Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features

What beauties

I am jumping with glee!! It is so amazing to see my Irises going from buds to blooms. I was like a child waiting for Christmas to arrive!! And it was so worth it! They are magnificent. I was never a real flower garden person, but to have these extraordinary flowers all over my organic vegetable garden has been a great delight!! I will say no more! Just look at the photos! They will show you the anticipation I felt!



They stand so tall, almost shoulder height. Is this normal?

They are the Springtime Winners for me! Even my hubby is taken with them. Yup – he has taken his camera out….. yes, the Iris will be photographed again …. and again…..

Happy Gardening xxxx


Christine's garden Gardening

Bulb planting 2012

Last year I spent quite a bit on spring-flowering bulbs and populated my garden with lots of Daffodils, Ranunculus, Tulips, Ixias, Freesias and a few Dutch Irises. After my initial ‘bulb planting’ fest I planted quite a few Asiatic Lilies in the Azalea bed and loved the show I had during Spring right through to the beginning of summer. It gave me so much pleasure to be able to pick flowers in my garden and bring them into my home as well as the many hours spent taking photographs and just generally enjoying the flower filled garden.

So this year I’m adding to my collection. Last year I discovered which bulbs do well in my garden and which don’t, and I’ve bought more of the winners. I especially enjoyed the Freesias and the Ixias last year (both are indigenous South African bulbs), so I’ve bought loads more of those. I’ve bought only a few extra daffodils to add to the collection in the front garden which did well. I’m thrilled to see the ones planted last year are already coming up again. The Dutch Irises are also coming back as well as the Ixias which were planted in a pot and the Freesis which were planted in shade. This year I’m adding another 100 Ixias directly into my sunniest bed and I’m adding the small Ipheon to the mix.

[one_half]Dutch Irises coming up againDutch Irises coming up again[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Bulb planting tools make it easyBulb planting tools make it easy[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Some new bulbs (lots of Freesias)Some of the new bulbs (Freesias)[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lots more Ixias and new IpheonLots more Ixias and new Ipheon[/one_half_last]

[one_half]More Dutch Irises for the backMore Dutch Irises for the back[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Louisiana Irises (not really bulbs)Louisiana Irises (not really bulbs)[/one_half_last]

Planting bulbs is not too labour intensive either – I use a dibber (I think that’s what it is called) and a special ‘bulb planting’ tool. Of course planting them into pots is even easier to do. This year I am also planting up a few pots with bulbs which I can then move into beds once they are flowering. This because some of my favourites require sun and I have limited sunny beds.

I hope it all works out as well as it did last year.

Happy Gardening


Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Dutch Irises no cigar

One of my favourite cut flowers which I often buy for the house are Dutch Irises. I planted about a hundred Dutch Iris bulbs this year in the hopes of having a wonderful display in my garden. Planted below the Beech tree I thought it would be a lovely “story”, at the top half of my back garden. Well … the results were mixed. At first I disliked the foliage which came up quickly and just sort of flopped around. For four months we had this mass of leaves just sort of hanging in there and looking quite messy.

Just as I was about to resign myself to the fact that I can’t grow Dutch Irises, what do you know … the foliage seem to perk up, a thick stem appeared from the centre of each “mess of leaves”, and each bulb produced a wonderful large, beautiful Dutch Iris that stood tall and proud for days.

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris

The blooms were at least twice the size of the ones I buy from flower sellers and once cut and put in a vase, they lasted for just over two weeks.

Was it worth the effort? I have to say no, only because the before and after bloom stage is aesthetically not very appealing. If you have a very large garden and an area that you don’t mind having the scraggly foliage limping around for months, then perhaps. But the cost / effort vs reward was small. I might be tempted to try it again, but in pots next time.

Happy Gardening