The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Mini-Irises!

84 comments


I have a new obsession, for late winter/early spring. It’s called ‘collecting as many different tiny Irises as I can!’

Well, growing a few of them is not really new – I started planting them when we came here, and they come up faithfully every year. I was somewhat ignorant at that time, though – I just knew that the beautiful little early purple Irises were called ‘Iris reticulata’.

I’d seen a pretty yellow miniature Iris in another garden, and planted some last year, near the garden room window so that I could see them. Bad mistake! The Jumbo-Jets landing to peck up the bird food that fell from the bird feeder sat on my Iris danfordiae, doing them no good at all. Poor little things – one has bravely re-appeared this year – only to meet the same fate. SPLAT!’

Oh dear. That’s why I decided to plant some in a pot in the greenhouse, which worked well. There are also some in flower in a pot outside at the moment.

Iris danfordiae

I did the same with another Iris – this time Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’. They’ve finished flowering in the greenhouse, but the first one in a clump in the garden began to open today.

Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’

Nearly open!

So how did my obsession start, then? Well – I bought a few Iris reticulata ‘Purple Gem’ last year, and also some beautiful white ones called ‘Natasha’.

I. reticulata ‘Purple Gem’

I. reticulata ‘Natasha’

Then, at a Garden Centre back in January, I fell for ‘George’. Well – can you blame me? He really was ‘Gorgeous George’. I brought the little pot home – and kept him safe in the greenhouse away from the bad weather, so he’d last longer.

I. reticulata ‘George’

So it started, my ‘obsession’. I had planted a bagful of ‘Harmony’, both in the garden and in my containers.

I. reticulata ‘Harmony’

Then Louise and I went to a Garden Centre last week, and I found two different ones! One has bright purple flowers and the other is a pale blue.

I. reticulata ‘Springtime’

I. reticulata ‘Cantab’

My blood was up – how many more different ones are there? Seaburngirl asked what the difference was between ‘Purple Gem’ and ‘George’, as well – so my mission today was to find out – and to seek out new ones!

Mission 1.

A new one! I. reticulata ‘Alida’

Another new one! I. reticulata ‘Joyce’

Mission 2.

‘George’

‘Purple Gem’

I know the difference between ‘George’ and ‘Purple Gem’

The answer? Look at the stripes on the ‘falls’ – the lower petals…….

My name is Spritz, and I am an Iris-aholic! Hmmm…I wonder how many more there are?

More blog posts by spritzhenry

Previous post: Meeting 'Patty'.

Next post: Snowdrops do spread!



Comments

 

What A Wonderful Collection u have Spritz , thanx 4 sharing your Story&Pics :)

1 Mar, 2010

 

Wow, Jac - that was quick! Glad you liked it. :-))

1 Mar, 2010

 

All those Pretty Little Flowers who wouldnt/couldnt like your Iris Blog Spritz? :)

1 Mar, 2010

 

Great blog Spritz. I've added to my favourites. I didn't realise there are so many different ones.

1 Mar, 2010

 

Thanks, Toto - nor did i! I saw one with a label that said 'Edward' - but I put him next to 'George' and I thought they were exactly the same.

1 Mar, 2010

 

I think I'm going to have to look around to see which ones I can get ready for next year.

1 Mar, 2010

 

If you find any new ones, do please let me know! :-)

1 Mar, 2010

 

beautiful, i can imagine them altogether in a border i like the katharine pretty patterns..:o)

1 Mar, 2010

 

They are all so beautiful, what a great collection and more to follow I suspect. Close up I would imagine the markings are exquisite. Mine are only just peeking through the earth.

1 Mar, 2010

 

Great blog Spritz......glad to see George get several mentions...lol :o)

1 Mar, 2010

 

Of course he did! Did you see that he has an identical twin? lol.

Dawn - that's the lot unless I find some more!

Joan - yes, I have a circular bed where we planted three Silver Birch trees last spring - I'm going to plant all the potted ones in there. :-))

1 Mar, 2010

 

I lost mine when I tried mini-irises. Do they need good drainage?

