Irises forum: Untitled

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Name: Tamara
Slovenia (Zone 6a)
Irises Roses Lilies
Image
darksome
May 11, 2016 3:11 AM CST
Hi!

I'm totally new here, my name is Tamara and only last year I got a small place where I can plant anything that I want. I have so many questions particulary about the TB iris flowers. I hope it's okay if I post these questions here *Blush*

So the place where I can plant is half semi-shade and half sunny. Because I already almost filled out the semi-shade spot with roses I'm now curious what and how arrange the sunny spot.

I read the recommendations to plant rhizomes about 15 inches apart and because the sunny spot is triangular I planned it like this:

Thumb of 2016-05-11/darksome/e41de8

It will be a raised bed, because the soil contains too much clay. My plan is to plant for the first time rhizomes where the black marks are. The places that are marked with grey would be filled up after time when the plants would be so big that I can separate the rizomes. Can I do it like that? Or will the place look empty for too long? Or should I buy only 3 plants but 3 rhizomes of each and fill the empty space with something different until I have the budget to plant the entire place with irises? Overall.. is it okay to start big, or should I just try out with a few plants? My experience with irises is unfortunately equal to zero.

Because I was so sure about my plan (until now) I also picked already the plants:

Thumb of 2016-05-11/darksome/9dc8e8

These are:
Raven Girl (Schreiner)
Berry Fulfilling (Schreiner)
Clash of Titans (Black)
French Lavender (Painter)
All Ashore (Black)
Enter the Dragon (Blyth)
Flying First Class (Johnson)
Dragon Dance (Blyth)
Haunted Heart (Keppel)

What do you think? I'm only not sure if I should maybe replace one of the lighter ones with Coffee Trader (Blyth). It seems so popular and it was on my want list until I discovered Dragon Dance wich looks colder and with more pronounced violet blaze. Are they similar?

Thank you so much for everything!
Have a nice day Hurray!
[Last edited by darksome - May 11, 2016 3:14 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1144851 (1)
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
May 11, 2016 3:42 AM CST
Welcome Tamara! That should be a very interesting bed when they are all in bloom. I always start my plants about 18 inches apart, and they seem to fill the spaces quite fast. You can plant them 15 inches apart, but you would need to thin them quite often to keep them from running together. I'm not sure if you have all of the dots both grey and black set at 15 inches apart or if just the Black dots are 15 inches apart. I wouldn't add anything besides the irises in the spaces as they seem to like the air flow around them, and they sure grow fast enough to fill the spaces quickly.

One thing to remember is that all irises are not created equally, and some will grow much faster and fill the spaces more rapidly, others will be slower to grow. Some will grow taller and some will be shorter, so you might want to check the average height of each one you chose. The data base on here will give you that height, also many vendors list the heights of their plants.

Any way you look at it, remember gardening is a journey, not a destination, so it's fun to try things and learn from them and make adjustments as you go along. What ever you do, it will be a learning experience for you, and I can't wait for you to show us the pictures of your project as it unfolds, and for sure when it's all in bloom! Smiling Smiling

Good luck, I'm sure others will add some ideas and suggestions too.
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: Tamara
Slovenia (Zone 6a)
Irises Roses Lilies
Image
darksome
May 11, 2016 3:59 AM CST
Thank you so much for the welcome Smiling and thanks for the info!

I will definitely rethink everything and adjust my plans. So how quickly do I must to thin them out when I plant them 18 inches apart? I know you said some grow faster, but when I must thin out every 2 years, for example, that's not a problem for me. The photo is just a quick sketch so I would definitely plant them so that all the rizhomes would have enough space between them. I will sit down and make a fixed plan how to plant them.

Thank you again, I will post pictures when the project unfolds :)
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
May 11, 2016 4:06 AM CST
Hello Tamara, and welcome to the iris forum! Like Tom stated above, gardening, even with irises, is a learn as you go or hands on learning experience. When you speak of planting irises 15 inches apart do you mean each rhizome or each cultivar?

