|This is a miniature, early blooming iris given to me by a customer. Iris pumila? I wish I knew the variety name. I DO know that it blooms in mid-May with the last of the daffodils, is very fragrant, and has occasionally rebloomed in the fall!|
|Iris germanica 'Swingtown' is magnificent. It blooms in late May and June with my red peonies and red pyrethrum daisies. Quite a contrast!|
I am totally, madly in love with irises. All irises. There is something about their flower form, their voluptuousness, their drama that makes my heart soar. Luckily for me, I have irises blooming in my garden from February until July, with repeat blooms in the fall on a few varieties.
Years ago, one of my customers gave me a bag of iris rhizomes in August. I happened to be moving that year, so I didn't plant them. I kept them in a flat of soil and put them in a protected spot until I moved. The next spring, I finally planted them in my new home. Imagine my surprise the following spring when they came up and they were miniature! They bloomed in May. I was enchanted. In the past 8 years I have moved divisions all around my gardens and given many away.
In late May and June, my yard is filled with every color of bearded (German) irises that I can squeeze in. Because most of my yard is poorly drained, thick clay soil, they can only be planted in my courtyard, on the slope by the driveway, and in my main border outside my design studio. That's okay, those are the locations where I spend the most time. Bearded irises like well drained, alkaline soil. They have a swollen rhizome which stays on the soil surface. Plant them in a wet spot and they will die. I have other irises for my poorly drained lower back yard.
Iris is the goddess of the rainbow. Irises come in every color of the rainbow. During the brief 2-3 weeks when my bearded irises are in bloom, I am in heaven. I wander from flower to flower, sinking my nose deep in the blossoms, inhaling the scent of cotton candy! I photograph them. I stare at them. They are just so amazing and intricate.
Over the course of this 365 day blog, I will be sharing with you all sorts of irises that I grow and love. Just thinking about them helps take the edge off of this dreary winter day.