Week five into my 2021 Gardening Ways journal and even though we’re seeing wintry pictures from around Britain it seems like we’re picking up pace towards spring – and it’s never been more eagerly awaited. I do say this with a hint of restraint however, as whilst day length continues to draw out, the ever fluctuating temperatures will continue to tease and excite us one moment, only to nip us in the bud the next. It’s best to take things steady, to enjoy the moment and not to get too far ahead of ourselves.
Focussing on the here and now for a moment, all seems calm and steady in my home garden. Tasks remain thin on the ground but included, over two sessions some much needed path cleaning – oh the delights of an algae-loving north facing garden! This was mostly a case of scrubbing with soapy water which brought out the honey colouring a treat. Otherwise, a good sort through my containers was in order and these were rearranged with soon-to-flower pots brought to the fore so that we can watch their progress daily from the kitchen windows.
Something that lifted my winter spirits earlier in the week was a handful of Iris reticulata flowers that opened with an intensity presently lacking elsewhere in the garden, apart from a Viburnum x bodnantense maybe that is peppered with clusters of sweet scented pink flowers.
I was reminded after a quick look in my ‘Plant Names Simplified’ book that the Iris name is of Greek origin, it reads: “Iris, a rainbow, presumably in reference to the many colours of the flowers”. Their flowers are varied too, not just across the cultivars but on each flower itself – a deep blue, almost violet colour contrasted with a flash of bright yellow – they may be small but they’re certainly not going to be overlooked!