1 Mar, 2010

 

I noticed late this afternoon that my iris reticulata are in flower as well. I'll try to remember to photograph them tomorrow

1 Mar, 2010

 

That plant setting sounds perfect.

1 Mar, 2010

 

Yes, Sarah - I'm sure they do, as the bulbs are so tiny.

Andrew - are yours named ones? Any 'different' ones? ;-))

1 Mar, 2010

 

Dawn - I was looking straight past it - then realised that it was crying out for some colour!

1 Mar, 2010

 

I can just imagine all that colour next to the birch trunks, perfect.

1 Mar, 2010

 

They're not white yet - but we were told that they don't take long!

1 Mar, 2010

 

Ours were set a tiny whips and I would say they developed white trunks around 4 years later :-)

1 Mar, 2010

 

Oh dear - that's a long time! I think ours were bigger than whips, though - and they've been in a year, so I shall take a look at progress tomorrow. ;-)

1 Mar, 2010

 

Lovely blog Spritz and so many lovely irises, I think the 'Alida’
one is gorgeous.

1 Mar, 2010

 

Thanks - I still have to go for 'George', though lol.

1 Mar, 2010

 

"George" is the only one we have at present, but, like you, am wanting more. Just spotted I. reticulata "Pixie" in a garden centre the other day. might have to go back for "her". :-))

1 Mar, 2010

 

Love your new found jewels Spritz, dont think I could pick a favourite I loved them all.

1 Mar, 2010

 

i can understand why you have become addicted barbara they are so pretty, think i like the blues and purples best, rather than yellow, may try myself next year :o))

1 Mar, 2010

 

Love them all Barbara simply beautiful, plant collecting is an obsession, I did it with hardy geraniums, violas, sempervivums, hostas, ferns. grasses, clematis, and now succulents, I have only to see a new one and I just have to have it, luckily they tend to be fairly cheap otherwise I shall end up on queer street !!!!lol

1 Mar, 2010

 

I love Irises,both the mini and the common and garden type flag, didn`t realise quite how many mini`s there are tho.......

2 Mar, 2010

 

There are also I. reticulata "Edward", "Gordon, "Pauline" and "Violet Beauty", that I know of, Spritz - just to help you along? :-)

2 Mar, 2010

 

These are lovely :-)))

I like making new plant collections ...... i'll be watching your mini iris collection from now on !!!

2 Mar, 2010

 

Thanks....and I've been researching too. I found the ones you've named, David - plus 'J.S. Dyt'. The label on 'Edward' at that GC must have been wrong - he isn't purple at all!

2 Mar, 2010

 

I was going to say "I like ....... one" but unfortunately I like them all and my poor garden will sink with all the new plants I want!
Another lovely blog Spritz and your photography is second to none!

2 Mar, 2010

 

Thanks, Ian...that's kind. Actually, you could fit a few of these in...remind me when it's autumn, and I'll send you a few bulbs for next year - they're tiny!.

2 Mar, 2010

 

You have so many . I didn't realise there were all those types. That means I'll have to look for some different ones for next year.

2 Mar, 2010

 

Now don't tell me you won't enjoy that, Hywel! lol.

2 Mar, 2010

 

lol - I'm looking forward to it allready ;o)

2 Mar, 2010

 

:-))))) You could buy a few in pots at the moment to keep you happy - then you'd know which bulbs to buy - your favourite one/s.

2 Mar, 2010

 

Now that's a goo idea. Thanks :o)

2 Mar, 2010

 

All the GCs have them at the moment. :-)

2 Mar, 2010

 

picked this up today. went to bed 9 ish last night absolutely shattered.
thanks for the blog it is gorgeous. there are stacks of iris species and hybrids too. talk more later tonight all being well.

2 Mar, 2010

Sid
Sid
 

Now step away from the Irises!!! lol There must be a National Collection of them somewhere.....and if there isn't, well then there's a mission for you!! They really are quite exquisit aren't they :-) I must say I feel the same way about bearded irises....5 varieties and counting!