Whether you are starting with one rhizome or a group of the same irises be sure and make a map of the bed with each iris listed. Sometimes the markers, even with our best efforts, seem to disappear, break or fade over time and with a map you will always be able to reference where each cultivar is located.

Like Tom said check the bloom time for each rhizome - some bloom early-early in the spring bloom season, middle-the middle of the spring bloom season or late-late in the spring bloom season. Rebloomers, often marked RE, will often bloom in the spring and then once or even many more times throughout the summer/fall. Also check for height. I hate planting an iris bed only to find them in full bloom with a 'shortie' over in the very back. TB's do vary in height and I like the taller ones in the back of the bed, obviously.

You will be getting a lot of great advice/comments on this site and yes, ask any growing question that pops into your head. We love to talk iris and the accumulated iris growing knowledge from the other participants on this site is just amazing. Our growing areas range from all growing zones. What zone are you planning to grow irises in?

I think you will be very pleased with your iris growing efforts. They are very adaptable and hardy. They love to grow and bloom. Smiling

Welcome! to the iris forum family Smiling
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
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
May 11, 2016 4:07 AM CST
Each plant will grow at it's own rate, and if that's rapid, you may need to thin a bit after 2 years although that's quite rare. I have one bed that is 3 years old this summer, and most of them will need thinning this summer with a few exceptions. A few of them had to be thinned last summer, and some are really slow growers or suffered some loss to rot and will be OK for a while yet. You just want to keep them from over crowding or they don't bloom well. You will also want to keep the different cultivars from growing into one another. Hope that helps.
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: Tamara
Slovenia (Zone 6a)
Irises Roses Lilies
Image
darksome
May 11, 2016 4:29 AM CST
Thank you for the welcome too grannygarden Smiling I do understand that that's an unending process, but I don't mind that - I love to work in the garden Smiling
I hope I'm not too quick with my decisions, but I just found out that Mid America Garden has an option to ship to Europe but the minimum order to EU is 100$. I would order from domestic nurseries where I can get less irises, but I'm sooo picky with the cultivars :D

So.. I'm from a country from EU and to answer your question - I'm in the zone 6. About the markings of irises - I will for sure make a map, I already have one for my roses (which are btw. beige/light yellow/peach colored). Thank you about the tips of the height and time of blooming - I will check this out.

tveguy3 thanks again for the info Thumbs up

If anybody can also say anything about the comparison of Coffee Trader and Dragon Dance I would be pleased Smiling

Thank You!

Edit: forgot to answer the photo question... each point on the photo represents a rhizome. So a small triangle represents one cultivar.
[Last edited by darksome - May 11, 2016 4:33 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1144869 (6)
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography
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Totally_Amazing
May 11, 2016 4:35 AM CST
Hello and welcome Tamara Welcome!

I have only been growing irises for a few years and I don't have the expertise of my ATP (All things plants) friends who I am sure will join your thread soon.

I think the spacing of 15 inches sounds a touch tight unless you want your irises to join at maturity. In regard to the direction the rhizomes will grow, firstly you must point the rhizome in the right direction with the leaves on the outside of your triangle. Secondly, I am not an expert on the direction your rhizomes will grow but from my observations, I think rhizomes grow a little bit in all directions (predominantly as you have indicated, but also your black dot will move a bit outwards). I hope one of our experts will give you a definitive answer on that.

I would buy one rhizome of each variety you want and wait for it to spread out. Empty space has never bothered me. In autumn and winter, the foliage will look scrappy and your garden bed will look scrappy too. If you want year round interest, I would plant small succulents or evergreens in the gaps, something that doesn't spread.

Thumb of 2016-05-11/Totally_Amazing/b03bea
For example, this photo shows what my irises look like in winter with plants in the gaps on the left, and nothing (except weeds) on the right.

Name: Tamara
Slovenia (Zone 6a)
Irises Roses Lilies
Image
darksome
May 11, 2016 5:00 AM CST
Totally_Amazing - thank you for your welcome too!

