I recently showed a pot of Iris reticulata in the greenhouse that defied my advice that they need replanting each year because it isn’t warm enough for them to establish here. Now the outdoor plants have got in on the act too. It certainly wasn’t a hot summer in 2011, but maybe it was the dry autumn that did it – or maybe I’m just wrong!
Most of the snowdrops are just unfurling but this one is a herald of what's to come
The first pots of Iris reticulata are in flower thanks to a spell in the greenhouse
Checking back to the same time last year it is interesting to see what was out this week last year – and compare it with this year. Usually the crocus tommasinianus are the first to flower but this year I found this pot of a creamy white crocus with brown markings in flower before the tommasinianus have even begun to show buds. The snowdrops are pretty well on cue, but the greenhouse-grown iris are a couple of weeks earlier. Last year the Daphne odora aureamarginata was already in flower, this week the buds are showing colour but have yet to open. I love the inconsistency of it all.
Earliest crocuses Snowbunting have popped up in one of the pots
March is definitely hovering between lion and lamb at the moment; there’s no shortage of sunshine, but after a couple of days of real warmth which filled the sheltered area around the front door with the scent of daphne, witchhazel and iris reticulata, we are back in the deep freeze with a bitter north easterly wind. I have to stick my nose right into the flowers to pick up any hint of fragrance.
I’ve moved some of the pots of Iris reticulata from the coldframe to the greenhouse to bring them in to flower a bit earlier. The prettiest will have pride of place on my desk.