Irises forum: Arranging Iris beds

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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 7, 2015 5:35 PM CST
Most of the folks I know who have large collections of Iris do some sort arrangement.. Whether it's by hybridizer, bloom season, color, or just stick the tall ones in back....

I tend to be a little obsessed with arrangement and how the colors go together. I printed up pictures of every Iris that's still in a pot. Then I separated them by bloom season, and then by height (I told you I was a little OCD).. So this is what I'm playing with. How about the rest of you?

That coffee table, BTW was a 350 year old Maple from the Pacific NW. I had a friend, who's a consulting arborist, who told me he was glad someone put the tree out of it's misery... then proceeded to tell me all the diseases that were killing it Hilarious! He was also the one who counted all the rings...

Thumb of 2015-10-07/Henhouse/5e3873 Thumb of 2015-10-07/Henhouse/0fd7e4

When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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janwax
Oct 7, 2015 6:03 PM CST
Sherry, it looks like fun, but also looks like a lot of work !...and it can only be done if you start
out with iris in pots, I imagine. I never do that. They're in the ground within a day or two of
receiving them. Consequently , I have a big beautiful mix! Lots of surprises. I do put the dwarfs. other shorties, and
intermediates up front or in a separate bed.
The day may come when I need to do more dividing, and then I'll know what I've got, and I can design the beds.
Good luck with your plans!

That's a magnificent table!
Iris is the goddess of the rainbow.
[Last edited by janwax - Oct 7, 2015 6:03 PM (+)]
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Oct 7, 2015 6:10 PM CST
I have done it just like that at times when I have a lot to place in a new bed. More recently I've tried to make a couple beds for just the later bloomers. It always looks too empty when there's one stray late bloomer in a bed of leaves. That way I still have some beds that look colorful when all of the others have ended. In fact I have one in part shade with late bloomers so that one is really late. I also put some of the early bloomers in that bed so that they bloom later so I can use them to make crosses with some of the later bloomers. I do the opposite with some late bloomers that I want to bloom earlier to use for crosses. Those go near the house in my microclimate. So many variables! Smiling
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.
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lovemyhouse
Oct 7, 2015 6:24 PM CST
Love the table, Sherry.

I did the cut-out photographs with Daylilies and it worked really well for the initial planning. Once I got the Iris Virus, I used Publisher and downloaded photographs to play mix and match with colors; and height to some extent. I am waiting a few years to see how the bloom cycles on the individual Irises actually work in my area. Learned with Daylilies that the reported bloom time is often different from when it blooms 'round here.
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 7, 2015 8:33 PM CST

lovemyhouse said:
Learned with Daylilies that the reported bloom time is often different from when it blooms 'round here.


As I'm getting a little better idea of seasonal timing, I've got many Iris that are listed as E-M-L.. I'm not sure what to do with them.. Do they really bloom all seasons, or are the hybridizers being optimistic?

Tom, I knew I could count on you to have some rhyme and reason to your planting scheme Hilarious!

Jen, It's not necessary to have everything potted up to put together a plan. You can do the picture arranging when you order them, and have the planting plan ready when the rhizomes arrive... I just pull pictures off the database to use for that purpose. I eventually replace them with my own pictures as they bloom. Using other's photos can have its drawbacks though, as you can't always depend on the color.. Every camera and lighting situation is different.. I've had some bad combos thinking a color was different than pictures showed... and sometimes you can only find one picture... So, I just think of it like a Japanese painting where there is always one imperfection. Smiling
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Cleta
Idaho Falls Idaho (Zone 4a)
Region: Idaho Lilies Irises
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cbelt1
Oct 7, 2015 8:45 PM CST
After planning on trades or for postage, I went to the data base for pics, printed them out, and went to my excel spreadsheet of iris I already have and input them so I know what colors I need to fill in my beds. The iris I received were planted so that no similar iris is near another, and they coordinate with the colors in the beds I already have. I have spent more time on the computer than I intended, organizing the spreadsheet, making lists with links to the database, and mapping the planting sections with addenda to the compendium of identification, care, transplanting and dividing info I did a couple of years ago of all the varieties of my flowers.
Cleta
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 7, 2015 9:08 PM CST
I keep thinking I will have it all figured out by bloom time, color, etc. But then I get a suprise box or two, or another order, or the beds aren't ready when the iris arrive soooo I have organized chaos. Each section is a mix of colors but I make complimentary groupings. For instance, I put a section of red, white, and red and white together with dark purple and blue selfs leading into the next section. I also put my Dragons together, and I have a good concentration of space agers in my Spoon Bed (mostly Burseen's).

I always have my smalls to the front. Again planted as complimentary colors. In the Spoon Bed they are ones that fit, like Inner Space, and Bermuda Triangle, and Viper, with exceptions of course.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
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 7, 2015 9:19 PM CST
Makes me excited to think about seeing everyone's beds next year.

