Tiny Iris Reticulata

I don't know what it is about us humans that makes us so attracted to, and smitten with, smaller versions of larger things. Think dollhouses, fairy gardens or Pottery Barn kids' furniture. I am as charmed as anyone by such things, most recently by the enchanting little iris reticulate, a tiny 4-6" version of the larger dutch iris...

a bulb I have grown in the past and purchased as a cut flower. However, I am not a big fan of them...too short lived in both the garden and the vase as far as I am concerned. I also am turned off by their rather stuffy, stiff-stemmed nature, despite their lovely colorations. 

But not so, the darling tiny iris reticulata. Consequently, I bought a couple of small bags of the diminutive bulbs and planted them last fall in my front window box...

along with golden feverfew, similarly hued pansies and violas and various trailers, among them the 

feisty white and green variegated lamium. 

The package contained light and dark purple/blue hued velvety flowers that sprouted in late winter with grassy gray-green foliage and a charming upright habit...just tall enough to peak above the other foliage in the window box. The lasted a smidge longer than the taller Dutch Iris, possibly because 

of the protected nature of the window box (where I could easily enjoy them without even bending). They are reputed to naturalize rather easily, so I am ordering now for fall planting from McCLURE AND ZIMMERMAN, in bulk. I have a not-too large 'rock garden-like' area close to the house...

where I will be able to admire their dainty beauty as I come and go...up close and personal so to speak. I am thinking they would look especially dear with yellow violas...their yellow markings enhanced by the color....and their azure hues an appealing contrast to the sunny viola petals.

So before I forget their quaint, dollhouse charm, I am ordering them now for fall delivery. :)

Today's Takeaway Tip:  Order bulbs now for fall delivery. Most sources will not deliver or bill you till planting time in fall. Before you forget, make note in your garden journal of how many you ordered, and where you hope to plant them.  The early, organized bird gets the worm. 

(These gorgeous iris have me lusting after large iris as well.)

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