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True Winter Bloomers — 29 Comments

  1. Iris haven’t come back for me this year so I may have your Aberdeen problem. Possibly acidity, possibly water logging. They are too good not to have though, next year I’ll try them in pots and keep them drier.

  2. Hello Alistair, I’m not a fan of Iris Reticulata but I must admit that the ones you’ve photographed do look good. As we didn’t do any spring bulb planting last Autumn (we were too shattered), we have large expanses of bare soil where the bulbs would have been if we had the energy. I’m definitely missing them but I’m hoping that this Autumn, I can go for a bulb planting record for next year!

  3. What a gorgeous display Alistair. I have had success and failure with I. reticulata and after reading somewhere, I can’t remember where, that planting them deeper than recommended helps to ensure the bulbs come back each year. I have to admit, I have found that to be the case with I. reticulata Pauline in the front garden – their bulk does not seem to be diminishing. But my trial is only in its 2nd year so can’t fully testify to that fact.

  4. Hi Alistair,
    We have been very lucky with Iris reticulata in our rockery. It is very well drained and after your comments I have been wondering whether the soil is not so acidic as elsewhere. It was brought in when the patio was created. I must test it sometime. I first replanted some from an indoor pot someone gave me. Since then I have been buying corms myself. They have been returning for quite a few years now and are multiplying nicely. This year I have my first batch of Pauline in flower – they are a lovely mauve colour, more purple than the blue of Harmony. I also grew some Clairette in a pot. They are very pretty too. It was only last year I realised that there were so many different varieties of this lovely plant. It has to be one of my favourite. Now Winter Aconites, that is a different story. I planted two different varieties last Autumn (in the green) and not a sign of any of them. I am still hoping I might even get a few leaves, but it is looking less and less likely I think.

    • Annette, I was always banging on about being unsuccessful with reticulate in Aberdeen. I have come to the conclusion that extremely free draining is essential. I must try Winter Aconites in our woodland strip.

  5. Love your yellow crocus and irises, Alister. I think these irises are bulb plants, aren’t they? How nice to see spring in your garden, mine is under the white covering.
    Happy GBBD!

  6. The blue of your dwarf iris is striking! A few years ago a swath of blue in the woodland garden caught my attention, and I discovered these beautiful blue dwarf irises. I had not planted them and had never seen them in my garden before. I was thrilled. I looked for them the next year but have not seen them since. It is a mystery to me! My Hellebores were slow to bloom this year but are beginning to open in abundance now. Winter Daphne and Edgeworthia both have buds about to open. And my poor camellias! The lovely blooms are not really hardy. They bloom whenever we get a few days of warm air, only to be zapped when the temperature plummets below freezing.

  7. As you would expect Alistair I have an identical list of genera in bloom here. My I.reticulatas tend to diminish over a period of time, I suspect mainly because of shady conditions, I do know that, like some of their bigger relatives, they need a good baking during the summer for them to thrive.

  8. I have ‘Harmony’, ‘Pixie’ and ‘J.S. Dyt’ – my experience with Iris reticularis is that they are not fussed at all. I have had some in pots for several years, just stuck under my garden bench for the summer, and they all flower beautifully the following spring. And here in my new garden they are planted in almost complete clay – and still came up this spring. Hopefully they will continue to come up but time will tell. I also plant my Iris reticularis rather deep, not sure where I heard that tip but I have always done that, both in the ground and in pots.

    I have all the winter bloomers on your list except for pulmonaria, having hellebores flowering from late December and spring flowers from late January is a treat and adds to the ‘Flowers 52 weeks a year’ in my garden 🙂

  9. those irises are a wonderful shad of blue, haven’t got them myself but I believe they’re tough. Hope your potted ones make it from captivity to the wild.

  10. I’ve been away for a few days and, on my return, notice some of my taller plants have been somewhat burnt by frost. I’ll have to take a walk around the smaller plants to check how they are doing.

    Something completely different. . . I decided it would be funny to have a ‘testimonials’ page on my blog http://tinyurl.com/zhlzlsz (They always look suspicious!) and I’ve included a quote from you and a link to this blog.
    Hope this is ok and that the idea amuses you. If not, I can easily remove the quote and the link. Let me know. Best wishes. Esther Montgomery.

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