Six on Saturday – May 19

There is so much going on in the garden that I think I could easily write “Sixty on Saturday”. The days have been very fine – sunny and warm, but with a gentle breeze full of the fragrance of hundreds of blooms. Many of these blooms were (yes, Gill) irises, as you will see from the photos below. Holding myself to the stated limit, here are my six for today, and do be sure to have a look at The Propagator’s blog for links to more Six on Saturday posts.

1. Bearded Irises

Several varieties of Bearded Iris (Iris x germanica) are running riot in the garden, and this fall I will make a determined effort to divide them and give some away, with the remaining stock hopefully free of grass and dandelions. This was my mother’s favourite flower, and it is very high on my own list, though I don’t think I could ever choose one single favourite.

[Click on any photo to enlarge.]

2. Dutch Irises

I fell for these beauties three years ago and since then I’ve gone overboard with planting more and more of them. The various colours, both vivid and subtle never fail to amaze, and even the buds are little works of art.

3. Siberian Irises

So lovely, with delicate white lines etched on a purple-blue background.

4. Another Miltoniopsis

In past blog posts, I’ve enthused about this carefree orchid. Honestly, it’s hard to believe they are orchids, with their reputation as difficult, fussy, demanding plants. If, like me, you have tried and failed with orchids, do try this variety. The latest addition to my modest Miltoniopsis collection was a gift from my dear daughter.

5. Another Orchid

Here’s another carefree orchid – this one lives outdoors and comes back after winters in Canada, albeit the warm part of Canada. It is Bletilla striata, the ‘Hardy Orchid’ or ‘Chinese Ground Orchid’.

Bletilla species are generally hardy, though some need protection from severely cold frost. It is better to keep them in pots of well drained media so that water does not sit around the roots during winter when the plants are not actively growing.  (Wikipedia)


6. Oriental Poppy

We’re almost out of numbers, so I will end with the flower that was the first thing I planted in my very first garden: the Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale). Still in my twenties and relatively clueless about gardening, I sowed seeds in two borders running along the sides of our front walkway. It was a great success and I received many compliments, inspiring a rather false confidence that has kept me going for many years. The orange flower seems a bit strident in the spring garden, but I’m still fond of them, and of the fat buds.