Irises forum: Ok..I am gonna give it a try

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Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
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MISSINGROSIE
Mar 8, 2016 8:56 AM CST
I am going to move the iris my neighbor gave me to a more conducive spot.

And since what I read says deer won't eat and if they do browse to test the waters.... Won't kill.

And I will try some new varieties...other than this 'chocolate' which is not...

So..off the top of your head ( because I need to look and learn for myself )

Can you make iris recommendations for starting the iris garden?

Will iris take a few years to bloom...because that will impact the site I choose.

Do you think they show better if all one color --in a swath or do you mix them up with other colors -- or should I mingle with other companion plants? I will do the research but it won't be as good as your experience. Thank you.

The one iris grouping I have has bloomed little...and the iris looks like a bridal bouquet from the 60's ..long and wide.. Very unusual stripes in the middle ..solid color petals in other areas. I would describe as a stacked double.... I think I would like to shoot for the singles that appear to be only one bloom.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
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
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gemini_sage
Mar 8, 2016 9:50 AM CST
I'm assuming you're considering bearded iris varieties? There are many to choose from and some are more vigorous than others. Any particular colors or size you prefer? Of course around here we're likely to advise you to try an assortment of many sizes and colors to experiment with and see which ones you like best- we really like getting others addicted to irises! Hilarious!

You may consider browsing the data base and that will give you a better idea if you like modern varieties better than historics (or the other way around), or you may prefer medians over tall beardeds. Then we can recommend varieties till the cows come home!
"...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
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tveguy3
Mar 8, 2016 10:01 AM CST
Welcome! to the iris thread, good to see you here. You have lots of questions, I will help with what I can, and others will surely chime in.

I don't know about the deer thing, I don't have issues with that here.

When you choose a place for the irises, it's best if they have full sun, or at least a half day of sun. A well drained spot is best as the bearded varieties don't like to be too wet.

As for colors, there are many, go with what ever you like. You might want to check out some of the vendors listed in the vendor thread and see which ones you like. Some of us have some to share each year, and either sell them, trade them, or ship them for postage. Just start by making a list of the ones you like best and then start searching for where you might find them. Some people make beds that are complimentary colors, others mix them up. I always mix them up, I try to put colors next to one another that will make both look better, like white or pastels next to darker colored ones. You just have to experiment, and remember if you don't like two together, you can move them easily to a better spot.

Many of the irises you plant this summer will bloom next summer. Some may take an extra year to bloom. Every 3 to 4 years you may want to divide them, as when they get too crowded they don't bloom very well.

Some irises bloom early, and some mid season, and some late. They come in all sizes too, with the little ones blooming often before the taller ones bloom. Good luck, I'm sure others have more info to share too. So if you have more questions, be sure to holler! Smiling 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: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Mar 8, 2016 10:15 AM CST
Ok

I will do that..
Here is a photo of the bloom of what my neighbor said was " chocolate " and someone mentioned...likely mislabeled or growing near the " chocolate " since only two bloomed... Truthfully, I figured the deer would eat and I did not want to mess...and yet did not want to disrespect her gift. But, I have been seeing photos here and with the close up shots...I can see how unique and beautiful the blooms are. To think that comes up outta the ground!!

I think you are right...I need to look and settle on a " style " . My thinking was that as a beginner some variety may be more forgiving about soil, care, ABUSE. 😝

I do know...my preference would be not super tall - really tired of peonies crashing and I do have bee balm and gigantic rudbeckia...a bed where these would likely go. And just a single simple bloom. I will learn about bearded vs not by going thru some photos and then googling.
Thank You!
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Mar 8, 2016 10:19 AM CST

Thank you!
We are close to Plants Delight Nursery and I bet the catalogue will be very educational

@Tveguy3
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
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lovemyhouse
Mar 8, 2016 10:23 AM CST
Rosie,

Here is the link to the Iris Database. Try selecting the Border Bearded height classification as an example and one of the colors. See what pulls up and go through those to get your feet wet.
http://garden.org/plants/group/irises/search/?submit=Search!...

Debra
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
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gemini_sage
Mar 8, 2016 10:37 AM CST
Plant Delights mostly deals with beardless irises, but will certainly be able to recommend varieties and species that will perform well in your area. Thumbs up

My gardens are mixed perennial beds where I've incorporated a lot of bearded and beardless irises. Generally speaking, bearded types aren't as tolerant of a lot of competition from other plants or heavy mulch, preferring good air circulation and having their rhizomes exposed. However there are lots of tough, vigorous varieties that tolerate being crowded among other plants and being mulched. There are a lot of excellent historic varieties that are tough as nails! My enthusiasm for modern bearded irises has grown over the last couple of years and I'm still working them into my mixed beds, but I'm stepping up my game with keeping the garden more manicured too. That has been a win/win situation because all the other plants are responding well to the extra TLC too Thumbs up
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Mar 8, 2016 10:38 AM CST
Thank you @lovemyhouse

I found photos of the one type of iris I have

Since I will be reading about soil prep andvworking on establishing the bed soon...should I go ahead and move these out when that part is done along with new purchases, or wait until the fall? I can leave them to languish another few months if need be.


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Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
[Last edited by MISSINGROSIE - Mar 8, 2016 10:40 AM (+)]
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Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
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janwax
Mar 8, 2016 10:42 AM CST
Bed preparation is important to me for success, Rosie. Dig up the bed down to at least 8 inches and amend with compost. I also like to add some bone meal.
Iris is the goddess of the rainbow.
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
Mar 8, 2016 10:47 AM CST
Plant Delights is wonderful.. Lucky you, being so close!

