Irises forum: Iris Bed

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Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jul 9, 2014 5:16 PM CST
Right now I have most of my irises planted around the outer edge of my pond and some by the driveway. I am getting a box full for postage from a very generous ATP member and want to stat an iris bed. Do any of you have beds with "just irises"? What other plants do you have in the beds with them if any? Would love to hear some ideas or even better see some pics!
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jul 9, 2014 5:22 PM CST
My beds just have iris. Mostly because I haven't had time to figure out companion plants that work in the heat of NC. There are several on this site though that have lovely mixed beds, like Paul, and Mary Ann has peonies with her iris I believe (something I really want to do). I'll have to see if I have any full bed shots of the (just) iris in bloom....
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jul 9, 2014 5:25 PM CST
Well, I guess every ones taste's differ, but almost all of mine are "just iris". I do have a "border" of early spring bulbs in some of the beds. Rita, on the other hand has , her iris bed outlined in tulips and daffies, and had lilies inter-planted among the iris. We also have one area that has turned into a "mixed perennial bed" iris, daylilies ,lilies , sweet rocket, and daisies.....Arlyn
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Jul 9, 2014 5:46 PM CST
I have several that are mixed beds, and some that are just irises. If I ever completely re-do the beds, I think I'd make the mixed bed a bit differently then I did the first time. For examle I'd probably put the day lilies and lilies in the back half so I could mulch it, and then have the irises up front where I could get at them to weed them.
In this bed I have day lilies, lilies, spider wart, spiria, and clematis
Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/d9f51c
This is the fence row that I would like to re-do with the daylilies in the back and the iris in the front.
Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/f2fe82
These lilies start to bloom when the iris are done, and before the day lilies
Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/770b67 Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/808f90
Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/9df71a Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/366511
Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/71e9e9 Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/3197b3
Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/8c4a5f Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/91fafd
Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/85d188 Thumb of 2014-07-09/tveguy3/c329fa
After these lilies are done blooming, then the day lilies are in full bloom, so you have some color all summer long.
I also have 3 long beds of just irises, and they are easier to maintian, but they are just leaves for a good part of the year.
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
[Last edited by tveguy3 - Jul 9, 2014 5:48 PM (+)]
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Region: California
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UndertheSun
Jul 9, 2014 6:22 PM CST
Oh my! Drooling

What a beautiful garden you have Tom! Thumbs up I like your plan of having flowers all summer.
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jul 9, 2014 6:25 PM CST
I agree Wonderful!!! Drooling
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jul 9, 2014 6:33 PM CST
Since this is an iris bed thread - I have a question for all of you. How close do you plant your new iris? Do you keep them all a foot or so apart, or do you bring them closer together then divide more often? My front bed is slightly less than a foot and they are filling the space quickly, but my back garden was planted a foot apart and looks sparse. It is under a tree, so I was thinking of crowding them in a bit more since the increases are slower. What is your opinion?
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
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grannysgarden
Jul 9, 2014 6:49 PM CST
Oh, Tom, what a beautiful garden you have!! Thanks for posting the photos.

I have some beds that are all irises and some mixed beds. Most of the irises that are named are in the beds exclusively planted in irises. This allows me to water and feed to their needs and not be neglectful of plants requiring more attention. I usually allow a lot of room for my irises to grow. I do not like to dig that often and some will be content and bloom well for five years if given room to grow. Once you get to know an iris you know which one to put in a bed by itself and which ones you will be thinning every year. I guess it is a matter of preference. I do not like my irises to run together where I cannot tell which one is which but gardens that I visit where they are thick and in bloom are just breathtaking.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Jul 9, 2014 6:50 PM CST
I roughly gave them 24" (+\-) in some beds. While in another, I gave them less room. As the collection grows, the space between seems to get smaller and smaller. Sticking tongue out

That's why it's good to know if it's increases slowly, or fast. Right now, I have a few very slow irises with plenty of room around them. I plan to move them to a tighter bed and plant faster growing irises in their place.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Jul 9, 2014 6:52 PM CST
I have beds dedicated exclusively to iris and also have some in mixed beds. I lost some roses in a front yard bed and am planting a few clumps of iris there for color just before the roses start to bloom. I plant everything for immediate effect so I crowd things......also I want one of every cultivar so with limited space I squeeze them in. OCD.....here. My rule is that a garden is a personal thing so do what you want. If it doesn't work get out your shovel.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Jul 9, 2014 6:56 PM CST
Paul2032 said: My rule is that a garden is a personal thing so do what you want. If it doesn't work get out your shovel.

I want that as a garden sign. Green Grin!

I want one of everything too. *Blush*

Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jul 9, 2014 7:05 PM CST
All great ideas!

Tom, those pictures are gorgeous!

I think I am leaning towards an all iris bed but just wanted to get some ideas of what others also planted with them.
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
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janwax
Jul 9, 2014 7:12 PM CST
Beautiful garden, Tom!
Iris is the goddess of the rainbow.
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
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Linneaj
Jul 9, 2014 7:17 PM CST
All my iris have been early. I dunno what is in my new boxes yet. I will have to go through and catalogue when they bloom so I can get some bloom time variation. Since the gardens were here when I bought the house, I keep unearthing more perennials. I am an experienced perennial gardener and knew most everything by its foliage. My lawn is full of Campanula leaves, Yarrow and Violets. For years, I have advertised free plants on Craigslist and given away 1/2 the garden on a regular basis. It is just this year I have become enthralled with Lilies and Iris. I used to just have the kind you collect on roadsides and old cow fields. So, I just started making the Iris Circles in the lawn. Rolling on the floor laughing
Don't make fear based decisions.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Jul 9, 2014 7:18 PM CST
When I am planting an all iris bed, I have been placing them at 18 inches apart. Seems to work OK, but I have to thin some after the second or third year. I have placed some closer at times, but then have to move them soon after.
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: Mary Ann
Kentucky
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Muddymitts
Jul 9, 2014 7:30 PM CST
Cat -- my main Iris bed (Iris Lane) has a center line of lemon lilies, with a peony bush in the center of every 16-foot section. The Irises are planted in front of, and in back of, this center line.

So -- first the Irises bloom, and generally the peonies at the same time. Just about the time that the Irises are finishing up, the lemon lilies start to bloom. Between it all, I usually have flowers blooming from April through July. Here's a couple of pics to give you an idea of it.

Iris Lane in full Iris bloom:
Thumb of 2014-07-10/Muddymitts/778dda

Iris Lane in lily bloom:
Thumb of 2014-07-10/Muddymitts/c63584

I also have some dianthus tucked in there, here and there, for some additional ground color. They bloom when they bloom.



Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jul 9, 2014 7:32 PM CST
Wow, That is very nice Mary Ann!
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
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
Jul 9, 2014 7:33 PM CST
Tom -- I love your mixed bed in front of your house -- it's beautiful!! Lovey dubby

Which Iris is it in the front section, that is two-toned purple?

Also -- love your lilies!! Green Grin!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
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
Jul 9, 2014 7:35 PM CST
Thanks Cat. It was years in the making -- and just about destroyed by one bad winter followed by one bad spring. Sad
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Lilies Ponds Echinacea Irises Butterflies
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Cat
Jul 9, 2014 7:36 PM CST
Well it sure looks beautiful in those pictures!
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall

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