I was a little suprised when I saw this combination of winter aconite and miniature iris growing in my garden this week.
Both of these plants are early spring blooming bulbs.
I did plant them both, several years apart, not really thinking about how they would look together, or to be truthful, even caring.
In fact, I forgot all about the iris.
This is a common thing for me to do in my garden.
I am a plant collector, after all, so when a new plant comes my way, I think about what conditions the plant would prefer to grow in, not where it would look good.
Winter aconite was a plant I lusted after for many years before trading for a start in early May at our local Master Gardener plant swap.
I came home, promtly after the plant swap with no intention of doing anything else for the rest of the day but planting.
The iris were done blooming by May and it is quite possible their foliage had already died back or was hidden by an emerging perennial plant.
The iris were a quick purchase I made at a local big box store one year when they were in bloom early in the season.
We all want something blooming in our garden 12 months out of the year and when spring weather arrives, I am more than ready for a garden full of flowers.
I simply cannot stand the way nurseries force their plants into bloom just to get them out to the consumers, who, of course, plant them way too early.
Most of these plants either die, or look so bad the gardener cuts them back or rips them out.
I too have been guilty of buying plants way too early only to see their beauty cut short by frost.
There are ways to prevent this however.
Use row cover, also known as frost cover, or protect them at night with homemade cloches.
Make these from milk jugs, 2-liter bottles or any other container that does not have holes and will protect the plants from frost or extreme cold weather.
After all, buying some plants way before the ideal planting time is the only way to get them locally!