11 April 2011

Dwarf irises for early spring euphoria.

I adore the little dwarf bulbous irises -- I. reticulata, various related species and hybrids. They flower super early, mine have been blooming for about a month now, and unlike, say, snowdrops, which one only loves because they are early (I mean, really, if snowdrops bloomed in June, no one would have ever heard of them) these little guys have some of the most incredibly beautiful, intricate, fragrant flowers I know of.
I planted the hybrid 'George' just three years ago, and already the original few bulbs have begun multiplying into generous clumps. This past fall I added 'Harmony' (rich blue) "Katherine Hodgekins' (pale blue) and I. danfordiea (yellow) all of which went together to create a cheerful and intensely fragrant bouquet for my mother-in-law's birthday this past weekend

Smudge, our cat, liked it too.

I've heard from other people that dwarf irises sometimes fail to rebloom in subsequent years, but I've never had that be a problem. I think the key is good drainage and full sun while their foliage is up in the spring. But even if they didn't rebloom for me, I wouldn't be without them. They are beautiful, cheap, and easy. What more could you ask for?


annajcook said...

Smudge is a great name for a kitty!

Nic said...

That is a really lovely bouquet and Smudge is very cute. I have never given the miniature irises a try but recently I have seen a lot of them in various gardens around campus and they do look great. Perhaps they will go on the shopping list for next fall.

Tom said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704059004575127721994376564.html I don't get it but Galanthaphiles do exist. So clearly not everyone shares your sentiment :) I on the other hand had never even seen them until this year(Though I have heard of them plenty).

Also, your irises sure are pretty! They're only sporadically hardy back home so I only ever get like 2 or 3 that ever survive the winter! I suppose I'll plant a bunch this fall now that I live somewhere warmer!

Joseph said...

Tom, Yes, I know... I don't get it though! Which is kinda strange. I'm generally the most easily plant obsessed person on the planet, but galanthamania just seems odd to me.

Tom said...

Perhaps it's odd because they're kind of boring? I mean they can't even bother to be a color other than white. We just had 5 months of nothing but white, can't we get a little more color?!