Ok I did all the calculations precisely and I can adjust the spacing to 18 inches if you all think it's to thight Smiling The highest I could go is maximal 20 inches apart or removing one or two of the planned cultivars.

I would love that the three rhizomes of one cultivar grow together when they mature. Can I leave (or even shrink?) the spacing between them to get a nice group of one cultivar and at the same time increase the spacing between different culfivars to 18 - 20 inches for example? Edit: http://www.irises.org/About_Irises/Cultural%20Information/Gr..., here it says that rhizomes of the same cultivar can have a spacing of 8 inches between them. Is that correct?

The idea about adding small non-spreading plants between them sounds good. What about some bulbs?
Thanks for the photo too! It's surely helpful to see some examples.
[Last edited by darksome - May 11, 2016 5:27 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1144876 (8)
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
May 11, 2016 9:20 AM CST
Welcome Tamara. You are in good hands with Tom, Bonnie and Robin plus the others that will join in. So far you have received great advice and should have a great iris show.

I moved this past summer and close planted everything. The ones that I had good clump starts from need moving already; those that were new last summer are fine and should be so for another 1-2 years. Many intersperse some other plants to either fill the space like Robin or to extend the bloom time, such as with adding lilies-but not those "wild" ones that spread very fast and take over the place. Some clumps have been between bushes or in front of them. All seem to do well, but that depends on the variety and the local conditions of course.

You should be able to find some vendors more local to your area, although I have checked some and they often have very high prices, so ordering from NA even with shipping and any health certificate/inspection might be very cost-effective.

Enjoy and expect to become addicted to these great plants.
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
May 11, 2016 9:35 AM CST
Welcome Tamara. I really like the colors you chose for your triangle.
This is my third year of seriously growing hybrid iris...and, while I probably
planted too closely, I got good results. I'm beginning to like the looks of clumps of
color, so I'm going to be thinning out some so as to leave room for spreading. The
mauve, purple, and coffee tones you chose look wonderful together!
Iris is the goddess of the rainbow.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
May 11, 2016 9:43 AM CST
Welcome! ! As others have said, planting closely gives "quicker" color, but, you will need to divide sooner. You may want to consider just planting your initial ,single rhizome, in the "center" of your "little" triangles, and letting the clumps develop with a little more space. As was stated, for the first year, or two (until the clumps get very large), you could inter plant with annuals, or even gladiolus , to fill in the blank spaces, and give some color later in the year ?
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
May 11, 2016 10:53 AM CST
Welcome Tamara Welcome!
I also grow a lot of roses in addition to a lot of Irises. First, let me say that I really like your choices. They should look lovely with the roses. Will they bloom together in your climate?

Susanne Spicker has written several blogs on combining Iris with other plants. Her pictures are pretty fabulous. It sounds like you've got an "artist's eye", and I think you'll appreciate this.
http://theamericanirissociety.blogspot.com/2013/10/tall-bear...

The problem I have with Narcissus bulbs in my climate is that the foliage starts looking pretty crappy about the same time the Iris start blooming. I planted an awful lot of them at the front of one border and will be removing sections to replant elsewhere.. Other bulbs with less conspicuous foliage when it dies could work well. Many of the Alliums bloom at the same time as Iris and give a beautiful textural contrast.

I plant 2' apart. I brought in a veggie mix soil for my raised beds, and the Iris have grown incredibly fast in those beds over my native soil. It's hard to walk through them now to deadhead after a year and a half.

One of the earlier mistakes I made in planting beds of primarily Iris, was that I didn't pay attention to bloom time. I put together, what I thought would be great color combinations, but found they didn't bloom together. If you're bouncing the color off of other plants, or just a want an extended season for your bed, then it doesn't matter.
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography
Image
Totally_Amazing
May 11, 2016 6:39 PM CST
Planting three rhizomes of the same hybrid in a triangle 8 inches apart with the leaves pointing outwards as suggested in your web link will give you the effect of a clump straight away which looks nice. If you wish to save money by purchasing only one rhizome of each hybrid and you are happy to wait for the irises to clump over time, I would recommend planting them further apart as others have suggested.
Name: Charlotte
Salt Lake City, Utah (Zone 6b)
genealogist specializing in French
Irises Region: Utah Hostas Bulbs
cbunny41
May 11, 2016 11:23 PM CST
Welcome Darksome

Looking at your diagram I think you need to flip the two bottom rows. The Two black dots in the middle of top and middle rows would be too close together otherwise. Also if making a clump and you point all the leaves to the outside then you will get an empty center.

