As the last vestiges of summer blooms have blackened ,the final few golden leaves of autumn float to the ground ,now is the time to think of early flowering plants and bulbs that will light up winter and early spring.

Iris unguicularis is native to Greece,Turkey ,W syria and Tunisia whereas Iris lazica is native to the Black Sea Coast of Turkey and S Georgia.

They are beardless rhizomatous Iris growing approx 12 inches high.Both like moist well drained soil and are happiest being baked in summer so ideal for base of a wall.

Iris lazica can tolerate more shade and moisture than I unguicularis.They both produce mauve blooms in late December through to March ,though Iris lazica tends to flower a little later.They are both resilient and once established can be left to flower each year

They are evergreen and their foliage can look a little scruffy in summer but this is easily overlooked when you harvest a few of the rolled up flower stms to place in a vase and enjoy watching the petals unfurl to expose a beautiful delicate scented flower.