Cleta, I know what you mean about time on the computer... I've spent sooooooo many hours inputting data and playing with pictures.. Ultimately, my screen isn't big enough to see everything at once, so I went to printing them out. I'll go back to the computer pictures when I get closer to double check on colors..
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
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irisarian
Oct 7, 2015 9:27 PM CST
Our way to plant is 'space free', stick an iris in it. We don't plant the same colors together so can really see what the iris is. I do keep those which I want to use in hybridizing in the same area, hoping that they will bloom at the same time.
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
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grannysgarden
Oct 8, 2015 5:37 AM CST
Henhouse said:
As I'm getting a little better idea of seasonal timing, I've got many Iris that are listed as E-M-L.. I'm not sure what to do with them.. Do they really bloom all seasons, or are the hybridizers being optimistic?


Sherry, in my experience the irises designated as blooming E-M-L have a reblooming possibility but are erratic in their spring bloom time and reblooming trait in my garden. Some years mine will bloom early and then send up a lone stalk very late. I seldom get rebloom from the E-M-L's.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Nancy
Ohio River Valley, West Virgin (Zone 6a)
Walk with wonder...
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bisbeegirl
Oct 8, 2015 9:23 AM CST
Green Grin! I have 2 beds for my Iris and also some wild iris on a small hill. My background of the largest bed are re-blooming White iris. I do not know the variety. A gift was made of them to me. This is the third year of re-bloom on these white ones ( including "Immorality") and in the spring I will be dividing this bed as the rhizomes have really gotten big. In front of the whites I have mostly dark purple Including Night Owl, Midsummer Night Dream, Night to Remember, and light purple Fogbound. As accent I have Day Glow, Don't Touch, Amber Gleam, Extreme Orange, Devils Riot and finally Fire-breather.
In the smaller bed, I have only a couple of the same unknown white RB, and this is where I planted most of my orange and rose colored iris, Lady Friend, I also have pastels Halloween Halo, Champagne Elegance, Chasing Rainbows. (planted this fall)
Boss Tweed, Jealous Halo, Lady Fire, Paninoforte, Tennison Ridge, Wise Wish, King Tush, and Rock and Roll Girl. I have had Great Luck with the Iris in this bed. I Can hardly wait until next year.
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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janwax
Oct 8, 2015 10:49 AM CST
Lucy - I'm like you - find a space and fill it! I also agree with not putting
many of the same color together. I did that with Acoma and Autumn Circus,
and I have a hard time telling them apart! I like the individuals to stand out.
I admire those who can plan for a special effect, but I think that's years ahead for me!

I'm giving some thought to putting earlys with earlys and laters with laters - somewhat.
I agree with Tom that just having a few stragglers in a leaf-filled bed isn't the best plan!
Iris is the goddess of the rainbow.
[Last edited by janwax - Oct 8, 2015 10:55 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 8, 2015 11:45 AM CST
Hi Nancy. To my knowledge, there's only one white re-blooming Iris -- and that is Immortality. Is that what you were referring to when you typed *Immorality*? Do your NOID's resemble your Immortality?
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
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 8, 2015 11:55 AM CST
A search of white self rebloomers came up with quite a few white TB's that rebloom actually. Your statement made me curious about it, so I checked the database.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Oct 8, 2015 6:27 PM CST
I like the organized chaos method mentioned! The new bed started out organized by hybridizer with no similar colored irises near each other. But more arrived so now the other bed had to be extended by hybridizer with no regard for color similarity. When spring arrives will see what needs to be moved around with rebloomers grouped separately as they require slightly different care and smaller ones toward the edges so they are more visible. Whatever works for each garden is 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 8, 2015 7:40 PM CST
With my recent orders, I was more careful putting the rebloomers in a bit moister area and trying not to put incongruous colors side by side. They are arranged by height with Sibs on the ends and a few JIs poked in the middle. I have started putting the French iris in one spot. I now have 3 areas of Fabian. A neighbor dumped a peony and several noIDs on my porch. Smiling I think they may go out back in the proposed poppy garden. Otherwise, the gardens are done intuitively.
Don't make fear based decisions.
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 8, 2015 8:24 PM CST
I like that -- "intuitively". Yeah -- I'm gonna use that, if ya don't mind!!! Green Grin!

Really Leslie? I'm amazed. I've never ever heard of another white rebloomer. Well -- there ya go -- ya think you know something, and ya don't. Shrug!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
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 8, 2015 8:51 PM CST
Yes Mary Ann there are, and they have names that signify they rebloom - I'll Be Back, White Autumn King, Autumn Clouds, Frequent Flyer, Second Coming, White Reprise, Winterland... you get the idea.
The things ya learn from the database! Big Grin
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Oct 9, 2015 2:28 PM CST
I just posted this on the other thread, but Zurbrigg had several other white rebloomers. One ,"I Do," is often confused with Immortality, and was, I believe, one of it's 'parents'.
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 9, 2015 8:48 PM CST
I think that 'I Do' was a parent, but I might have remembered incorrectly.

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