Friday, May 14, 2010


For the last few weeks the irises have stolen the show in my yard. Though not as much as I'd hoped they would.

Up until last year, I had one kind of bearded iris: the wonderfully scented purple tall bearded iris that came from my sister's godmother, via my mother.

I had it at my last house, and moved some of it here with me. I have two good sized clumps, plus some more I got from mom two years ago. The new ones I planted in a row of ten, and for the last two years only two of those have bloomed. Possibly because they are in a rather shady spot, in front of the ivy-covered fence and between the Buddleia and a tree. But the clumps that bloom are profuse. And floppy. I do my best to tie them up, but they still flop over the path. I think it's their way of saying "Look at me!" "Don't I smell wonderful?" As if I wouldn't notice anyway.

Last year I traded for a whole bunch of new bearded iris. I think I counted 20 new varieties in my gardens. Some are named, some came just with a bloom description, and one bunch was just labeled "mixed". Of those 20, six bloomed this year.

The "mxed" iris (I have three) all bloomed, and bloomed the same scented purple I already have. That's ok, I put them in the blackberry bed, so I've enjoyed having purple flowers in a new part of the yard this year.

The first bloomer of the spring was a dwarf, Pilgrim's Choice, that I kept in a pot all winter (Blooming April 12, long before I expected to see any iris). Eventually I need to find a place for it in the yard, but I'm afraid I'll trample something so small.

Here's a bicolor purple, Wabash, blooming April 30. I love it!

Next up is "Honorabile", blooming in front of the sedum.

Magenta and butter, blooming on May 8. Stunning.

My favorite of the year is Snowbrook. I missed the first bloom while I was out of town. It hadn't quite opened when I left, and was finished by the time I returned. I had to wait patiently for the next bloom (OK, I wasn't very patient.) Here it is on May 8.

I do have some other iris in the yard. Four years ago I dug a clump of Siberian iris out of my cousin's front yard. They grew here, but didn't bloom. Last year I finally had one flower. This year I'm up to six. A much better show:

I also acquired two types of water iris last year. No blooms this year.

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