celebrating the solstice

Jim McKenney jamesamckenney@verizon.net
Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:36:01 PST
Yes, Dennis, there is a lot to like about Iris cretensis. My plant came from John Lonsdale and has very richly colored blooms. In particular, I appreciate the fact that it is a lot smaller with much thinner, slighter foliage than I. unguicularis. That's important for plants growing in an already crowded cold frame.
Thanks for the reminder that it does not need that cold frame protection. In the past, I've been reminded by Roger that I. lazica does not need cold frame protection. But for those of us who garden in climates where the winters eventually get rough, the advantage of cold frame treatment is that plants in a cold frame are more apt to reach their full potential as blooming plants. 
And that mention of full potential as blooming plants prompts me to ask a question: is there any other species of Iris which has a season of bloom as long as that of Iris unguicularis (in the broad sense)?  Iris unguicularis begins to bloom here in early November and sometimes continues off and on into April. No other iris that I know can match that.
For those of you who don't grow these plants, I've posted some pictures on my blog which you can see here:
Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where the temperatures have not dropped below 60 degrees F at night for the last two nights - I've been able to sleep with the windows open and listen to the rain which has brought out flowers of Jasminum nudiflorum. 

On Monday, December 23, 2013 11:27 AM, Dennis Kramb <dkramb@badbear.com> wrote:
Iris cretensis is one of my all-time faves.  I've had it for about 15 years
now, and I've had it bloom many-a-time on Christmas Day some years, and New
Years Day in other years.  It will pretty much bloom whenever there is a
warm spell in the 50's & 60's during winter.  Oh, by the way, I grow mine
outdoors unprotected year-round.

Dennis in Cincinnati

On Sat, Dec 21, 2013 at 5:13 PM, Jim McKenney <jamesamckenney@verizon.net>wrote:

> Temperatures here in the greater Washington, D.C. area were in the upper
> sixties F today - a few warm spots probably topped seventy. A quick look
> through the garden turned up a few snowdrops blooming here and there and in
> one of the cold frames a Cyclamen persicum and an Iris unguicularis. In
> another cold frame little Iris cretensis is blooming too. Iris lazica grows
> in the same frame and has not started to bloom yet. In an opwn space
> between the two cold frames, my longest established Iris unguicularis is
> also blooming. In my community garden plots about a mile from home I
> noticed yesterday that a plant of Crocus ochroleucus was more or less in
> bloom.
> On a windowsill inside the house two plants of white hoop petticoat
> daffodils were blooming for about two weeks (I keep the house cold). The
> names are different, but they look alike to me. These will go out into the
> cold frames soon.
> A handsome male robin stopped by today and chirped for me for a few
> minutes - I took the hint and threw him some raisins.
> The next drop into the below freezing range is predicted to occur on
> Wednesday morning, just in time to put the Christmas list in doubt.
> Jim McKenney
> Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where on a day like this
> it's easy to spend a lot of time examining the foliage of the seedling
> cyclamen in the unprotected frames.
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list
> pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/list.php
> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/


More information about the pbs mailing list