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The first of the reticulata irises are starting to flower. This is: Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin'. It's small and dainty and heralds the end of winter.

@GwenfarsGarden
Wow, it's gorgeous... And a convenient early food source for bees, too!

@InvaderXan it is. I'm slowly adding more early flowering bulbs for just this reason.

@GwenfarsGarden
Good plan! If you don't already, dandelions are good to grow too, and they're edible in various ways!

@InvaderXan these flower much earlier than dandelions. By the time the dandelions start flowering I have plenty of spring plants flowering, so I feel I can avoid them.

I know you can do things with dandelions, but for me, they self seed too easily and just create more work.

@GwenfarsGarden
Ah, ok, I can understand that. Besides, plenty grow wild if you want to make tea or salads.

Impressive that these flower so early!

@InvaderXan there are a number of bulbs that flower now. My first daffs are about to flower too. Over the next couple of days I'll post some more pics of those flowering now.

@GwenfarsGarden Then I look forward to it. Hmmm... I guess maybe it's already later in the year than I though. My brain still thinks it's the start of February for some reason...

@InvaderXan it's more that most people don't realise you can get earlier flowering bulbs and plants. My Hellebores and violas have been sending up continuous new flowers since December, and I have bulbs that started flowering at the end of Jan. And because it's so mild, it brings even more up quickly.

And then there are carpets of snowdrops flowering now. Hoping to go and see some tomorrow, in fact.

@GwenfarsGarden
Yeah, I've noticed that flowers seem to be blooming earlier and earlier in recent years. And as much as I like flowers... Well, you know...

@InvaderXan @GwenfarsGarden
I have a cultivated variety of dandelion I'm looking forward to trying soon.. they actually seem to form "heads" and keep very tender-looking, curly leaves. Can be eaten raw without much more bitterness than a dark lettuce, too. I'm waiting to see their flowers and see how well they set seed..
Apparently the thing with dandelions is to blanch and sauté, perhaps with this variety I can skip the blanching..

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Sunbeam City is a Libertarian Socialist solarpunk instance. It is ran democratically by a cooperative of like-minded individuals.