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Jun 3, 2021 7:38 AM CST
Name: Lyn Gerry
Watkins Glen, NY (Zone 6a)
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Keeps Horses Irises Organic Gardener
Permaculture Vegetable Grower
I've never even been to an iris show (the closest is 90 miles away) so I've never understood the true meaning of "show stalks" or the significance of the descriptions of buds and branching that growers often include in their catalogues. However, I have had a realization on the topic as I prepared my bouquets to sell at the farmer's market

Thumb of 2021-06-03/LynNY/f32205

Some iris have blooms that are closer together on the stalk. Those are better for bouquets.

Double socketed buds are the best, as they make the stalk last longer both in the garden and the vase.

Some iris start opening from a low flower on a side branch - that is not so great for making bouquets
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Jun 4, 2021 8:22 AM CST
Name: Lyn Gerry
Watkins Glen, NY (Zone 6a)
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Keeps Horses Irises Organic Gardener
Permaculture Vegetable Grower
Just sharing here...Not sure if this is the best thread for this comment, cuz it has more to do with bouquets and personal preferences in iris and not anything to do with buds and branching.

Since being on this forum, I have been amazed at how wide the range of preferences is, even in such a relatively small group. I have also realized that my tastes too have changed over time. When I first got into iris, I was enamored with the broken color iris. Now, not at all. Also at the beginning, I wondered why anyone would choose pastels when there were so many rich and dark colors and wild patterns. I've come to really appreciate the pastels as well as the intense colors.

Now that I've gotten into making bouquets, I've gotten a whole new perspective. It really changes my appreciation of various colors and patterns when a bunch of different flowers are inches away from each other instead of in the garden as clumps. I've changed my view of certain iris when I saw them that way.

For example, this year, In Living Color finally bloomed for me. I was disappointed in it. Because I don't have unlimited space, I cull varieties and give them to my BF who has ten acres and infinite sun. But, when I put it in a bouquet with a white iris, the sort of thing I mean by plain, both of them suddenly became more interesting to me, pleasing in a way they weren't to me growing in the garden as separate plants.

I have discovered that I really love making bouquets as part of my iris passion! Who knew!
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Jun 5, 2021 7:29 PM CST
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises Region: Ukraine
Your bouquets are beautiful. I tip my hat to you.
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Jun 5, 2021 9:43 PM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
AndreaD said:Your bouquets are beautiful. I tip my hat to you.


I agree Lovey dubby
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Jun 5, 2021 10:06 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Irises Region: Northeast US Region: United Kingdom Region: United States of America
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Irises with a great bud count are more useful in this endeavor. The buds keep opening in water in my experience.
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Jun 6, 2021 12:27 AM CST
Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Try Naturalizing perennials! :)
Amaryllis Region: Nebraska Lilies Irises Hostas Foliage Fan
Daylilies Garden Photography Bulbs Butterflies Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
How do you manage to not break a few flower petals when making bouquets? I tend to do that a lot. Or I pick so many that a few of the falls snap when I lay the flowers aside.

Also I agree with Andrea & Evelyn, your bouquets are gorgeous.
Not only people give others signs, but plants do too.
Last edited by SonoveShakespeare Jun 6, 2021 12:27 AM Icon for preview
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Jun 6, 2021 3:46 AM CST
Name: Lyn Gerry
Watkins Glen, NY (Zone 6a)
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Keeps Horses Irises Organic Gardener
Permaculture Vegetable Grower
Thank you, but it's pretty easy when you are using iris cuz they are all beautiful :)

AndreaD said:Your bouquets are beautiful. I tip my hat to you.
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Jun 6, 2021 3:49 AM CST
Name: Lyn Gerry
Watkins Glen, NY (Zone 6a)
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Keeps Horses Irises Organic Gardener
Permaculture Vegetable Grower
For sure! I had my first foray at the market Friday and I made sure to tell the customers the buds would keep opening, and to snap off the wilted blooms. Doing that bouquets last about a week, at least for me.

