hosta
This is the picture and the week to celebrate bluebells. They are perhaps the flower that is the most dominant throughout the garden for the longest time. Bluebells have spread throughout the garden all during the time we have been here. (over 33 years) I do not remember ever buying bluebells. They were just here, in the little bit of the yard that was not grass or evergreen shrubberies. Actually there was a time when we had grass, and even a swing set. Now bluebells are everywhere, usually in late April. They emerge in mid-spring and cover the garden with blue. Blue goes so well with almost everything. In this picture you have bluebells with an emerging hosta.

                                                                       #3 Trillium lutem
This is trillium lutem. This is one of four trillium in my garden that are established. That means they come back year after year without fail. They do not necessarily spread, like some plants. If you get one that does come back,  you can pretty much count on it to be there the next spring. Unless you dig it up by mistake when you are planting something else. Trillium will be gone by mid June so you have to remember where they are.

                                                                     #3 Winter Aconite
This is probably my favorite spring flower. It is winter aconite, also called eranthis. This little simple yellow flower comes up very early. It arrives not long after the snowdrops have begun. You can plant them by the hundreds. (They only cost something like 200 for $38.) They also spread very nicely. They will even jump into your path or your lawn, causing you to think about moving the garden out a few inches each year. They also provide the bees with perhaps their first spring flower.
In 2012 they bloomed the end of January. In 2015 they bloomed at a more expected time. This picture was taken on March 20. It is such a cheerful yellow. A crocus bloomed that same day. If you plant them around your garden they will bloom at different times, as spring arrives at different times around the yard. At our house the backyard, being on the south side of the house, gets spring as much as two weeks earlier than the front yard. That is particularly the case if there is a snow cover.

                                                                      #4 Phlox and friends
Last year was a good year for phlox, the wild kind. I call them wild since they grow without any help. Indeed I sometimes will pull them up.
This composite picture of lilac and white phlox, a daylily and coneflowers lets you appreciate how combinations can be good in the garden, and in pictures. There is actually a little piece of a lilium in the upper right hand corner.

Bonus time

This was going to be fun for me. I can go back and find all these bluebell pictures. There are many. Let me start out with this panorama from a few years ago. My old camera could do this, somehow stitching together pictures. I got a better camera which does not have that feature.

Here are more overviews of the backyard during bluebell season. These pictures, from April 29, 2015, give you an idea how widespread the bluebells are. These pictures are not stitched together. This is not exactly our backyard. We only have one big tree and one pond. It is kind of a picture joke. I was going to take out the bottom 2 pictures but I liked the result.

Here are just bluebell pictures from April 15, 2015 to April 29, 2015. Different parts of the yard can be a week ahead of others. This extends the season in the spring for plants like bluebells. Remember if you click on a picture you should be able to view them sort of in a slide show.

Here are more trillium, a very understated spring flower. Several varieties do well for me. Some of these pictures are from previous years. The larger white trillium are grandiflorum. The flowers actually turn pink after about a week. Here is a good link for pictures of many different types. That can be addictive. I have found some of the prettier varieties to not be that reliable.
On the other hand here is google images for trillium

Just look at trillium underwoodii in the above link. It will curl your toes.
These pictures below this are from my garden. Doesn't that closeup look like some famous painting?

Here are more pictures of phlox.

Finally I wish to give you more winter aconite. It is so cheerful in late February when the sun comes out and the aconite begin to stir.

Here is my deep thought for the day. I give you that warning in case you want to exit at this point.
When you garden you think about a number of futures. Sometimes you buy annuals that will give you a splash next week.
When you buy a tree you expect it to be wonderful in 10-20 years. With many perennials, such as a trillium, you buy a plant for 2-5 years from now.
You should try to translate that into the rest of your existence. You cook something for one hour later. You put up vegetables for the winter. You insulate your house to make it warm for a decade.
What about other things you do in your day? In your week?
Gardening gives you an interesting perspective on the other parts of your life.

That's it for now. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed putting them together.
Until next time I do want to make sure you leave smiling.

 from 2012



Catherine Woods said...

I love the winter aconite the best.

philip Mears said...

We now have temperatures predicted for 50 degrees later this week. I will see if any aconite show up.

Anonymous said...

so glad the polls are back up! those bluebells are gorgeous!