I’d like you to meet Iris reticulata ‘Clairette,’ a precious flower that bloomed just today in my south window garden. Like the snowdrop, reticulata is normally grown outdoors, in rock gardens. But its true beauty is best appreciated indoors. There, at close range, you can easily see its gracefully-arched, Persian-blue petals, each of them licked with gold and splashed with snow. How I forced these tiny treasures:
Because I planted 5 of these minor bulbs in a 4-inch pot in October, and gave them 12 weeks in cold storage (followed by 3 weeks in warmth and light), they have bloomed way, way, ahead of their normal outdoor schedule. But that’s the fun of forcing hardy bulbs…we get to enjoy their poetry long before the snow melts.
For a detailed guide to forcing spring-flowering bulbs, be sure to read Hardy Bulbs for Winter Windows. And, if you are looking for tiny bulbs that will pack a lot of early brilliance into your outdoor beds, read Minor Bulbs for Major Color.
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