Friday, February 8

Leading by a short head.

If you are a visitor to Martyn's blog you will already have seen a photo of the first bulbs to open their flowers in our garden. My previous post showed that our snowdrops are poised to burst into flower but haven't yet quite made it. 

The snowdrops are at the side of our house amongst the hellebores in what we think of as our spring garden. It also the area that houses many of our bird feeders and is therefore a popular bird diner.

But the snowdrops have been beaten in the bulb flowering race by the Katherine Hodgkins irises.
Katherine produces short almost stemless flowers (hence the short head) which appear before the leaves. In fact these plants don't really have flower stalks at all. The flower is supported on something called a pedicel.
The upright petals - the standards - are pale blue. The lower stripy parts of the flower are not petals at all but really sepals and referred to as falls. I'm hoping that the bulbs will eventually bulk up and create drifts of early interest.
As you can see some of our crocuses are not too far behind. Spring creeps ever closer.

Stop press:
Great excitement for a few minutes yesterday - we had a couple of visitors to the bird diner that we were keeping a watch for. Unfortunately I couldn't get the camera near enough to the window for a decent shot but Martyn managed a short piece of video which he has posted on his blog here. The goldfinches were not impressed meaning our visitors were quickly sent on their way. I hope they risk coming back soon! 


Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

17 comments:

  1. I love the little reticulata iris. They seem so brave and far too delicate to be flowering at this time of year. You are way ahead of us. We have plenty of green foliage peeping through the soil, but no blue or purple yet. I hope ours wait a little longer though - it is snowing and we are due more snow later in the weekend. I don't think the snow will do them any harm, it's just I might miss seeing them!

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    1. This variety in an early flowerer GS

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  2. You're ahead of us too, everything is looking fab :}

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    1. We only have smatterings of new life Bilbo but they are very welcome.

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  3. None of my bulbs are flowering yet. I do wish they'd hurry up, I'm impatient to see them.

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    1. I think I spotted that the crocus has now opened Jo. Spring is teasing us

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  4. Wow! They are the most amazing things ever - almost stemless???!!! Incredible! I noticed my first iris out today too and some snowdrops have been out for a while but they are in a very warm and sunny spot so they usually come out early. Isn't spring a wonderful thing!

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    1. Spring is my favourite season Anna

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  5. I now have about 5 of the Katherine Hodgin irises flowering - not exactly a "drift"! I seem to plant loads of iris bulbs, but I never get a huge display, which is puzzling. I think maybe something eats the bulbs after they have flowered, meaning I have to re-plant each year.

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    1. I planted about 9 at the front and they are all flowering but to ones round the back aren't showing yet. I haven't any drifts yet either. I'm hoping they multiply but do they?

      My sister crowded some in a tub that look lovely.

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  6. Oh wow, I think I need to add Katherine Hodgkins irises on my plant wish list. I do have some dutch irisis and although they have produced a lot of leaves already there are no sign of flowers yet. I just love early arrivals to my garden, and irises are so beautiful.

    I visited Martyn's video, impressive stuff, I still haven't managed to get any birds to eat from my bird feeders - after over a month.

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    1. Ours definitely flock to the sunflowers hearts Helene. They prefer them to whole sunflower seeds.

      I really do recommend Katherine Hodgkin for early interest

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  7. It's so nice to see the flowers start to bloom. Our churchyard look beautiful with all the snowdrops out in flower. I have some crocuses and primroses out so even at home I am seeing a change to the seasons!!

    Checked out Martyn's video...that finch really need to learn to share!! Hope the Siskins come back to visit son!!

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    1. I always live to see the first flowers of spring Tanya. The goldfinches are pretty feisty when it comes to sunflower hearts.

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  8. My 'Katharine Hodgkins' took me by surprise this week seeming to come out of nowhere it seemed. Aren't the markings exquisite? Apparently she now has a sister called Sheila Ann Germany who I will be looking out for in the future :)

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    1. I've Googled Sheila and she is very much like Katherine isn't she, Anna but more expensive. Maybe the price will come down as she begins to appears in garden centres

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  9. Still no sign of my iris reticulata, but I was stopped in my tracks by a single yellow crocus the other day, so I have hopes...

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