You might also consider if you prefer some of the older histories.. Many have been around for so long because they've been so tough. Crimson King and Indian Chief were on my property when I moved here, and have rewarded me with years of pleasure. I've since added many that are equally vigorous and lovely... And many that have been wimpy in my garden, but do well for folks in other parts of the country.
I arrange beds by bloom time, height, and color combinations I find pleasing. I make sure to add solid colors (selfs) so that everything doesn't get too busy. I also try to add a touch of yellow here and there to keep things lively... And also black for drama. (Drama is the garden is good... In your life... Not so much Whistling )
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Mar 8, 2016 10:51 AM CST
I have the tiller ready and compost already in. Will get the bone meal..

I think I will do a clump every few feet along a new path and see how that goes and then in another area a test patch..with one of this and one of that to see what I like. If Some don't work out...I got that neighbor ...who surprised me and planted VIOLETS in my garden....and that is a gift that keeps on giving!
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
[Last edited by MISSINGROSIE - Mar 8, 2016 12:51 PM (+)]
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Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Mar 8, 2016 11:00 AM CST
@henhouse

Plants delights open house -- several weekends we can visit Juniper Level - the gardens -- is a sight to behold. The entire property is landscaped with huge manmade falls, woods, open spaces and blooms and plants from all over the world and also those developed on site. Truly amazing. Plus, 10 minutes away from us is Niche Gardens...and other locally owned big and small nurseries ..like Kieffer - a favorite. The owner has his masters from Duke in
Forestry and so lots of trees... I take the kids there because there is a HUGE pond where they can feed the fish.. Watching the schools swim in formation is a sight! We can grow so much here....but in spaces like mine...in the woods ...with the deer....and voles..and rabbits...we are sharply limited.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Mar 8, 2016 11:03 AM CST
I can confirm that deer leave the irises alone.

One thing to consider is that if you have a bed solely of iris, once bloom season is done (unless they are rebloomers) that bed is going to look awfully dull until the next year. (Imho. Whistling ) If you have lots of garden space (an acre or more) it won't matter much if one small part of it is solely upright foliage (though even then I would consider bordering it with iberis or alyssum or something else that will compliment the iris foliage and which has a longer bloom season).

If you have a smaller garden, though, you might want to scatter the iris around into beds which will have something else of interest going on, outside of the iris bloom season. I live on an acre property, and while I do have a few large patches of iris (all of the same kind), in general either the irises are in pots, or else they are in beds where something else is of interest (shrubs, colored or variegated Japanese maples, flowering perennials of one sort or another).
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
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
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gemini_sage
Mar 8, 2016 11:07 AM CST
Your iris is gorgeous! I don't recognize it but it sure is a beauty!

Moving them now may disrupt blooming this year, but they'll surely survive. Bearded irises are tolerant of languishing for a while and typically take right off as soon as they're back in the ground.

The ideal time to move and divide them is a few weeks after blooming, July is recommended here.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
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
Mar 8, 2016 11:13 AM CST
Rosie - Welcome!

Hello neighbor! I live in Durham and grow many types of iris. I have mostly bearded iris - from minatures to talls, but do grow Lousiana and Japanese as well. If you are over my way in late April or all of May, I can show you my iris. That may help you decide which types you would like to grow.

I mix the colors in my gardens, and plant the dwarf and intermediate (smaller/shorter) iris in the front of each bed with the talls in the middle and back. You probably have a lot of clay in your soil so I suggest mixing in some good garden soil as well as compost. I make raised beds myself since my ground is so hard. I shovel out the grass, then break up the underlying soil. I then build the garden edge. I use wall stone because it won't break down over the years like wood, then put down a layer of paper and cardboard (to help prevent weeds growing up). Then I add a good eight inches or more layer of the garden mix I get from Poultry Villa and I am ready to go! I have a friend with a dump truck, so he drops off however many cubic yards I need.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
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
Mar 8, 2016 11:18 AM CST
Your iris is pretty, and your fans are in great shape. I bet that one is a good grower, since it has been acclimatized for awhile. The oldest iris in my yard grow like crazy. Can't imagine what it is going to be like when some of my newer ones get to that point! Yikes.

My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Mar 8, 2016 11:20 AM CST
During a drought, I can confirm that the deer (and rabbits) will eat your irises to the ground. The deer also ate other "deer resistant" plants...not to mention everything else in the garden. I don't blame them, they had nothing else to eat, the hills and creeks were bone dry and dead.

Plants Delight sounds like a beautiful place to visit.

Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Mar 8, 2016 11:21 AM CST
I do like the striped center and the small amount of soft yellow...but not fond of the jumbo bloom and the overall beefy dimensions. I am going to look for something a bit more delicate.
Red, grey, silver and yellowed creams. I will check out the old fashioned.

I had already bookmarked alyssum for the border -- so that is good.. I plant diamond frost euphorbia each year.....in bloom for months!! Very delicate.. Very Beautiful and plays well with neighbiring plants visually. Can't make it through the winter here tho.

Is this ALL iris?? Oh boy........a lot to learn.


Flower Form
Tailored
Magnolia
Creped
Fluted
Ruffled
Bubble Ruffled
Laced
Flared
Flat
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Mar 8, 2016 11:24 AM CST
Lestv said:Your iris is pretty, and your fans are in great shape. I bet that one is a good grower, since it has been acclimatized for awhile. The oldest iris in my yard grow like crazy. Can't imagine what it is going to be like when some of my newer ones get to that point! Yikes.



Oh, I get good fans!! Hahahahahaha

But to be fair...behind that area is shasta daisy...no care...and tall garden rue.... No care...and I have just let these be..and the propane guy trots all over them.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
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
Mar 8, 2016 1:48 PM CST
Good to see you over here, Rosie. You might want to try the class Miniature Tall Bearded irises or MTB's. They are not the shortest or tallest and the flowers are more diminutive than a TB and larger than a dwarf.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......

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