You might want to read a writeup by one of our members on thinning versus digging a whole clump. I found it very informative. For some areas with no problem weeds, I am just going to thin. http://garden.org/ideas/view/KentPfeiffer/1259/Thinning-Vers...

Comparing the pictures in the database I would say Dragon Dance has the darker blaze. It is also the newer variety which would indicate it was an improvement on earlier lookalikes.

Have you looked at what Cayeux has to offer?
Name: Tamara
Slovenia (Zone 6a)
Irises Roses Lilies
Image
darksome
May 12, 2016 2:07 AM CST
Wow thank you so much for such a big response Hurray!

I'm extremely happy that I got so much info.

From all your suggestions about how to plant (especially Totally_Amazing and cbunny41) I think it's the best that I get only a single rhizome of a cultivar. I adjusted all my measurements and looked at my place again and to avoid the shade, etc.. the shape of the triangle forms a little different - it's a right triangle. Silly me didn't realize this before Grumbling . To get to the point - I can easily plant them 20 inches apart if I get only one rhizome. I also really like the suggestion of DaveinPA and Crowrita that I could interplant with lilies or gladiolus to fill in the blank spaces. This would look wonderful until the irises spread a little bit. When the spacing is thight I can easily give up the other plants - irises must be the queen in this bed! nodding Also thank you so much for the link of cbunny4, this is a great solution!

About the choice where to get the rhizomes - Cayeux is interesting (thanks cbunny4) but somehow Mid America Garden looks the most promising to me *Blush* the thing is I contacted them and there's a really fair option. They ship all the irises together that were bought by them from EU customers to Netherland. So the phytosanitary costs are not about 100$, but only 5$ on a customer and you pay 1,25$ more for each iris for the shipping. This way the additional costs and packaging for me are about 25$ which is pretty much similar to getting plants from Cayeux, Bourdillion or Iris4u.de. The thing is, this way I get the cultivars I want. I know... I'm really picky :D

I must also thank janwax and Henhouse for the kind words about the color combination choice and Henhouse for the link - the combinations that susan makes are perfect Lovey dubby . I'm really glad that someone like my choices too! I loove mauve, violet and brown tones. Also I'm really happy to see that some of you have a combo of irises and roses at home. I talked with my partner and his father and they were both somehow skeptical if the irises are a good choice for planting them in the garden Glare I think they are both more a rose loving person Big Grin - I personally love both, roses and irises <3 (lilies too)



[Last edited by darksome - May 12, 2016 2:17 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1145859 (15)
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
May 12, 2016 2:50 AM CST
Darksome.
Welcome to the website. Your light and dark colored iris will be beautiful together.
I don't plant beds but do make "patches" of iris in the perennial garden. This way there is a perennial for background interest
.
Thumb of 2016-05-12/ge1836/0ca4ef


Thumb of 2016-05-12/ge1836/61f47b


Thumb of 2016-05-12/ge1836/28649b


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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
May 12, 2016 10:02 AM CST
Hello Darksome -- welcome to the Iris Forum.

I can't add a thing to what's already been posted for you, but I wanted to say Welcome!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])

Region: California
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UndertheSun
May 12, 2016 11:03 AM CST
Welcome! Darksome!
Name: Cleta
Idaho Falls Idaho (Zone 4a)
Region: Idaho Lilies Irises
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cbelt1
May 12, 2016 12:00 PM CST
Welcome! to Darksome!
Cleta
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
May 12, 2016 3:52 PM CST
Tamara, a.k.a. Darksome, keep us informed with photos as you develop this iris adventure. We can always learn something from you. Smiling
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......

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