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Apr 16, 2021 9:20 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Tienito
Rhode Island (Zone 6b)
Amaryllis Irises Native Plants and Wildflowers
Several of years ago it was irises that got me hooked on gardening. Something about the plant seemed magical to me and I devoured books and purchased all kinds of irises. Recently, I've found myself drawn more and more to native plants and to a more ecological gardening outlook. We have a number of native iris species, such as Iris cristata and Iris versicolor for my region, that are wonderful, and I really treasure these in the garden. I've culled at least half of my bearded irises though and don't think that I will be getting more. I've been thinking about the role that irises (of all kinds) play in ecological gardening, which I believe is going to be increasingly important. I wonder if, to attract more new gardeners to irises, we should celebrate more the diversity of irises, and species as well as hybrid irises. Could someone point me to any writings on this subject? How do irises fit into your own ecological practices? (Don't get me wrong, I don't think that plants need to be useful and still grow many things purely for their own delight, which is a deeply human need and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm just trying to think through what irises mean to me, now that I'm a rather different kind of gardener. I want my relationship with irises to continue and deepen!)
Apr 17, 2021 1:30 AM CST
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Amaryllis Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Maryland Peonies Organic Gardener Irises
Herbs Hellebores Growing under artificial light Container Gardener Cat Lover Garden Photography
I plant my irises to suit their needs. The Louisianas go into the boggy spot where he neighbor's sump pump flows over onto our property. I plant my tall bearded in the sunniest aras. And since my siberians seem to tolerat more shade, they get the shadier areas.
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
Apr 19, 2021 10:19 PM CST
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Birds Bulbs Region: California Dragonflies Foliage Fan Irises
Keeper of Poultry Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2015
I really like Lauren Springer Ogden's books.. She's a good writer and makes her subjects interesting.. She's in Colorado, but I remember that her take on things was applicable to my garden in California, and perhaps Rhode Island too.
Any of these...
Plant-Driven Design: Creating Gardens That Honor Plants, Place, and Spirit
The Undaunted Garden: Planting for Weather-Resilient Beauty
Passionate Gardening: Good Advice for Challenging Climates

There's also one by Owen Dell, (who I had a big horticultural crush on at one time) on sustainable landscaping. Here's a review:

I don't know if these are what you're looking for, but I'm a horticultural omnivore.. After 44 years in the field, I'm still amazed at how much there is to learn, and how much I enjoy learning... Smiling ..
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
Jan 17, 2022 9:57 AM CST
Name: Teresa Cole
Bayfield, Colorado S.W. Rockie (Zone 4b)
@ 8000 ft.
Region: Colorado Irises
Because of this post, I just ordered The Undaunted Garden by Lauren Springer. Found it on eBay for about 5 bucks. They have some other books by the same author. I always love a bargain.
Weed= A flower yet to be appreciated
Jan 17, 2022 2:34 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Tri Cities, WA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Irises Region: Northeast US Region: United Kingdom Region: United States of America
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
There is a book on median iris coming out later this year, written by Kevin Vaughn. He has one out on beardless iris. After all the little I. pumila which we grown in the garden, grow in grassy pastures in Germany & eastern Europe. I have seen photos of them in their natural state.
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