Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week 3 of the playoffs-March 13, 2016

Welcome to week 3 of the playoffs. 
This week you pick the last picture for next week's grand finale. Two spots are now filled. One more picture will join them.

In last week's contest the winner was the pink poppy. It is an amazing plant, with so many opportunities for great pictures.

The full voting was
Pink Poppy  22
Little Iris  17
Night Blooming Cereus  17
Hibiscus  10

In this week's contest there are five pictures. That is because we had one week when there was a tie. Rather than having some fancy unannounced tie breaker, I put both of those pictures into this next round. So here are the five pictures this week.

Week 4 - White Iceland poppy
I really like how the flower is off center. Iceland poppies are so special. Why? Papery petals, vivid colors, amazing centers. I have my seedlings growing in the basement. I will just need to find the sufficient sunny space for them outside.

                                                                                  Week 2 - Lantana

This colorful picture is sandwiched this week between two white flowers. Somehow the color is deeper for that reason. I have cleared the space in the bed where they were last year for the lantanas for this spring. I can hardly wait to get them when the danger of frost is over.

Week 9 - White waterlily

Waterlilies are one of the heavyweight pictures in my garden. This representative does not disappoint.

                                                  Week 10 - Daylily with friends

I do not give you many pictures of different flowers. This composite picture merits a good long look. There are lilac phlox and coneflowers. There are even a couple lilium behind the white phlox. It is a good representative picture of the late summer garden.

Week 1- Daffodil
The daffodils are coming. My mother has one in southern Missouri. I saw a big bud at the house in the neighborhood that has the first daffodils each year.
It should be a good year for them, judging from how nicely the early bulbs are doing.

Bonus Section
Real time provides more than enough enjoyment at this point. The snowdrops have given way to the aconite and now the crocuses have started. The crocuses that bloom first are the purplish tommasinianus. They are the ones that do not taste good, if you are a squirrel. Sometimes misspelling is amusing. I spelled squirrel "squirrek". I wonder if they eat crocuses.  I think the fact that these early flowers don't taste good is very Darwin-like. It would be a survival trait not to be rabbit food.

At this point it seems like there are more things coming up than not. The first Virginia bluebells have emerged. No daffodils yet, but there are buds. I saw something this week that I was certain was forsythia. That seemed strange and too early. On our walk today I saw something like I had seen earlier. It was a witch hazel bush. My immediate reaction was that I wanted one. They are pretty nice this early in the season. We drove back to where I had seen the "forsythia". It turned out to be another witch hazel. Look them up. Apparently the Chicago Botanical Gardens is now having a trial of 32 cultivars of witch hazel. If you go this time of year you can see what they all look like.

Here are pictures

These are the tommasinianus crocus. We saw a house  on Church St. today who had naturalized their parkway with these beauties.

You might see this group picture this coming winter.

The aconite has been with us for a few weeks. What I enjoy about these pictures is how you can see the generations coming. Make the image to fit your full screen. You will be able to see the ones that are too young/small to flower this year.

Several weeks ago there was the first bee. Here is the first butterfly.

The tall snowdrops tower over some of the early crocus.

This is looking across the back yard at the two beds with aconite. I have a lot of aconite. I could still plant 2000 more. With them I would put in 1000 of the little purple crocuses.

Here is the crown imperial fritillaria that you saw a week ago.

Here you have an almost blooming yellow hellebore with the goose head.

This little early cream crocus is "cream beauty".

The other colored crocus will be coming in the next ten days. So far no rabbits. The deer continue to wander through, as evidenced by fresh tracks many mornings. So far no real damage.

What does the week ahead present? I expect the little blue squill will start dominating. And the first daffodil-for sure.

Enjoy the spring.

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