Sunday, October 3, 2010

Little blue people

"Come outside now," my beloved girl said with eagerness in her eyes. I knew that something cool was happening in the garden, and knowing Pam it could be anything – a completely new type of bird visiting, weird caterpillars or fungi in action – anything. This time it was something even better – our first Louisiana iris was coming out – we have blue people visiting!

We bought this Louisiana iris plant in November last year, as a little baby bulb (well, a rhizome, to be correct). It has grown more than steadily since then – it has multiplied into several plants, and now it's sending up flowers. It must like us!

This is where it lives. In a pot in the middle of a potted goldfish pond. Each Vee-shaped eruption of leaves represents a new branch of the rhizome forming under the soil surface, and each new branch is sending up flower stalks.

While some of the flowers seem to be popping out half-way up a stalk, others are the king of the hill, flowering at the very top of the stem. Any place they like to flower will do me. Several months ago I had plans of a symphony of blue flowers hopefully happening together, and some other plants in that vision splendid are chiming in nicely now.

The brodiaeas started flowering this week. These are South African bulbs planted here last autumn. They sent up very scrawny, unpromising little stalks a month or so ago, and in the last two weeks the top of each stalk then sent out several little arms, each arm bearing a blue star-shaped flower (or at least a flower bud, so far). Once they're all up (there are only half a dozen blooms in the patch so far, hence the close-up shot) it should look good.

These Ajuga reptans (commonly known as bugle) weren't actually part of my symphony in blue, but their little blue flower spikes are very welcome nevertheless. The third part of my little blue plan – some love-in-a-mist (Nigella) grown from seed are lagging slightly behind. There's still some hope that they'll come good, as they've been growing rapidly lately and might even catch up with the others. Even if I just managed a couple of weeks where all the little blue people were out together would be a stack of fun to see. Because that's why I'm doing it – just for fun.

And now for something completely different, to celebrate our Louisiana visitors. I have only recently figured out how those clever bloggers manage to embed You Tube videos in their blogs. As I am a major fan of Cajun music from Louisiana, and as I am spending a fair bit of my spare time researching all the different places and things I might see in the USA next year, I thought I'd roadtest my YouTubing skills with one of Louisiana's finest Cajun Bands, Balfa Toujours, in concert. They're someone I have seen before, when they visited Sydney, and who I'd very much like to see again.


Paul said...

Well done you. A gardening triumph and a technological triumph in one post.

I love the excitement a new flower brings.

patientgardener said...

It is so satisfying when a new acquisition flowers for the first time especially when it looks so healthy - means you have got it right

I adore Irises and have quite a few but not heard of Louisanna ones, maybe they are called something else here

Evelyn said...

Pretty! Yay, spring is here!

Sue O said...

Jamie, here's a new garden to consider for your trip. Follow the links on my blog post to read some interesting articles on it.
I visited it a couple of weeks ago.

landscape architecture sydney said...

This is excellent advice. Especially for those of us who are into gardening. Blogging is great, I am relatively new to it but I really like doing it. I probably like blogging because I like gardening. Lol.

Jamie said...

Thanks for the tips, Sue! Much appreciated (and added to the growing file, too)

Helen, the Louisiana iris are hybrids in countless forms which are very popular here in Australia and the southern USA. Apparently the Australian breeders are exporting varieties to the US these days. As they are not frost-hardy, they probably aren't sold in the UK.