These irises are my favourites in February. They are the dwarf reticulate iris, Katharine Hodgkin. In full bloom they stand about five inches tall and are most often planted in rockeries, but I have mine in a more messy, informal grouping under a weeping pear.
The books say the bulbs should be planted in a light, neutral soil in full sun. My soil is extremely sandy and so to prevent the bulbs drying and shrivelling up in the dormant season I’ve planted in the shade of a deciduous tree.
Once the irises have stopped flowering the small tree comes into leaf and provides light shade to shield the bulbs. And, as a bit of insurance I also cover them with a thick bark mulch to keep the moisture in and the weeds at bay.