Irises forum: Companions with Iris

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Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Oct 16, 2014 1:57 AM CST
I love combining plants. Sometimes I'm more successful than other times, and sometimes the combinations are accidental.

Here are some that work for me... What have you found to be nice together?

The beards in 'Spiced Custard' are picked up in California poppies
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The variegated foliage of Euphorbia 'Tasmanian Tiger' looks really clean with 'Purple Pepper'
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'Concertina' with Nepeta flowers echoing the beard.
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Roses are naturals with Iris. Here's 'Classic Look' (possibly) with Rose 'Radio Times'
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'Cherry Blossom Song' with a geranium I've managed to keep alive since my daughter's wedding 6 years ago.
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'Competitive Edge' blends nicely with the purple foliage of this dwarf Berberis.
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Sometimes it's just a vibrant foliage that lights up a flower.
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And then there's Iris with Iris Smiling Also with Spanish Lavender and roses in the background. Irises front to back: 'Smart Money', 'Edgefield Glow', 'Halloween Halo' & ' First Interstate'.
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When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Vi
Ocean Springs, MS (Zone 8b)
Irises Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United Kingdom Region: United States of America Region: Mississippi
Charter ATP Member Daylilies Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Ideas: Level 2
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stetchworth
Oct 16, 2014 2:43 AM CST
Sherry, beautiful combinations, they have worked out really well together. Thumbs up
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Oct 16, 2014 4:43 AM CST
Very pretty, Sherry. I don't have many companion plants that bloom at the same time as the irises, most of the mixed beds I have are more for successive color. Tulips bloom, daffs, and peonies, then dwarf irises, then MTB irises, then TB irises, a few sibs, then lilies, then Daylilies and some mums at the end. A half dozen Clematis bloom on and off all summer. And some spider wart that blooms all summer. I guess the coriopsis (sp?) jumps in there some place, and is still in bloom. A couple of plants with various colors of foliage thrown in for good measure.
A bed during iris bloom Blue star flower is blooming too I guess. and a rose that I just planted, but I don't think it will bloom that early in future years.
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Same bed during lily bloom, daylilies are just starting here, I didn't take a picture of the bed when they were in full bloom
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Here's Wintry Sky and a NOID Sib
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I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
Seller of Garden Stuff
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PollyK
Oct 16, 2014 6:53 AM CST
Great combos! I like any blue iris or one with a blue beard with nepeta.
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Muddymitts
Oct 16, 2014 7:43 AM CST
My beds are pretty much Iris only -- except there's a few peonies interspersed, which bloom at the same time as the Irises. Iris Lane has a center planting of lemon lilies which start up as the Irises are finishing up. I like the idea of mixing different plants -- just don't have the time, at this point. The Irises have taken up all my garden time the past two years. Blinking
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Oct 16, 2014 8:00 AM CST
Haven't had a lot of Iris until this year. Most of them are mixed together with many other plants with all kinds of different bloom times: Dark Towers Penstemon, Clematis Florida sieboldii, Salvia greggii, Daylilies, Roses, Lilies, Asclepias, Dianthus, Daffodils, Gerberas, and Veronica. Next Spring should give me more and better combination photographs. Smiling
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If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Oct 16, 2014 8:34 AM CST
We had all "mixed beds" at the "old" house, and ,I'll admit it looked nice....something blooming all the time, with one flower complimenting another. BUT, it was a constant struggle keeping everything happy...one needs a drink, and it's neighbor was too wet...the one that needed a little extra fertilizer to bloom well always seemed to be next to one that wanted no extra food, etc., etc.
So we decided when we moved ,and 'started over", that the iris, for the most part, would be "alone" in beds by themselves. The exception is the borders of "spring bulbs", and a few, true lilies. The spring bulbs are done when the iris start, and don't impede air flow at the time the iris really need it, and the lilies come after the iris, are not "invasive" at all, and, again, don't impede the airflow in the beds.
All our perennial beds are "mixed', and even have a few annuals ,in some spots, for fill-in color....but no iris !
[Last edited by crowrita1 - Oct 16, 2014 9:53 AM (+)]
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Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Muddymitts
Oct 16, 2014 9:47 AM CST
There's that gorgeous chocolate Iris of yours, Deb.................... Lovey dubby
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Oct 16, 2014 10:40 AM CST
Yours is doing well in its pot, be ready for shipping in Spring. Smiling
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Oct 16, 2014 10:50 AM CST
Tom, I really love your combinations.. The yellow-foliaged shrub and grass really add a spark to those beds. Could you name the iris in your beds for us? I think I'm in love with the purple and blue one in the right of the first picture.

Debra- I used to combine many more clematis.. I'll have to get going on that again! Your 'Seiboldii' looks great with that purple Iris.. and I'm guessing that's the Salvia greggii with the little dots of color.. and yes... What is that chocolate Iris?

