A seasonal delight – in winter.

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Guest Publisher Leonie Creighton.

Leonie is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic gardener she is the minutes secretary to the Black Pear Gardening Club. I have invited her as guest publisher for this seasonally appropriate article she wrote for the club newsletter.

IRIS UNGUICULARIS.

One of my favourite plants at this time of year is IRIS UNGUICULARIS (I.stylosa) Algerian Iris.

This lovely flower is native to Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey , Greece and Syria where it grows in light scrub,open pine woods and rocky places.

It flowers from late autumn to early spring when so few plants are in flower. The flowers are beautifully scented, in shades of lavender to deep violet with a yellow throat.

This winter flowering Iris is easy to grow in well drained soil in full sun. Plant near a wall to help maintain the soils heat. I grow it in a raised bed that’s in full sunlight for most of the day, but that said I also grow it in a woodland area in partial sunlight and it is still happy but doesn’t flower quite so well. It is also useful to grow at the base of clematis as they like their heads in the sun and their roots in shade and it helps to hide the bare base of the clematis and keep its roots cool.

Plant it so that the rhizomes are just below the surface of the soil and 10cm (4in) apart.

It produces an evergreen mound of narrow, arching grass like foliage. This foliage does become brown and bit untidy but can easily be trimmed back to keep it looking good.

A top dressing of bone meal or potash in either autumn or spring is beneficial but look out for snails hiding among the leaves.

It dislikes being moved, but if you have to disturb it do it in spring after flowering. It may sulk for a while before it starts to flower again.

This is a long lived plant. I grow the species variety from divisions taken off my mother’s plant that has been growing in her garden for probably fifty years.

Two other very nice named varieties are ‘Mary Barnard’ which has a lovely velvety blue-purple flower, a much more intense colour than the species.

‘Mary Barnard’

Also, ‘Walter Butt’ a ghostly pale grey-blue , but with a heavenly scent.

‘Walter Butt’

Flowering: November-March

Hardiness: Fully hardy

Height: 30-45cm

Did you Know : Iris was a Greek goddess, the personification of the rainbow, which she used as her pathway though the sky.   

Leonie Creighton.

Happy New Year.

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Winter visited Our Garden@19 towards the end of 2020.

Flowering in the house and keeping warm is the Christmas Cactus.

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)

From the bathroom window we can see the snow-capped Malvern Hills.

Snow boot painted by the Grandchildren as a Christmas present.

A snowy video tour of the garden wishing you a Happy New Year please turn your sound on and select full screen.

Thaw.

Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed

The speculating rooks at their nests cawed

And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flower of grass,

What we below could not see, Winter pass.

EDWARD THOMAS (1878-1917)

Thank you for visiting Brimfields.com during 2020, hopefully, some of you may be able to visit the garden in person later this year if we are able to open for the village church funds in May.

December 2020

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This December has so far been very mild here in Our Garden@19 with only one frost.

The cannas and dahlias are all lifted…..

….safely stored in the garden shed with fleece covering for the cold nights.

The tender plants are divided between the two greenhouses…

Two small areas have been planted with Tulips also Foxgloves, Wallflowers and Forget-me-nots, along with several pots in the hope that we will be able to join the village church open gardens in early May.

One of the many ‘Estate’ maintenance jobs for this winter was to replace the trellis fence between the White and Green garden and the Blue Borders…

It edges the path where the badgers enter the garden, I was concerned, due to its poor condition, they would push through into this area of the garden instead of following their usual path via the ground bird feeder.

With help from my brother, we managed to replace it in one day with Rebar steel mesh normally used in reinforced concrete, without doing too much damage to the climbing Iceberg rose.

In The Oriental Garden the Magnolia ‘Stella’ fury buds are forming.

One of my aims within the garden is to try and have something in flower or of interest in the garden throughout the year, this month it is the Hamamelis Moll  Pallida (Witch Hazel).

Below is the last garden tour video for 2020, here’s hoping for a better 2021. Please turn your sound on select full screen, play and enjoy.