Iris Reticulata Harmony
Bulbous Iris Reticulata. Although in most documentation regarded to as Spring flowering, I have found that even here in Aberdeen Reticulata Harmony will start flowering freely from February in some years.
Flowers are royal blue with a yellow central mark on each fall, height is 10-15cm (4-6in.
Grow in well drained soil which is on the alkaline side, plant about 2in deep, also best positioned in full sun. Adding grit to the soil is worthwhile giving good drainage to a plant that hates to get water logged.
Planting in drifts along with Crocus can be very effective. Divide bulbs in late Summer after several years and also add a low nitrogen feed every Spring, if your soil happens to be on the acidic side sprinkle with a little lime.
The Iris Reticulata above was in one of our back garden borders three years ago. In spite of planting with great care I found that in the second year only three or four of the flowers came through. I am really not certain why this should be, however I now just treat it as a Spring flowering annual which often we plant in containers.
Pond Iris Versicolour
The Pond Iris Versicolour at the moment is the only Perennial Iris which we have in the garden. I can only think that this came about as a result of our early gardening habits which made us look for plants which would flower for a long period.
Versicolour above is planted in our pond as a marginal plant and performs very well each year. The plant is clump forming and has mid green narrow strap like leaves. Flowers are violet blue with white markings and a touch of yellow. Flowering in July, it is quite a delightful plant and of course as I have hinted at flowering time is short.
Now is the time to get those Roses pruned
Rose pruning as recommended by Cockers Roses of Aberdeen
All Hybrid Tea and Floribunda varieties should be pruned the first spring after planting, cutting them back to 3 or 4 eyes from the base, the top eyes should be pointing outwards. Pruning should be done in late February while roses planted after February should be pruned prior to planting. Climbing roses should not be pruned but simply cut back the tips about 5-7cm (2-3 in). to a bud.
Pruning in subsequent years
HYBRID TEAS In the second and subsequent years after planting, cut away all weak and unripe growths, shorten the remaining shoots to about half the length of the previous year’s growth. Keep the centre of the bush open and leave the top bud after pruning facing outwards. We strongly recommend February pruning.
FLORIBUNDAS The first pruning after planting should consist of cutting away all weak shoots and cutting healthy growth down to about 15cm (6 in) from the ground, always pruning to an outward eye. The second year prune the new 1-year old wood lightly. The 1-year wood is the main shoot from the base of the bush. Remove the flower heads and if a secondary shoot or shoots have developed just below the flower, these are shortened to 3 or 4 eyes. The older wood, which was pruned the previous year, should have made good growth and this should be shortened to about half its length. Pruning the third or succeeding years consists of cutting 1-year old wood lightly and 2-year old wood fairly hard. By pruning in this way the flowering season is prolonged and the trees maintain their natural height. This pruning should be done in February.
CLIMBING ROSES Pruning consists primarily of cutting out the dead wood and pruning to prevent over-crowding, which can be done after the plants have flowered in the summer.
When to plant bare root Roses Roses may be planted at any time when the weather is sufficiently fine, between the end of October and late April, provided that the soil is friable and free from frost or snow.