Six on Saturday – 25th May 2019

Tragopodon crocifolius (Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon)

Every so often there are unexpected delights in the garden and this week seems to have delivered more than its fair share.  I have grown Tragopodon crocifolius for years, well I have I have grown it, what I actually mean is that I grew it from seed probably around 8 years ago and it has seeded it self around the garden.  It is a hardy annual and I suspect I got the original seeds from Special Plants.  It sends up a tall stem with these wonderful lilac flowers which then turn to big Dandelion type puff ball seedheads – hence the self seeding around the garden.  Its common name is Jack-go-bed-at-noon because the flowers open in the morning and then close at noon.  To be honest I had forgotten about this plant until I noticed a number of them flowering in the front garden – a nice surprise.

Tulip sprengeri

But much as I love Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon the real thrill this weekend are the Tulip sprengeri flowers.  I have been trying to establish this plant in the garden for a few years.  I have tried sowing seeds in pots, in borders but no luck. Last year I bought a pot of seedlings, which I promptly forgot about as is my habit, but when I built the raised wall around the top border I rounded up a number of small pots of plants from the patio and planted them out and lo and behold one of them was the tulip sprengeri and this time they have flowered. I am really hoping that they will start to seed them and I will end up with a clump like I have seen elsewhere.

Dutch Iris ‘Miss Saigon’ was a new addition this spring.  I planted about 20 bulbs in the garden and they are simply gorgeous, such a special irridescent colour.

Another of my Dutch Iris, this was an early acquisition so there are only one or two in the garden but the white is so pure.

Peonies – have been a challenge for me for years.  I have planted many over the years but I obviously plant them too deeply as until this year I have never had many flowers.  But things have changed – this year the plant above has some 5 blooms on it and I have another one just the same.  Then this evening, while watering I spotted that some of the other peonies, of a different type going by the leaves, have buds too so things are looking up.

Iris Bumblebee Delight

I posted the other week a photo of Iris Langport Wren which has multipled itself over the years and this year felt as though it was the only bearded iris left in the garden.  I love bearded irises and like the peonies have bought many over the years but they seem to have disappeared.  I decided the other day that I needed to rectify the situation and try to add some more varieties.  I thought I would get some at the HPS meeting today but not an iris to be seen, nor at the garden centre on the way home; seems they aren’t in fashion.  But, when I got home I spotted that diminutive Iris Bumblebee Delight starting to flower – so thats two bearded irises but I do need more.

Those are my delights for this week for more Six on Saturday posts check out My Propogator’s blog.



31 Comments Add yours

  1. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    Those irises are beautiful. I may have seek out the tulip sprengeri!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      It’s it easy to find – mine came through my HPS group. I think it’s one of those geeky plants that never appear in garden centres

  2. bcparkison says:

    The white iris is so refreshing . Need to look for some of these.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I’m pretty sure I got them from Peter Nyssen, I buy bulbs online from them every year, they are pretty reasonable

  3. For some reason I am not a fan of Irises. I don’t know why and can only apologise but that Irish Bumblebee might change my mind..

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      It’s a dainty Iris, not one of those big blowsy ones on talks stems

    2. I meant Iris not Irish by the way ☘️

    3. Helen Johnstone says:

      I think irises and peonies can be marmite plants – they are quite blowsy and don’t flower for long but can take up room. If we all liked the same thing it would be quite boring

  4. Maxine Grice says:

    I only grow 2 Bearded Irises, and they are exactly the same 2 as you!! I’ve managed to establish 2 patches of Tulip sprengeri now – it’s taken a few years, but we’ll worth persevering with! I definitely won’t deadhead them, and will hope for more seedlings.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      How funny that we grow the same irises, possibly because they are such good doers

  5. Chloris says:

    My Tulip sprengeri are going to bloom this year, the first year from seed but they are not quite open yet. They are worth every effort. I.Bumblebee is a charmer.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I was thrilled when I spotted them as I had forgotten, as usual, that I bought them

  6. Plants do drop in and out of fashion (think Chelsea had a lot to do with that) but iris is such a beautiful flower it’s a shame GC’s don’t promote them. I love your ‘Bumblebee’.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I suspect GCs don’t like them as the flowers don’t last long

  7. The white Dutch Iris is beautiful, and I agree with other comments about the tulip sprengeri, one for me to try, definitely – if I can find seedlings.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I think mine came through my HPS group

  8. The iris are so lovely, aren’t they! Bodnant was full of them last week – even if the laburnum and the azaleas and rhododendrons were the stars of the garden!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Gosh I can imagine Bodnant was full on. I went a few years back and we just missed the laburnum but the rest was amazing

    2. It was pretty stunning, and considering the carpark was full to overflowing, it’s amazing how un-crowded it was!

  9. Ogee says:

    Spring is so full of surprises. Yours are beautiful!

  10. I love the colours of Iris ‘Miss Saigon’, but Iris bumblebee is more fun!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Am pretty sure it came from Peter Nyssen bulbs

    2. Helen Johnstone says:

      Thank you, I have a weakness for bulbs so all sorts appear in my garden

    3. Helen Johnstone says:

      It’s quite dainty, I’m pretty sure I got it from Claire Austin when I visited her iris beds a few years back

  11. Jim Stephens says:

    I’ve seen pictures and plants of lots of Dutch Iris this year and been moderately tempted; ‘Miss Saigon’ though, goes straight onto my wanted list. I could do with a bit more flower power at this time of year.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Pretty certain it was from Peter Nyssen, they always have a nice selection

  12. Lora Hughes says:

    I love a bearded iris, too. Jack is quite fetching as well. Something that self seeds is always welcome. Glad those tulips survived to surprise you this year.

  13. cavershamjj says:

    Ooh excited about you tulip sprengerii. I grew some from seed 2 or 3 years ago, they are still in modules. I should plant them out this year, I might get flowers next year. Yours are late for tulips, is that normal for this variety do you think?

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I think it’s normal for sprengerii as I’ve spotted it on Facebook this last week quite a bit

  14. tonytomeo says:

    Is Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon a salsify? I have seen it around, and it used to be more common around the edges of the old orchards.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Yes it’s Salsify. I knew it was something like that but couldn’t remember what

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