My Iris unguicularis is doing so brilliantly! I’m very excited about it – the nurseryman who sold me the baby plant said he grows his under a big Totara tree facing the sun. Mine is at the base of a tree at the edge of a path and it has spread to about 18″ wide after 3 years, and has been flowering since late Autumn. I’ve combined them in the vase with some native cultivars : leaves of the Cordyline ‘Magenta Rays’, and a pink flowered Tea Tree (Leptospermum).
This week I have so many scented flowers you would think it would be overpowering, but they blend together to make a perfume. We seem to run out of scented flowers at the end of Summer, and it’s a nice change when the cooler weather brings the scented bulbs and shrubs.
It was a dark morning; although it’s not technically the solstice for another 2 days, the day length in minutes is as short as it’s going to get, and it was cloudy.
The Red Hot Pokers are flowering (Kniphofia ‘Winter Cheer’) and this reminds me that last year I assumed that bees didn’t like them, because I hadn’t noticed any bees when I looked at the flowers. Others quickly mentioned that theirs were covered with bees. Sure enough, as the flowers start to go over the bees come in. It’s just a case of timing.
Not long to go now till the shortest day, when the sun will start moving back along the horizon toward Summer. Flowers from the orange garden and buds of Rose ‘Crepuscule’ (‘sunset’) reflect the sunset colours.
Purple Verbena and Penstemon, Geranium ‘Roxanne’, and Erysimum Bowle’s Mauve’ bring in the purples.
After two perfect days which were more like Autumn than the first days of Winter, today’s Queen’s Birthday holiday started out with rain. It was a nice day to stay a little longer in bed, but eventually I ventured out to take photos from under the awning on the porch.
Iris unguicularis is flowering, which always reminds me of Beverly Nichols who called her a ‘prima donna’. Luckily, (and touch wood) she seems to like me, although I have only one, rather than 20 as he did. From ‘Down the Garden Path’ :
The best of all is the Iris stylosa, (or the Iris unguicularis, if you are feeling high hat). It is a real sky blue . . . not the deep blue of summer, but the brilliant paler blue of a frosty January day. The lower petals have gold patches in their centres, spotted with purple. If you want a finer flower than this in winter, you had better go and lock yourself up in your greenhouse and sing hymns.