Irises forum: Bearded Iris recommendations for the mixed border

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 1408, Replies: 25 » Jump to the end
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Oct 22, 2014 10:22 AM CST
While I have amassed quite a collection, I'm not really a collector. All my Irises are for mixed perennial beds, which I realize is not optimum growing conditions for bearded Irises, but many perform well in spite of the challenge. I find varieties that grow and increase vigorously are best for mixed gardens, but am also looking for those with strong stems, high bud count, and good substance that can take some rain.

What varieties do you grow that show these qualities?
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
Image
DaveinPA
Oct 22, 2014 11:23 AM CST
I can think of three right away, all oldies that have withstood years of growing in this country:
Indian Chief, good increase, holds up well, good number of blooms
Lent A Williamson, same comments
Eleanor Roosevelt, an IB that reblooms, same comments

Indian Chief buds
Thumb of 2014-10-22/DaveinPA/174f54

Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Image
Henhouse
Oct 22, 2014 12:07 PM CST
Since we don't get a lot of rain, it's hard for me to comment on what would do well with that. But here are some of my best performers.

'Classic Look' is a beautiful white & purple plicata that I have growing in several locations. It goes with everything.
Thumb of 2014-10-22/Henhouse/adc8b8

'Competitive Edge' is growing in poor soil, yet keeps on keeping on.. Shown here w/ a dwarf Berberis.
Thumb of 2014-10-22/Henhouse/f1b21b

'Quaker Lady' out where the gophers roam.
Thumb of 2014-10-22/Henhouse/41ac90

'Indian Chief' is a strong grower and pretty much bomb proof. Here with Spanish Lavender.
Thumb of 2014-10-22/Henhouse/3e1e85

Someone gave me 'Spring Bliss' last August with a spike on it. Spring bloom was ok, then it bloomed some in July, but right now it's got 8-10 spikes in full bloom. It's not too tall (although taller than it would appear in the picture), so I'd think it would hold up well to rain.


Judging by the growth in one year, for vigor I'd add: Alcazar, Confetti, Conjuration, Splashacata, Paul Black, IB Hot Spice and probably quite a few more.. But this should give you something to start with...








When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
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
Image
irisarian
Oct 22, 2014 12:14 PM CST
The main things is for the other plants not to shade the rhizome.
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
Oct 22, 2014 12:19 PM CST
By take the rain, do you mean grow well in a rainy environment, or blooms that don't wilt in the rain? Heaven knows I get plenty of rain in NC, and have many that would fit that definition of take rain, but many of them have blooms that also wilt in a good rain shower.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
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
Image
lovemyhouse
Oct 22, 2014 12:56 PM CST
Going with what Leslie said, these two are troupers for me. Lots of buds, tough in drought, tolerant of afternoon shade and heavy clay soil, stalks stand up to heavy rainfall, but the blooms tend to shred or spot when it does rain.

This one is tentatively identified as Copper Classic. Tom is growing some of mine along with his ID'd Copper Classic, so should know for sure next Spring:

Thumb of 2014-10-22/lovemyhouse/9edfbb Thumb of 2014-10-22/lovemyhouse/e8506c
Thumb of 2014-10-22/lovemyhouse/0f0710

Orange Harvest. Is listed as a rebloomer, but it only ever blooms in November for me. The scapes do not usually stay down in the foliage as is shown in a couple of these photos. This year was weird for a lot of plants.
Thumb of 2014-10-22/lovemyhouse/ecbb6e Thumb of 2014-10-22/lovemyhouse/785fe6
Thumb of 2014-10-22/lovemyhouse/e1f4ca Thumb of 2014-10-22/lovemyhouse/9408b6

If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Oct 22, 2014 1:43 PM CST
Indian Chief can't be beat for an iron clad constitution! I have some that bloomed like mad even while they were full of grass and weeds (they've been properly weeded and cared for now Smiling ). Many of the oldies are extra tough, and don't seem to mind competition.