2 Mar, 2010

 

Lovely blog Spritz,
I have tried them in pots but in our badly drained garden they seem to disappear fairly quickly. Will try again though - you have inspired me too!

2 Mar, 2010

 

This is great because I've fallen in love with these this spring although I've always liked Iris and about 10 yrs ago I did an Iris cross stitch. My first one to flower I now know is a Purple Gem I bought them as mixed bulbs and shared some with a friend and we were talking about them at a garden centre this morning. I like to see them in with daffodils.

2 Mar, 2010

 

Do you mean you 'can' see them with daffodils - or you'd like to? LOL. My daffodils are still tight buds. No chance of a twosome this year! :-((

2 Mar, 2010

 

Mine are the same but I remember buying a bouquet of spring flowers for my Mum for Christmas the first year I was working and it was daffodils and Iris I think they compliment each other well.

2 Mar, 2010

 

Lovely colection enjoyed your blog and looking at the lovely photos

2 Mar, 2010

 

Gorgeous photo's Spritz,they are so dainty aren't they.I have just got 'Harmony' with some miniature daffs.I need to replant a miniature rose in a terracotta pot which the frost has almost broken in two !

2 Mar, 2010

 

you will get dutch iris and daffs together and there are lots of them too.

I am hoping some more of mine will be open soon.

2 Mar, 2010

 

"Edward" should be a definite bright blue, Spritz. With I. reticulata blooming later here, I still have some time before buying "Pixie". Will check on the bulbs' progress in the GC before buying some nice, strong ones.

2 Mar, 2010

 

Good thinking, David. Funny that they'd labelled poor 'Edward' wrongly!

2 Mar, 2010

 

I love all these iris Spritz, I'm just beginning to discover their beauty, but I have a long way to catch up with you :)))))

3 Mar, 2010

 

Thanks, Grindle. After some research, I found 24 different names - I only have 9 of them!!!! I can't see me tracking down all of those...:-(((((

3 Mar, 2010

 

Hello Barbara

I can understand the obsession! the markings on them are truly remarkable aren't they.

I particularly like the "Alida" a lovely blue and striking markings, I think I need to go shopping!

3 Mar, 2010

 

Now is a good time, while they're in flower - so you can choose your favourites, Mick.

3 Mar, 2010

uma
Uma
 

Love all your Irises, Spritzhenry! Wonderful blog!
How about I.reticulata "Alba" with snow-white flowers?
Are you interested only in bulb Irises? You know, there is a group of Pumila - mini-irises with rhizomes. :)

3 Mar, 2010

 

Thanks, Uma - I'll make a note of the 'Alba' which isn't on my list - it's growing all the time!

I think I shall stick to the bulbous ones, simply because of space.:-)

3 Mar, 2010

 

I planted a few different types in my gravel last year... but so far I'm seeing nothing... looking at your photos I can't wait now till our weather warms up enough for them to show face!

3 Mar, 2010

uma
Uma
 

Space...space...:))

3 Mar, 2010

 

Make sure you take photos, Clematisa, won't you - and with their names if you have them, as well! :-))

Uma - I could do with twice the growing space I have - and this is a big garden! :-))))))

3 Mar, 2010

uma
Uma
 

Then, what about some new obsessions? ;)))
Good luck with your collection of Irises! I'm sure, you'll find many new ones for your garden.

4 Mar, 2010

 

I found several more today, Uma! :-))

4 Mar, 2010

uma
Uma
 

Great!!! Looking forward to knowing their names and seeing your pics!

5 Mar, 2010

 

This looks like an addiction you will never want to cure! They're all so lovely.

5 Mar, 2010

 

Spritz, why are you doing this to us.....do you want us all to become addicts??????? Alida is stunning....oh nooooo:-(

5 Mar, 2010

 

I've just finished planting them all out in the circular bed where the new birch trees are - and I had a disappointment. Two of the 'new' ones I found had different labels in the pots from what's printed on the side. So they're duplicates! Never mind - I still love 'em.

Why not be an addict? This addiction is better for your health than some others, after all! LOL.