irisarian said:Irises with a great bud count are more useful in this endeavor. The buds keep opening in water in my experience.
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Jun 6, 2021 3:54 AM CST
Name: Lyn Gerry
Watkins Glen, NY (Zone 6a)
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Keeps Horses Irises Organic Gardener
Permaculture Vegetable Grower
For me, the problem comes with the market aspect. I have to put a rubber band around the stems and that draws them closer together than would happen if I was just bringing them from the garden to a vase. The way I avoid breaking petals, at least initially, is to carry them in one stem at a time.

Transporting them in a car is also a challenge. After having done it once, I have an idea about a container I could create that would keep them separate but also prevent them from tipping over. Hills and curves in the road not fun for iris transport.

SonoveShakespeare said:How do you manage to not break a few flower petals when making bouquets? I tend to do that a lot. Or I pick so many that a few of the falls snap when I lay the flowers aside.

Also I agree with Andrea & Evelyn, your bouquets are gorgeous.
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Jun 6, 2021 8:38 AM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
LynNY said:Transporting them in a car is also a challenge. After having done it once, I have an idea about a container I could create that would keep them separate but also prevent them from tipping over. Hills and curves in the road not fun for iris transport.


Lyn ~ What is your idea?
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Jun 6, 2021 11:20 AM CST
Name: Lyn Gerry
Watkins Glen, NY (Zone 6a)
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Keeps Horses Irises Organic Gardener
Permaculture Vegetable Grower
I'll try to explain. So: half gallon Mason jars to put each bouquet in

You need a vehicle, a hatchback/suv with headroom (which fortunately I have) or a van without seats or a pickup with a camper shell.

Out of 4 pieces of 1x6 you build a frame, like a box without a bottom. The size depends on 1) you vehicle and 2) how many bouquets. I haven't done these calculations yet. Across the top you attach a grid of 1x2 spaced so that each compartment is just the right size to slide a mason jar in. You space the compartments so that the bouquets are not touching.

The reason there is no bottom is because there is no way I want to carry a huge heavy box of glass jars w/iris. :(

So you set the frame in the car, then you walk the bouquets out one by one.

I hope this description makes sense to you. This is def the case where a pic is worth 1000 words, but since this thing does not yet exist, words are all I have.

evelyninthegarden said:

Lyn ~ What is your idea?
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Jun 6, 2021 3:46 PM CST
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
I enjoy making bouquets, too! They are so nice to share with neighbors and coworkers, and I can enjoy the iris while I'm indoors. I always suggest to put a few layers of paper towels under the vase, just in case they miss a deadheading and the spent bloom drips "juice."
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Jun 6, 2021 7:54 PM CST
Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Try Naturalizing perennials! :)
Amaryllis Region: Nebraska Lilies Irises Hostas Foliage Fan
Daylilies Garden Photography Bulbs Butterflies Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
lauriemorningglory said:I always suggest to put a few layers of paper towels under the vase, just in case they miss a deadheading and the spent bloom drips "juice."


Yeah, I ruined my favorite table cloth that way.
Not only people give others signs, but plants do too.
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Jun 7, 2021 1:13 AM CST
Name: Lyn Gerry
Watkins Glen, NY (Zone 6a)
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Keeps Horses Irises Organic Gardener
Permaculture Vegetable Grower
Funny you should mention that. I just had a spent bloom that fell off and sat at the bottom of a white bucket. It was from a standard medium blue NOID. When I went to wash the bucket, the water turned a a vivid cyan color. It made me wonder if any creative people have used spent blooms to make homemade fabric dye.

lauriemorningglory said:I enjoy making bouquets, too! They are so nice to share with neighbors and coworkers, and I can enjoy the iris while I'm indoors. I always suggest to put a few layers of paper towels under the vase, just in case they miss a deadheading and the spent bloom drips "juice."
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