Mini Iris reticulata in bloom!

I love tiny blue-flowered bulbs, and so I am happy to announce that the mini iris reticulata are in bloom–see here:

They have a little yellow and white center, as you can see, and so they are set off well by anything yellow, in this case, a few winter jasmine blooms in the lower left-hand corner.

These small bulbs are planted in the fall, and bloom in winter.  I try to fertilize them in fall and spring, which helps them rev up for blooming.  A good fertilizer is Ann Lovejoy’s recipe, which is a mix of alfalfa pellets in any form and compost, roughly even proportions.  This is an organic mix that will eventually break down and help improve the tilth of your soil as well.

You’ll also notice the bulbs are mulched with shredded leaves.  If you put a thin layer–two inches is plenty–of shredded leaves on your bulb beds, when the bulbs bloom, it helps them to keep from getting mud spattered on them during all the rain we typically get during their bloom time.  You can use maple leaves shredded–whatever you have handy in your garden–for this purpose.  Don’t use whole large maple leaves, however, because they will mat down and slugs will hide out there and destroy your plants.  Shredded is the way to go, and you can run over them with your lawnmower with a bag on it, or get a little leaf chopper and use that.

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