Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Iris Katharine Hodgkin

Val Bourne describes these beauties thus: "As subtle as a hand-painted paperweight. This early dwarf iris needs close inspection if you are to enjoy the silver-blue petals streaked, veined and spotted in sea-green and yellow."

My acquisitive little heart longed for this iris for so many years, but I didn't have the steps until now.  Katharine Hodgkin needs sharp drainage and a jolly good baking over the summer months, so from the drawing board stage of this garden I've planned to have a crock pot of these set into the eastern edge of the top steps where they'd catch most sun all year.  I'd prepped this little staging post so well, even going to the trouble of positioning an empty pot of the correct size into the "temporary garden steps" to check the angle of the sun at monthly (and weekly from March onwards) intervals to ensure the correct height vs. sunlight/shade.  Top steps would also enable me to get a really good, close look at these Iris too.  Yep, got it all worked out and perfectly positioned.

What I hadn't considered was the draining effect of the hoggin on this delicately coloured Iris.  I need a darker backdrop to properly show the beauty of these petals; hoggin just won't do.  Elsewhere in the kitchen garden I threw in some vibrant purple Iris from a B&Q multi-pack that looked stunning last month against the deeply manured and enriched soil, and which would look even better against my hoggin-topped steps.  Katharine needs an autumn move into the beds, I'm afraid, to give the backdrop these Iris really deserve.

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