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Reinventing the Iris Garden, February 2018

Jo Perry

 The old Iris Garden

The old Iris Garden

Work is progressing in the Iris Borders. Initially all the clumps of Iris were dug up and set aside, we will use some of them either back in the border or in other parts of the garden. The soil looked very poor and many barrow loads of compost have been spread as a mulch.

The silver birch Betula utilis var. jacquemontii give a wonderful structure to the border with their striking white bark and lovely dappled shade, but inevitably they also take goodness from the soil. I’m hoping to keep the beds covered with small layers of compost mulch throughout the summer to help improve the structure and fertility.

 Tilly & Edie

Tilly & Edie

Then we had some fun. My two little granddaughters helped me lay out dozens of plants, placing and moving them around running backwards and forwards trying to make a good display. So far, all the plants used have been grown here, either from seed, bulb or division of established plants in the garden. One pretty mauve primrose, dug from another border, was gently pulled apart into thirty six new plants. They all rooted well and now line the paths under the birch trees. The girls were even able to take a couple home for their own garden.

I love propagating plants. It gives me great satisfaction growing from seed or cuttings. As I get older I am sometimes daunted by the more physical demands of the garden, and thank goodness I have Rachel and Tad to pick up those pieces for me, but hopefully I will still be sowing seeds and pottering about inthe tunnel making new plants into my dotage.

In the last week we have sown about thirty pots of perennial flowers, twenty five varieties of tomato, pepper and aubergine seed, peas and mangetout and lots of salad. The tunnel is already filling up. I love this time of the year.

 Pretty mauve primrose

Pretty mauve primrose