5 Mar, 2010

 

Lovely blog, Spritz! :-) Many, many years ago (back at the end of the '60s) I started to grow some of these mini-Irises. I had I. reticulata & I. danfordiae. I loved them but when I went to Spain in '72 I had to leave everything. :-( Couldn't very well take all my plants with me, could I? :-(

I'm not sure if I ever grew them in Spain. But I love them & I saw some in flower just today in somebody's garden.

5 Mar, 2010

 

Thanks, Balcony. Couldn't you grow some in a pot next year? They're so lovely to have in the garden/your space!

5 Mar, 2010

 

We got our I. reticulata "Pixie", Spritz. Yippee! :-))

6 Mar, 2010

 

Good - I did too, David - I planted them in the circular bed yesterday. :-)))

Any other different ones around?

6 Mar, 2010

 

Have a look on http://rareplants.co.uk - they have quite a selection of Iris including the reticulatas. You'll be drooling!

6 Mar, 2010

 

Thanks - I certainly will!

6 Mar, 2010

 

I could grow some in a pot, they could go in with the Crocuses that are flowering so magnificently now. The problem is that in the same pot there are Fuchsia cutting from last year! I trimmed them back a few weeks ago when the Crocuses began to appear but I haven't checked to see if they are still alive. I've kept them in the greenhouse on the nights we are forecast frost, not for the Crocuses but for the Fuchsias. I only put the pots in the greenhouse when we are forecast frost, like the last couple of nights. I bring them out & put them in the rings on the balcony railing half way through the morning where they stay till nightfall.

Being as my balcony has so little space I have very few permanent plants. I mostly ring the changes a couple of times a year with the summer & winter bedding.

7 Mar, 2010

 

It must be difficult to decide what to grow - these little irises are possibly not for you, unless you could have a pot just for spring bulbs, and keep it stored for the summer and winter.

7 Mar, 2010

 

Hi Spritz, did you see GW on Friday.I've been a little concerned as Carol said that the majority, barring Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ will only come up once but I see your's survive. Do you lift them or leave them in the ground.

15 Mar, 2010

 

Yes, Dawn - I almost shouted at her for saying that! I like her, but she's wrong on that one. I leave them in the ground, and I'm hoping that all the ones I've planted will come up again. 'Purple Gem' and 'Natasha' have flowered for at least three years - maybe four for P.G.

15 Mar, 2010

 

That's reassuring Spritz as I thought if the bulbs needed to be baked in summer sun to survive, as she suggested, they wouldnt stand a chance. I'm so pleased you've said your's return, I can now live in hope.

15 Mar, 2010

 

I shall too - all those potfuls I collected! She got me worried, until I realised that I do have some that come up again. I. danfordiae did, too - it got sat on last year AND this! LOL.

15 Mar, 2010

 

I guess it must be warm enough in Somerset to bake those rhizomes dry! I too saw the programme and had decided that was mine have disappeared!

15 Mar, 2010

 

No - it's a damp area - we get the westerly winds here. It's not usually 'hot', even in a good year, just milder than some other areas!

16 Mar, 2010

 

Last Summer wasnt a good one even in your area I dont think Spritz, so that was a good test. I thought I would have to write mine off and invest in Katharine Hodgkin next time.

16 Mar, 2010

 

I may well plant some more Katharine Hodgkin in the autumn anyway - I've only got two small clumps of her.

16 Mar, 2010

 

I think I'll do the same Spritz :-)

16 Mar, 2010

 

She is rather nice, isn't she. :-))

16 Mar, 2010

 

lovely ....

29 Oct, 2010

 

Hallo Cristina - nice to see you with my little Irises! :-))

29 Oct, 2010

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by spritzhenry

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Feb, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Jan, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Dec, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    3 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    24 Jun, 2007

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 May, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    21 Jun, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Oct, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    11 Dec, 2009

  • uma
    Uma

    Gardening with friends since
    28 Oct, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    19 Jun, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Nov, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Sep, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    3 Apr, 2010

Garden centre