iris reticulata dwarf iris garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest

Flower Count – day 4 – iris

I’m not spending much time outside today.  There’s a chilly wind.  It’s not raining, and for that, I’m grateful.  I’m also grateful to be washing dishes, believe it or not.  The hot, soapy water is warming my fingers.  Handy.

The kitchen sink is also a handy place to stand & gaze out at the garden.  When else do I take the time to stare out a window?  For this reason, I’ve heavily planted this garden area with early bulbs.

Today I’m rewarded.  Iris reticulata.

iris reticulata
photo by SVSeekins

They’re quite small, only 4 to 6 inches high.  Especially at this time of year, I’m thrilled with flowers of any size.  These are bright enough to notice from my vantage point in the kitchen.  Here I go again, to grab the camera & hunker down on the cold earth to get a closer look.

These are not my mother’s iris.  Those have tubers running along at soil level, leaves that grow knee-high, and blooms in late spring.  These miniature iris grow from bulbs, show little leaf at this point, and started to appear in late February!   How can they even be related?

Mom’s iris are called Russian or Siberian iris – –  maybe?  I’ve since heard of Dutch iris, Japanese iris, and these Dwarf iris.  Maybe there are even more kinds.  Mind boggling.  Either way, these iris reticulata are definitely the earliest in our garden.

dwarf iris & winter aconite
photo by SVSeekins

The deer seem to leave them alone, so I’ve also planted more bordering the driveway.  That way we can appreciate them as we come & go.

Iris strike me as exotic, with such frilly petals & rich colour   They seem so out-of-place in the cold.  I can’t stop a big smile & I welcome them with a warm heart.  Maybe I’ll stay out here just a little longer…  I hear now’s a good time to feed the bulb beds with a little lime and bone meal to encourage more spring growth.

-30-

© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2012.

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Flower Count

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