Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week 2 of the playoffs- March 6, 2016

Welcome to the second week of the playoffs.
These are the weeks where the winners of the first 12 weeks of the contest compete with other winners. There are three of those weeks and then we have a final vote. Then it is spring.

It was not much like spring this week. That is sort of how it goes this time of year. We take steps forward and sometimes have to go back. Wednesday morning. when we woke up. the ground was covered with snow. It was just an inch or so. It all melted in 48 hours, but nonetheless.

That was only fitting that it snowed as this was the week of the Iowa girls' state basketball tournament. Girls' basketball: thinking about girls basketball does sort of date how old you are.

I can remember when...
          small Iowa high schools played with 6 on a team. There were 3 on offense and 3 on defense. There was a limit on dribbling (3 dribbles then a pass). The players could not cross the center line.
         larger high schools did not even have a girls team. For a long time, it was sort of a hick thing to have girls' sports in high school. When that changed, the little schools were ahead competitively, at least for a while.

         How long ago does that seem? Were there telephones then? Well sort of. They had cords and stayed mostly in one room, unless you had a really long cord. How quaint? Today I understand that some people can watch the girls' state basketball tournament...on their phones. Who would have thought?

In last week's contest it was tight from the beginning. The top three pictures were never more than a vote or two from the top. In the end this picture edged the other two close finisher.

The full voting was
Louisiana Iris 20
Pink Waterlily 19
Solitary tulip 19
Hosta with bluebells 10

This week's contest

This week we feature 4 great pictures from all over the calendar. The hibiscus represents in inside plants and bloomed in February. The night blooming cereus represents the night blooming plants and bloomed on September 23.

#1- Little iris with bluebells- Week 7
This picture was from April 29. I can't wait for both the little iris and the bluebells.

                                                      #2 Hibiscus from week 12
This picture was from February 14. This plant blooms reliably inside but will really like the sunshine and air circulation once it gets outside.

#3 Pink Poppy from Week 9
This poppy bloomed on May 25. It comes at a time in the garden when the spring bulbs are over but the lilies of all sorts have not really started. It really is a reliable perennial coming back year after year, even spreading if given a chance. Not to mention beautiful.

                                                     #4 Night blooming cereus- Week 11
This plant, which bloomed for the second time last year on September 23, was probably the most spectacular flower in the garden. It is a shame that so few people saw it. Maybe I should have a cereus party this year. I will at least give a blog alert in case you are in the neighborhood.

That is it for this week. I do not know which one I will vote for, and I have known the who the competitors would be for longer than you.
Good luck and voting.

Bonus pictures

This was January 23, 2016. This pot of amaryllis had broken dormancy all on its own.

This was March 3, 2016. Each of the three bulbs in the pot had two stalks each. Each stalk has 4-5 flowers. This display is just the first 3 stalks.
Some inside plants actually are not just limping along.

Here is a pleasant aconite group in the back yard, where there are lots of little patches of aconite. We were out at the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area today. There were geese and sea gulls (we get sea gulls at Lake MacBride) which made a nice racket. But the beds there had no bulbs, just low maintenance things like ornamental grass. Maybe some will come up soon. If not, maybe I should sneak in and plant some this fall.

Look closely: here is the first blue in the garden this spring. It is a squill bud. I like the sound of that. Just wait for two weeks. There will be thousands.
I mentioned that you find something new coming up every day. Here is one of the crown imperial fritillarias emerging.

At this point the aconite share their space with the snowdrops.
I actually transplanted my first plants yesterday (Saturday). I moved some aconite. I move any aconite that comes up in the garden paths. I then find a few places where the clumps are too close together and move one of them somewhere else.

This is from Saturday. These are all crocuses. With the temperatures in the 60's for a few days early this week, we should have crocuses by Tuesday at the latest.

There you have it. I have been raking and raking. Then I clean the edges of the beds. Then I fill in the paths with the new wood chips. One bed out of 19 is completed. The epimedium are coming up. I think I will pot up a bunch of them this spring. There should be plenty of the yellow ones. So many wonderful plants in the spring. Epimedium, pulmonaria, and hellebores are three that did not make the contest this year. What if I just go find some old pictures of those plants?
Here are hellebores. One problem with hellebores is that the flowers mostly hang down. It gives a challenge to taking their pictures.

How about some epimedium. The pictures of the little pink flowers with the bluebells are some of my all time favorites.

Pulmonaria pictures are rarer. I don't know why. The flowers are small. Actually the plants bloom in the spring, but look good into the fall. They do weel in dry weather, so look good in those inevitable periods of no rain in August and September.

This picture was in the contest in 2008-2009. My, how long ago that was.
Pumonaria come in a variety of colors. There are whites and reds and blues and of course, colors in between.

I am going to hang it up for this week.
There will be an explosion in the garden this week, with the warm weather arriving. If you are in the neighborhood, just come by.

No comments: