Irises forum: Newbie planning an iris bed

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Name: Julie Seward
Westerville, OH (Zone 6b)
julieseward1
May 6, 2019 12:58 PM CST
I have had a few iris here and there in the past that had been given to me. I loved them and now am in a new house with a huge yard and want to actually make a bed of iris with some smaller perennials in front to bloom after the iris have faded. I found the website for Schreiner's Iris gardens and have put together an order but haven't placed it yet. I have a few questions. Do you usually buy just one of a given iris executing them to spread? I am sticking with purples, yellows and oranges to make them look like the go together a bit without limiting my color selection too much. How far apart should I plant them? I know they need well drained soil so I will amend it a lot because we have lots of flat clay soil where I live in central Ohio. Below is the list of what is in my cart. They are all Tall Bearded Iris. Please let me know you thoughts on Schreiner's, the iris I have listed or if I should look at a different type of iris other than Tall Bearded. Thanks!

Right now in my cart:
Favorite Fragrant Iris Collection (I didn't know any were fragrant)
Lace Legacy
Grand Canyon Sunset
Engagement Ring (LOVE IT!)
Girly Girl
Oui Madame
Imperial Reign
About Town
Arctic Burst
Splatter Matters
Rare Find
Abbondanza
Daring Deception
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
May 6, 2019 2:37 PM CST
I just buy one of each, and plant them at least 2 and a half feet apart. I like to plant companion plants with them that bloom along with them, such as chives, giant allium, spirea, foxglove, and peonies. But I also like to plant other plants that will give color in the garden both before and after the iris bloom. FOR THE "BEFORE" I have such things as daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths, bleeding heart, brunerra, tiarella, helleborus, squills, chionodoxa, and crocuses, and forsythia.

For the AFTER, I have daylilies, ferns, hosta (deer candy), asters, chrysanthemums, siberian iris, Louisiana iris, atilbe, roses, salvia, russian sage, yarrow, true geranium, coreopsis, oriental poppies, and deer-resistant annuals such as sweet allysum, cleome, cosmos, and shirley poppies. Also caryopteris, and monkshood. And for winter interest (winter berries), winterberry holly, nandina, and skimmia japonica.
Name: Julie Seward
Westerville, OH (Zone 6b)
julieseward1
May 6, 2019 2:49 PM CST
DaisyDo said:I just buy one of each, and plant them at least 2 and a half feet apart. I like to plant companion plants with them that bloom along with them, such as chives, giant allium, spirea, foxglove, and peonies. But I also like to plant other plants that will give color in the garden both before and after the iris bloom. FOR THE "BEFORE" I have such things as daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths, bleeding heart, brunerra, tiarella, helleborus, squills, chionodoxa, and crocuses, and forsythia.

For the AFTER, I have daylilies, ferns, hosta (deer candy), asters, chrysanthemums, siberian iris, Louisiana iris, atilbe, roses, salvia, russian sage, yarrow, true geranium, coreopsis, oriental poppies, and deer-resistant annuals such as sweet allysum, cleome, cosmos, and shirley poppies. Also caryopteris, and monkshood. And for winter interest (winter berries), winterberry holly, nandina, and skimmia japonica.


Great ideas! Do you have any pictures of your garden? I would love to see them if you do.
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
May 6, 2019 4:30 PM CST
Okay, here are a few. But since they were taken, the groundhogs moved in and I have been forced to take out the black-eyed susans because the critters kept grazing them down and wouldn't let them bloom properly.


Thumb of 2019-05-06/DaisyDo/26fcaa

From front to back that is:

Beverly Sills iris, Silverado Iris, Dusky Challenger iris, Krinkled White Peony, and Whitecap Peony.

This was taken several years ago, and I have made changes in this garden since. I will upload the other photos after dinner.


Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
May 6, 2019 4:51 PM CST
Here's another, taken from the other side of the tool shed, with the irises in the background and the peonies in the foreground. These to peonies are Krinkled White on the left, and White Cap on the right. I highly recommend them to go with your peonies.


Thumb of 2019-05-06/DaisyDo/f600de

Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
May 6, 2019 5:05 PM CST
Here's some of the main garden, before the groundhog invasion began. Since then, I have had to take out the Rudbeckia, and they demolished the shasta daisies. So I have started planting more irises. They seem to leave those alone for the most part. I am having to adapt.


Thumb of 2019-05-06/DaisyDo/cefcde

Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
May 6, 2019 5:14 PM CST
Here's another view of the same, and shows the lazy rope hammock under our giant maple.


Thumb of 2019-05-06/DaisyDo/ea4c7f

Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
May 6, 2019 5:21 PM CST
And one of my favorite peonies. This is another Gold Medal winner, named "Seashell," and its flowers get to be 9" across.




Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
shizen
May 6, 2019 7:45 PM CST
Welcome! to the iris forum, julie. do checkout the vendor list, you may find some vendors that are closer to your area.
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
Image
evelyninthegarden
May 6, 2019 10:06 PM CST
Julie ~ Welcome! to the Iris Forum! Hurray!

Good luck on your new adventure! Crossing Fingers!
"June is busting out all over!"πŸŽΌπŸŽΆπŸŽ΅πŸ¦‹πŸŒΉπŸŒΈπŸŒΎ
Name: Monty Riggles
Henry County, Virginia (Zone 7a)
Oops. The weeds took over!
Irises Region: Virginia Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Garden Procrastinator
Image
UndyingLight
May 6, 2019 10:09 PM CST
Welcome! Julie! Good luck on your ventures.
Dolly the chicken thinks my head is food!
Name: Julie Seward
Westerville, OH (Zone 6b)
julieseward1
May 7, 2019 8:20 AM CST
Daisy Do thanks for all the pictures. They are very inspiring.

And thanks all for the good wishes!
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
Image
Totally_Amazing
May 7, 2019 6:23 PM CST
Welcome! Julie

There are some photos of members gardens in this thread from 2016
The thread "What type of property do you have to plant Iris?" in Irises forum
Sweden
Forum moderator Garden Photography Irises Bulbs Lilies Bee Lover
Hellebores Deer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
William
May 8, 2019 4:10 AM CST
Welcome! Julie.

As to your questions, I think most here would only buy one rhizome of each cultivar. With time you will find that some do much better than others, but most irises multiply very well on their own. If they don't thrive and multiply, you probably don't want them anyway, so one rhizome is often enough. Obviously it will also depend on how patient you are. Smiling

If you want to prolong your season it could be a good idea to also try a few Standard Dwarf Bearded(SDB) and Intermediate Bearded(IB) irises. In many climates these are hardier too, it certainly is true here in Sweden, but please don't ask me how I know. *Blush* In particular they usually handle wet and cold winter weather better.

You may also enjoy looking at other iris vendors than Schreiner's, for instance Mid America Gardens: http://www.beardedirisflowers....

I have not personally tried them, but for members of this forum they overall seem to be the most popular choice, so I don't think you could go wrong with them. There are many others vendors too.

If you haven't done so already, it is definitely worth checking out the vendor list at the top of the forum: The thread "Vendor list" in Irises forum

[Last edited by William - May 8, 2019 4:11 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1968517 (14)
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
May 8, 2019 8:49 AM CST
Welcome to the forum. Welcome!

I am happy to see that you are interested in adding other plants to your iris garden! Thumbs up Any monoculture planting is boring, but a monoculture of irises not in bloom is not only boring but unattractive (imho; I know that others may not share that view Whistling ).

That said, you haven't told us what state/zone you live in, which will factor into what companion plants you can use with your irises.

As others have noted, what companion plants you can use will also be dependent on what your local critters are, which may feast on your plants. Groundhogs, gophers, rabbits, deer will all eat one plant or another. Fencing is the only thing that I have found which works to keep deer out. (From what I have read, it seems to be a mixed bag as to whether or not deer will eat irises. They never did here, but at that time I had far more daylilies than I did irises, and they loved the daylilies. Glare )

I am in Zone 9, and given my current critter problems (gophers and rabbits) right now the companion (non shrub) plants I am growing with the irises are very limited... For perennials I have Iberis for evergreen foliage and white flowers during the winter into the TB bloom season, society garlic (I have both white and lavender flowering cultivars; they provide a very long season of color, starting in April and ending some time in October), a very dark blue flowering Agapanthus, a CA native Limonium, and some daylilies. For annuals, I have Pelargoniums (which generally overwinter here but will usually take some degree of damage), and I alternate between annual vinca and primroses for warm and cool season color. I also have some landscape ("Flower Carpet") roses and a few azaleas planted near the irises, but somehow I just don't consider shrubs to be "companion plants". Hilarious!
Evaluating a reblooming diploid daylily seedling
Name: Julie Seward
Westerville, OH (Zone 6b)
julieseward1
May 8, 2019 10:57 AM CST
Polymerous said:Welcome to the forum. Welcome!

