Plant of the Month: March

by Maggie Sugden

The illusive Iris ‘Katharine Hodgson’ (Reticulata).
Image courtesy of HPS Image Library

Like most gardeners spring is my favourite time of year, although I love all the seasons. Iris reticulata is one of the sweetest spring flowers and if grown in pots outside can flower very early. I dry the bulbs over the summer just in a pot in the greenhouse and in the autumn plant them out in pots. I keep trying new ones and sometimes have failures in fact I don’t seem to be able to grow Katharine Hodgkin at all.

Helleborus x hybridus white spotted.
Image Courtesy of HPS Image Library

Hellebore orientalis is propagated in great numbers nowadays and we are able to buy a wide variety of different colours. They are beautiful planted on a bank so you can see the centre of the flower but there are a lot being developed now with the flower facing upwards. I love them and have quite a few even though I have a small garden. While they are in flower I have a bowl full of their heads on display inside and it never fails to cheer me up through the bad weather. Happy gardening

Maggie

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