Irises are the largest genus of the Iridaceae family, with as many as 300 species, many of which are thought to be natural hybrids. Iris species are primarily native to the temperate northern hemisphere, the majority from Europe and Asia. The world of Irises is expansive, with species native to some of the most extreme climates, giving us an iris for just about any landscape or garden situation.
I moved to my current home 8 years ago, and I brought almost every plant from my garden with me, including about 50 roses. It was an exciting time, as I had lived in a wooded, shady hollow, and I was happy to give so many sun-loving plants an appropriate home. I had chosen rose varieties for shade tolerance and disease resistance, because I knew the shade and moisture would be inviting for fungal diseases. Although we experienced a terrible drought that year, the roses did respond well to the sunny, open environment, and they settled in nicely in spite of the dry growing season.
The bulb catalogs have started arriving! And what a smart move, as we're all seeing those heralds of spring popping up with the melting of the snow. Usually, it's the big, bold blossoms that catch our eyes; the Tulips, Daffodils, and Hyacinths are what most of us think of when we think of spring bulbs. But don't overlook the diminutive little guys that, when planted thoughtfully, can provide stunning visual impact.