Sherry, Spring Bliss is extra lovely!

Leslie, I meant blooms and stalks that can stand up to rain. More often than not, our summers tend to be dry, although that wasn't the case this year.

Debra, Orange Harvest is a beauty! And nice to see an orange recommended too.

I'm pretty good about keeping everything from growing to closely to Irises while they're young clumps, but once they've formed decent sized clumps, they've got to fend for themselves a bit. Some varieties are more finicky and show signs of decline when that happens, and I try to avoid those.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
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
Image
lovemyhouse
Oct 22, 2014 1:59 PM CST
All of mine are neglected and these two thrive anyway. Don't think you can go wrong with the Orange Harvest. Mine have been encroached upon by some NOIDs and I am waiting for bloom to separate and mark. Once I do that, be happy to section it out for you. Think it would be too late in the year by then for you to plant, but I would be happy to send some of it to you next Spring.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Oct 22, 2014 3:59 PM CST
Thank you Debra, that is so kind of you! True, next year would be best. In spring I'll be posting pics of my clumps, and if you see some you'd like, I'd be happy to share as well.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
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
Image
tveguy3
Oct 22, 2014 5:42 PM CST
Neal, I've had good luck with Mariposa Skies in my mixed beds, along with Breakers, Juke Box Hero, Brides Halo, Loreley, Ball of Confusion, Foreign Legion, Stars and Strips Forever, Plum Pretty Whiskers, Dutchman's Dream, and Piccadilly Circus. They seem to not mind a bit more shade and moisture that comes with a mixed bed. I should have some of all of these should you want some next spring for postage.
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: 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
Image
lovemyhouse
Oct 22, 2014 5:43 PM CST
Neal, Tom sent me some Stars and Stripes Forever this year and it is really vigorous.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
Image
Misawa77
Oct 22, 2014 5:56 PM CST
Piccadilly circus looks unusual. I need to add that to my list! Smiling
Name: Ken
Traverse City, Michigan (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Michigan Irises Daylilies
Region: United States of America Cat Lover
Image
bramedog
Oct 22, 2014 6:20 PM CST
I think this is old timer, Rhein Nixe (PBF). It does well in mixed beds and blooms like crazy, increases fast. Holds up to strong winds better than anything I have. I don't think I have ever had one of it's spindly looking stalks blow over.
Thumb of 2014-10-23/bramedog/d57b54

Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
grannysgarden
Oct 22, 2014 6:35 PM CST
We always have storms in the spring and I have to stake bloom stalks on TB's. I do not have to stake BB's and some of them are gorgeous. I do have mixed beds with iris in them and I find the plantings against a west fence protects them from storm damage. Now, knock on wood that a big wind does not blow the fence away!
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
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 22, 2014 7:13 PM CST
Neal -- you would love Jukebox Hero (from Tom) -- it's gorgeous!!!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
Irises Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Composter Organic Gardener
Garden Art Daylilies
Image
Linneaj
Oct 22, 2014 7:41 PM CST
Rhein Nixe is fantastic!
Don't make fear based decisions.
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
Image
DaveinPA
Oct 22, 2014 9:33 PM CST
Ken,
I compared your picture to mine from this year and from what I see you definitely have Rhein Nixe.
Name: Ken
Traverse City, Michigan (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Michigan Irises Daylilies
Region: United States of America Cat Lover
Image
bramedog
Oct 22, 2014 9:41 PM CST
Thanks Dave. I rescued it out of the woods a few years back. Grows like crazy here.
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
Image
Moiris
Oct 23, 2014 10:14 AM CST
It's beautiful!!
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Oct 23, 2014 1:32 PM CST
Tom, that's a great list! And a generous offer- thank you! I'll look them up and see which varieties are tempting.

Ken, Rhein Nixe is lovely!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Irises forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by Whitebeard and is called "variegated impatiens"