I wrote a post earlier in the week about my pyjama walk in the garden. I did some work in the garden (edging, weeding, gazing) and then stopped for my morning coffee. I sat outside in the sun, to listen to the birdsong and the bumbling of bees.

First I admired the dwarf irises,

Iris reticulata ‘Alida’

and then the tulip foliage.

Ziggy joined me. He became distracted by the low hum of a bumblebee amongst the irises.

These irises are bee magnets. This little pot is rarely without a visitor or two.

Iris reticulata ‘Alida’ with a bumblebee

I love watching any type of bee, but bumblebees are especially endearing. Especially when they dive nose-first into a flower and tip up their furry bums.

Iris reticulata ‘Alida’ with an upturned bumblebee

Ziggy’s nose got a little too close. I uttered a low warning, and he withdrew.

Ziggy observing bumblebee. They share the same colouring.

Iris reticulata ‘Alida’ is still looking fresh, but ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ (below) is just starting to go over.

Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’

Her petals are getting more papery-thin, and just starting to curl back on themselves. 

Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’

During my Pyjama Walk, I showed you this little dwarf iris. Here he is now in the sunshine, with crocuses behind. I love the sharp angles of this iris.

Iris reticulata, variety unknown.

I have planted more crocuses under the apple tree. These look lovely with the sun shining through.

Crocus ‘Flower Record’

This is one of the longest-flowering plants in the garden, the perennial wallflower, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’. It just took January and February off as annual leave, and is set to go for another ten months of the year.

Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

Here’s another bumblebee visiting a crocus.

Crocus tommasinianus with a bumblebee

Bums to the sun!

Crocus tommasinianus with a bumblebee

I thought you might like a close-up of the frilly stigma in a crocus. Admire too the shadow of the stigma on the sparkly petal.

Crocus tommasinianus close up

The stigma (the female sticky part, where the pollen lands) is a slightly brighter tangerine than the anthers (the male parts, where the pollen was produced). This crocus is just going over. The petals and the anthers have done their job and are shrivelling away.

Crocus tommasinianus going over

I have planted 400 tulip bulbs in my raised beds. They are poking their snouts through the soil, wondering if it is warm enough to come out yet.

As the crocuses and irises go over, it will be the turn of the tulips. I can’t wait.

If you would like to join me for the marvellous Bollywood production that is Tulip Time, you might like to ‘follow’ The Mindful Gardener by clicking on the big button at the bottom of the page. You will receive an email notification each time I publish a tulip-filled post.

31 Comments Add yours

  1. Ms. Liz says:

    Wonderful photos of Alida, very beautiful!

  2. Emma Cownie says:

    Love the photos of the bumblebee head diving into the flowers!

  3. Rupali says:

    Flowers have blommed perfectly well and bees are on work. Here the weather is playing tricks.

    1. We had a very cold and windy day today. Typical March: totally unpredictable!

  4. Ann Mackay says:

    The bum-up bumble-bee in the crocus made me smile. 🙂

  5. Looking so pretty and the bumble bee bum is so precious. Darling photos of spring!

    1. Glad you enjoyed them, Cindy. Especially the derriere!

  6. shazza says:

    Your garden looks so colourful . Glad Ziggy didn’t get stung. Dogs are just as curious as cats I think. 🤗

    1. Ziggy is very interested in bumblebees. Fortunately he is a hopeless hunter.

  7. Angela says:

    Your posts are always such a treat.

    1. Thank you Angela, that is lovely to hear.

  8. bcparkison says:

    I’m not sure I even knew about short little iris but goodness they are lovely. and the bee photos are really good.. Thanks.

  9. Thank you, Ali, for planting hope in my winter-tired heart. I trust all my crocuses are merely sleeping under white blankets getting dimpled by sleet this morning.

    1. They’re there! Just waiting. ❤️

  10. Heyjude says:

    400 tulip bulbs!! I hope you didn’t buy them all from SR 😀
    Love the bumble bums,well captured. My crocuses and irises have all gone now. Freya put paid to them, but they did give a wonderful performance this year.

    1. Gosh no! A mix of JParkers wholesale and GT Bulbs – very good value!! Some might say a little too tempting!!

      1. Heyjude says:

        I have some J Parkers tulips this year, be interesting to see how they compare to SR. I must admit her bulbs do seem bigger.

  11. So beautiful! Cannot wait for the tulips!!

  12. Lovely Irises. I love Iris, bumblebees and doggies so this post has it all! Nice to see Ziggy!

    1. He does rather steal the show, doesn’t he?

      1. They do that. Watching crufts today?

      2. No, I missed it. Ziggy gets a bit jealous.

  13. It looks like spring is in full bloom over your way! Beautiful! I love all these photos, but Ziggy is particularly adorable, and I love the photo with the bumblebee.

    1. I am very fond of bumblebees. And Ziggy.

  14. Chloris says:

    I love these little irises so much, I only wish they would last a little longer. Lovely bumblebees, the poor things must be blown away this week.

    1. They are very fleeting, aren’t they? Though I’ve found everything seems to have rushed into flower early to replace them this year.

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