I am happy to see that you are interested in adding other plants to your iris garden! Thumbs up Any monoculture planting is boring, but a monoculture of irises not in bloom is not only boring but unattractive (imho; I know that others may not share that view Whistling ).

That said, you haven't told us what state/zone you live in, which will factor into what companion plants you can use with your irises.

As others have noted, what companion plants you can use will also be dependent on what your local critters are, which may feast on your plants. Groundhogs, gophers, rabbits, deer will all eat one plant or another. Fencing is the only thing that I have found which works to keep deer out. (From what I have read, it seems to be a mixed bag as to whether or not deer will eat irises. They never did here, but at that time I had far more daylilies than I did irises, and they loved the daylilies. Glare )

I am in Zone 9, and given my current critter problems (gophers and rabbits) right now the companion (non shrub) plants I am growing with the irises are very limited... For perennials I have Iberis for evergreen foliage and white flowers during the winter into the TB bloom season, society garlic (I have both white and lavender flowering cultivars; they provide a very long season of color, starting in April and ending some time in October), a very dark blue flowering Agapanthus, a CA native Limonium, and some daylilies. For annuals, I have Pelargoniums (which generally overwinter here but will usually take some degree of damage), and I alternate between annual vinca and primroses for warm and cool season color. I also have some landscape ("Flower Carpet") roses and a few azaleas planted near the irises, but somehow I just don't consider shrubs to be "companion plants". Hilarious!


I'm a total newbie to the website too. I see none of my info shows up in my signature so I'm going to try to fix that. I live in Central Ohio. I thought I would plant some coreopsis and coneflower with them. Would love other ideas for perennials. And thought maybe some zinias too since they do pretty well without a ton of water.
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
May 8, 2019 11:34 AM CST
Marilyn, The deer were not much of a problem in my garden until I put in bunch of daylilies. The deer have plagued me ever since. Last fall they trampled a monkshood. I found bifurcated hoof prints all around it. Serves me right for trying to use it to poison them, I guess. And they leave multiple piles of deer turd at my garden edges. They eat the hostas and tulips to the ground, as well as the new foliage of daylilies. Then, finally as each daylily bud swells in preparation to bloom the next morning, they come during the night and nip it off. I've tried sprays, but they quickly wash off with our almost daily afternoon thunder-showers. I have tried motion activated sprinklers, but I got tired of having them malfunction and overwater the gardens, as well as surprising me with drenches. And I tried motion-activated sonic repellers, but they made me uncomfortable in my own gut as I move about my garden.

I am about ready to take out all the hostas and daylilies in my total frustration. I would like to put in a fence to keep the deer out, but there are a couple of problems with that. First, the groundhogs would still just tunnel under it. But the main problem is that already most of the back yard is heavily shaded by a huge maple and a cherry tree, as well as now a neighbor's tall white fence fence on the southwest side. And so our plants now rely on slanting rays of sunlight coming in from the northeast and northwest. Another matching tall white fence would pretty much put all of our gardens in total shade. And I think a chain link fence would detract from property value in this neighborhood.

I wish we could shoot deer and groundhogs in this neighborhood, but we can't. So, in the absence of predators, the deer and groundhogs' populations are booming. We have quarter acre plots in this neighborhood, and there is literally a groundhog family under every tool shed in the neighborhood. You can't fumigate them out, because even if you could use a long grasping tool to drop one of the torches into the burrow entrance under your tool shed, there is possibility it might light your tool shed on fire.

I am just about ready to snake a garden hose under the toolshed, and use a funnel to poor a bottle of ammonia down the burrow entrance. But that won't do anything about the other 12-15 toolsheds around our block that each have groundhog families under them.
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
Image
AndreaD
May 8, 2019 11:42 AM CST
DaisyDo - Wow, you DO have critter problems. My sympathies.
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
May 8, 2019 12:27 PM CST
Yeah, thanks. And I fear it will only get worse as the animals start starving from their over-population.
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
May 8, 2019 12:45 PM CST
I think we need some foxes and coyotes for deer and ground hog population control. Last fall I did notice a fox coming through the yard during the evenings, trying to catch for his dinner one of the 4 feral cats that my hubby feeds (they have been trapped, neutered, and released.) At that point we made our own pet cat a house-only cat, and it was just in time. I think the fox did manage to catch one of the feral cats, for we are now down to three. And that one who disappeared was the tamest and oldest, and probably slowest cat of the four. I don't really approve of my husband feeding the feral cats, but I shouldn't complain, because his tender heartedness is one of the things that drew me to him. This is a man who will stop the car to help a snake or a turtle across the street. Lovey dubby

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