Flower Portrait: Iris histrioides ‘George’

Yesterday was dry and sunny after early morning rain, though still rather chilly (5°C) so I wrapped up warm, put on the gardening gloves, grabbed the secateurs and went out into the garden to do some clearing up. It was nice to see the spring bulbs I planted in the autumn popping up in the containers, including these Irises which are now in their fourth year.

‘George’ is one of the earliest dwarf irises to flower. Dwarf iris do need well drained soil and relatively dry conditions in dormancy which is probably why they don’t always reliably return, though in my experience ‘George’ is one of the better ones. With lovely deep purple flowers with yellow-marked falls they are a welcome splash of colour in the gloomy January days.

Two hours later as the sun was beginning to set and the garden waste bin full, I was happy to have spent some time working in the garden, There is still work to do, but for now I am satisfied. And why is it that spring cleaning the garden is so much nicer than spring cleaning the home?

25 Comments Add yours

  1. Denzil says:

    What a wonderful splash of colour Jude! You seem to have planned your garden so well, to get such colour so early in the season. I presume the micro-climate of Cornwall helps, is that true?

    1. Heyjude says:

      I do like my spring bulbs, though always in awe of how they survive the wet. The milder climate helps with the more tender plants though it has been colder than usual this winter.

      1. Denzil says:

        Do you dig up tulips every year as often recommended? I planted tulip bulbs 2 years ago and just left them in to see what happens.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I mostly grow tulips in containers and don’t always remove them after flowering. Some have returned for several years. White Triumphator and Orange Emperor have been in the ground for

        2. Heyjude says:

          a few years.

  2. margaret21 says:

    Gosh, are those irises actually in flower? Or is that a treat in store?

    1. Heyjude says:

      In flower. George is always early.

  3. Spring is just around the corner. I hope.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Would be nice to think so. I am so tired of the winter storms, but Feb can be harsh.

      1. Always a month to just get through.

  4. beetleypete says:

    I like Irises. That one is a lovely colour, Jude.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      Easy to pop a few into a pot Pete, and they are cheap.

  5. restlessjo says:

    Lovely little things, aren’t they? I can feel the smile on your face. Stiff today? Not as stiff as Murray, I’m sure 🫠💗

    1. Heyjude says:

      Only saw a clip of the Murray match, must have been quite exciting, but yes, he must be feeling it today.

      1. restlessjo says:

        I didn’t watch it all. Life’s too short 🤣❤️

  6. Ann Mackay says:

    ‘George’ is a beautiful colour. It’s still a bit too cold for gardening here – hopefully OK next week.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I actually prefer the bluer ones, but George is always first but does get damaged by the wind and rain so I am glad it is cold and dry.

  7. Toonsarah says:

    What a gorgeous shade, although George strikes me as un odd name for a flower!

    1. Heyjude says:

      There is an iris ‘Beatrix Stanley’ which is named after Lady Beatrix Stanley (1877 to 1944) who married the Hon. Sir George Stanley in 1903. So I guess George is named after her husband. She apparently grew lots of bulbs including snowdrops.

  8. susurrus says:

    Lovely bold colour for January, but ‘George’ made me smile – it doesn’t seem like the right name for these little irises somehow. We are just about seeing the very first snowdrops and primroses here.

  9. What joy it would be to see these beauties! I remember when we lived in Ohio buying primroses at the farmer’s market. They always brought the feeling of early spring and were so cheerful.

  10. What a nice way for your spring blooms to start making their appearance.

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