Arlyn, I try to mix plants that require the same culture as the Iris. Nepeta, Heuchera, Dianthus, any of the Blue Fescues, Roses, Shasta Daisies, Lavender.... Do you give thought into how you'll combine the Iris when you plant them? Or do you have beds by breeder, year of introduction, by color, or alphabetically?
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Oct 16, 2014 11:08 AM CST
Well, Sherry, my main "goal" is to plant by height .....taller ones towards the 'back" of the bed...and try to keep the colors separated....i.e. don't plant 2 yellow selfs next to each other, without ,maybe, a dark purple in between. My goal is seldom achieved, though ! It's pretty hard to guess just how "big' some iris will grow....every soil and climate seem to treat them a little differently....and even shades of color can be different in different soils. I have "relocated' an iris, now and again, because I thought it would look better in a different "neighborhood", or, to get the "seasons of bloom" spread out a little better, but, generally, I like the look of "no particular pattern" Sticking tongue out
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Oct 16, 2014 11:18 AM CST
Yes, that pink is Wild Thing Salvia greggii. Does exceptionally well in drought. Good thing, as we now have a four-year rain deficit of more than 32 inches. Have New Gold Lantana, Tahiti Daffodils, and H. fulva Daylily growing in that same location. They all shade the Clematis roots, while the tower lets the vines climb. The pink blooms to the left in this photo was a Wild Thing shrub rose, which I have since dug up and discarded.
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Not positive of the ID for that chocolatey-looking Iris. Based on purchase records I found not too long ago, I think it is Copper Classic. I sent Tom some rhizomes earlier this year before I found the payment record; he has Copper Classic and said he will do a comparison.
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If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Oct 16, 2014 11:46 AM CST
Just make sure that companion plants dn't shade the rhizomes. Companions look pretty. but as Arlyn says that can be a bother, we start with dwarf irises & go through the talls. the Siberians are in a separate bed by themselves. They have more shade than I like, but dug the present bed to replace the first one which became too shady & we are too old to do that again. Maintenance is enough.
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Oct 16, 2014 11:56 AM CST
Beautiful photos everyone! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

Sherry I especially like Competitive Edge with the berberis in the background!
Greg your mixed beds are gorgeous!

I have kept most of my iris separate from the other plants because I was concerned about rot problems....but I sure like the look of the mixed beds!
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Oct 16, 2014 11:58 AM CST
I am glad others asked because I love that copper brown iris of yours. Lovey dubby Hope it gets ID-ed so I know where to start looking for it!


My beds are all just iris. I love all the various companion plants you have all put with your iris. I just don't have the time to plant any. All that time seems to taken up building more iris beds!!!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
[Last edited by Lestv - Oct 16, 2014 12:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Oct 16, 2014 2:04 PM CST
Here's the ID's for the previously posted pic. This is my historic bed.
Starting at 12:00 is Loriley
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At 2:00 is a NOID Historic purple bitone (I think this is the one you liked Sherry)
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4:00 Showcase

5:00 Rhages

7:00 NOID historic Yellow
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8:00 Flavescence
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9:00 Willian A Sitchel
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10:00 Honorable
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I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
Irises Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Composter Organic Gardener
Garden Art Daylilies
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Linneaj
Oct 16, 2014 3:32 PM CST
I threw all my old seeds on the slope of the new iris bed. Most of them did not come up. Some of them may come up next year and bloom. I have a few mystery greeneries. Otherwise, I tried to arrange by height. The front slope is always dry and sunny. I don't think it could get too damp for the iris.

There are always purple violets and/or their heart shaped leaves, curly spearmint, moneywort, and variegated Bishop's Weed. I sell those, so they never take over. I have some sort of mustard that planted itself. It has deep green leaves, is delicious and very pretty!

The zinnias and cilantro have been bright and fluffy through the end of the growing season. Lots of tulips, daffodils, anemones, Dutch iris and other bulbs have been planted. Next year will be a fill in of perennials. Platycodons are one of my favorites. I have seeds from area plants and some coming from Japan. Tomatoes have already been planted. Fall planted tomato seeds come up in God's time. I chuck them all over the yard.

It is dark, warm and rainy today. Perhaps I will get to fall pics this weekend. I have a beautiful rose that isn't what it was labeled as. That one is planted with the purple, yellow and purple/yellow bi-color noIDs that came free from Craigslist.

My favorites in the bunch above, have got to be Concertina and Loreley. Iris are such happy looking flowers! Geraniums are fun too. They are lovely in the window all winter!
Don't make fear based decisions.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Oct 16, 2014 6:04 PM CST
Sherry, what is that copper colored one in picture #7? Ilike it a lot!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Muddymitts
Oct 16, 2014 6:08 PM CST
lovemyhouse said:Yours is doing well in its pot, be ready for shipping in Spring. Smiling


Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Lovey dubby
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Muddymitts
Oct 16, 2014 6:13 PM CST
Tom -- what is that pretty blue Iris -- fourth picture above? (your post from 5:43 this morning)
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])

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