First Blooms

The first spring blooms have blossomed.  I’ve watched my irises, recognizing that the burst of color was imminent, and here it is.

Dotted with last night’s raindrops, the unknown variety has graced my garden for years.  I’ve researched this lovely, mostly by photos, and have found several species that are similar to what I grow, but I haven’t ever committed to anointing this iris by name.  Weirdly, I look far and wide when I’m identifying native plants and have, on occasion, spent hours scrolling through photos and descriptions in attempts to identify an unrecognized plant.  Yet with the iris plants, I’m content to simply enjoy the beauty of this non-native, without need for a definitive name.

It’s really a misnomer that the irises abloom today are the “first” blooms, since there are several perennials that have bloomed all winter.  But irises are quintessential spring flowers and I think it’s fair to allow them the title of number one–just because.


The true surprise this morning was the first open poppy of spring 2020.

I’d seen the buds, but guessed one or another would open later in the week.  A German friend gave me seeds many years ago;  I sowed those seeds and 20 years later, reap the benefits of their beauty and pollinator activity.   I collect seeds from each crop in late spring, sprinkle those seeds in autumn, and enjoy the bounty in March and April.

The poppies, or at least these firsts, are early.

Honeybees love these flowers, though none were up this morning to work in this first bloom’s offerings. I imagine bees will visit as the sun appears and day progresses.

Honeybees–like the garden–are ramping up for the growing season.

20 thoughts on “First Blooms

  1. I didn’t know until recently that there’s a sort of consensus that it was the iris which was the model for the French fleur-de-lis rather than the lily. When I look at the falls, I really can see it. And tomorrow’s Mardi Gras — we’re right on schedule with our iris posts!


  2. Oh, now that’s exciting! We won’t see Irises until May and June. I’m jealous. But I do see some Alliums and Dutch bulb plants making amazing progress under the snow here (as it recedes). Your pictures are warm and welcoming! Would love to see you at the Fling this year–it’s in Madison and I’m on the planning committee. It should be quite comfortable here in June. 🙂


    • We’re early here with the irises, but I have to admit that it’s nice to see them. There’s a freeze in the forecast, but only to 32, plus I’m in the middle of Austin, so I’m not too concerned. Yet. 🙂

      I’ve love to go to Madison someday; I understand it’s a lovely city. It won’t be for the Fling, though thanks for thinking of me, Beth. Good luck with all your planning–you’re very brave.


  3. Poppies and iris abloom in February. Amazing since you are roughly 120 miles south of my area. Indeed, I think your garden is a micro climate. But on the other hand I reckon that 100 or so miles south, makes a vast difference.


    • Well, such a mild winter–second in a row, alongside last year. The poppy blooming is a first, though. The one that’s bloomed seeded into a pot and the plant itself isn’t tall, so I imagine that had something to do with its early maturation. None of the other poppies are ready to pop. But yes, I am in a micro-climate; my neighborhood is just south of 183, east of MoPac, west of Burnet Road–smack dab middle of Austin.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well I commented and the your blog said, “you have already said that.” This has been happening to me on another blog. I didn’t have much to say so I will just let you that I tried. I looked to see if it had posted but I did not see it anywhere. Very odd. Maybe my computer has a bug.


    • As I was looking through your last post and admiring your gorgeous blooms, I wondered when your iris bloomed. Mine are very early this year, back in the day, they’d bloom in March/April. Sigh.


  5. That is an early poppy! We’ve had white irises booking along the walk home from school for a few weeks. A friend saw her first blue bonnet down 35 last week… It’s only February, y’all!


  6. To me, the iris looks like a cultivar of bearded iris, which would likely be impossible to identify. There are just too many of them to know for sure which one yours is. However, you might want to investigate the possibility of it being Iris pallida. It sort of looks like it could be. There are not many colors of this species. It is an old traditional iris that was grown for orris root. I believe that was what mine were for. They came from my great grandmother’s garden. They look like yours, but are more lavender blue. The color is variable, and is more blue for some years, and more purplish for others.


    • You might be correct. Mine resemble several cultivars, with slight differences. I have another gorgeous iris–a deep, rich lavender (contradiction!) and that’s also one that I’ve never quite identified. I’m content to simply grow, enjoy, and share them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Enjoying them is important. I appreciate knowing what species my great grandmother’s iris are, but I enjoy them no more than I did before I knew.


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