Irises forum: Irises in the mixed garden- combos, companion plants, design ideas, culture

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Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Jan 3, 2015 7:00 AM CST
I have to plant Heucheras in the shade here or as Lucy says the leaves will burn. However, I plant irises in the sun near the shade areas so it still works in combinations. I like to plant Heucheras in complimenting colors with Japanese Maples. I don't rely on heucheras for bloom but for the different foliage colors.
Rise and shine and give God the glory!!
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 3, 2015 7:46 AM CST
A few years ago when I was trading for Irises and receiving several that were new to me, I installed a bed for them so that I could see how they grow before trying them in the "jungle". As I saw them bloom and how well they grew, I started moving them into the garden. Typically I leave some in the nursery bed, just to be safe. Marilyn, if you ever decide to do a combination planting, you can just select from your Iris bed- it's a great way to increase your favorites and really let them shine! Smiling

Lucy, I'm glad you mentioned perennial Candytuft- that's one I often forget, but I love that bright white. I haven't had problems with burgundy Heuchera burning, but there is a bit of dappled shade and protection from late afternoon sun in those areas. Must be just right, the Irises bloom well, but several shade plants perform well there too.

Sherry, seems hybridizing work for Heuchera is totally focused on foliage- I love the old fashioned, showy flowered, varieties and would love to see more work going into them. I agree, they're the perfect foil for Iris blooms and almost any bold bloomer.

Have any of you grown Brunnera among bearded Irises? Does it bloom at the same time? I sure do love the look of it!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Jan 3, 2015 10:50 AM CST
Sherry, if you end up with extra Quaker Lady of Indian Chief I would enjoy having a few to experiment with planting in the garden as opposed to the iris field. Smiling
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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janwax
Jan 3, 2015 11:02 AM CST
This thread is inspirational!
let the mystery be
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 3, 2015 11:09 AM CST
Marilyn, oldies are awesome for growing among other plants. Many have a grace and charm, a subtle beauty, that mingles more softly than larger, flashier modern blooms. Some will even thrive among ground covers, like Indian Chief. Clumps of Iris arising from a thick blanket of pink evening primrose or silvery leaved Lamium dotted with pinky purple blooms is wonderful! A lot of my oldies flower well in partial shade too. I love that there is an Iris for nearly any garden situation!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 3, 2015 11:22 AM CST
Oh, and Marilyn, and any of you for that matter, I have several oldies I'm happy to share. Will be posting pics in spring, and have been looking through old records and finding names of several of them. Good grief, most of mine have proven beyond a shadow of doubt that they prosper in spite of anything thrown at them- I have tested this, LOL!

My fondness for Irises came early, as a child, my aunt, who lived next door, had a patch of I. pallida and a patch of I.flavescens. (both growing in the lawn) I adored them! The blue smelled grapey to me, and the yellow, lemony- I thought that was wonderful! As a teenager I ordered one of those collections from Jackson and Perkins of fairly modern, large flowered varieties, 1 of each of 6 or 8 different varieties. I was blown away, and fell in love with them. My first flashy one to bloom and prosper was Stepping Out- I'll never forget how exotic it looked to me!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Jan 3, 2015 12:10 PM CST
What great memories Neal! My love of plants was inspired by my grandmother's garden, but she didn't grow irises so I was only introduced to them about 3 years ago.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
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lovemyhouse
Jan 3, 2015 12:22 PM CST
My Iris memories began with my great-grandmother and her daughter. (that grinner in the pink dress is me Sticking tongue out ). Great-grandma Jessie had Iris lining the walkway leading out of her back door at their small house in town. At that time, Gramma lived on five semi-rural acres. She was busy most often with the kitchen garden and the cow and the pig, but she had Iris, Peonies, and Lily of the Valley. All three of which are still favorites for me. Lovey dubby

Thumb of 2015-01-03/lovemyhouse/df3fb5 Thumb of 2015-01-03/lovemyhouse/0896ff

It’s okay to not know all the answers.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Jan 3, 2015 2:02 PM CST
Pink peonies in front of our house came from my childhood garden in WI.
Name: Jane H.
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Irises Birds Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Clematis
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janielouy
Jan 3, 2015 3:31 PM CST
Suzanne Spicker has a wonderful site called Sowing the Seeds that shows color combinations of companion plants. She has written a blog and also articles for publications for the AIS. I love to look at her photos and collages!
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
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lovemyhouse
Jan 3, 2015 4:10 PM CST
http://susannespicker.blogspot...
http://susannespicker.blogspot...
http://susannespicker.blogspot...
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
[Last edited by lovemyhouse - Jan 3, 2015 4:11 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #758044 (11)
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 3, 2015 4:42 PM CST
Janie, thank you- that is perfect! And Debra, thank you for the link! I've read facebook posts from the AIS featuring her articles and those collages that are such great visual tools. I think that's actually what gave me the idea to use data base pics in combos, and I hadn't even realized it.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Jan 3, 2015 6:17 PM CST
I love Brunnera, but I do need to grow it in the shade here. I only have variegated forms. Similar flowers to Forget-me-nots w/out the nasty clingy seeds... I don't have a lot of shade areas that have irrigation, so I have to forgo my desire of all the wet woodland plants I'm drawn to.

The old-fashioned red Heucheras used to be known as drought-tolerant, sun-loving perennials. There are some purple-leafed forms that are sun tolerant (Palace Purple is one), but I think all the new fancy-leafed ones do demand some shade. The flowering forms I grow are in full sun.

Lupines are short-lived here, but I'm trying some anyway, even if they only last a year Smiling

I like the brownish color of 'Competitive Edge' with the dwarf red Berberis.
Thumb of 2015-01-03/Henhouse/4c193c

Surprisingly, conifers look great with Iris. 'Mulled Wine' with Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pencil Point'
Thumb of 2015-01-03/Henhouse/f6ef76 Thumb of 2015-01-03/Henhouse/df1823

Or 'Gingersnap' with mini rose 'Teddy Bear' and Spirea.
Thumb of 2015-01-03/Henhouse/e90fc5 Thumb of 2015-01-03/Henhouse/947048
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The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Jan 3, 2015 6:26 PM CST
Yes! Susanne's blogs are epic! I thought I'd mentioned them, but apparently got distracted when I was thinking about it. Sticking tongue out
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
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
Jan 3, 2015 7:33 PM CST
I love Gingersnap! Someone was gonna send me Gingersnap, and never did. Now I don't remember who it was................
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. (www.tut.com)
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Jan 4, 2015 12:58 AM CST
Janie those articles and collages are drop dead gorgeous! Leave it to Debra (our resident techie) to look up the links!!! I tip my hat to you. And Sherry as always your photos are beautiful...some day I'm gonna look you up and appear on your doorstep...just to enjoy your gardens! nodding nodding
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Jan 4, 2015 11:33 AM CST
I have ninebark here for years. Blooms and all. I have some lilies planted in front. I have so focused on just getting plants that grow and come back here that, other than height and width, I haven't paid much attention to color. I did have a comment that I had too much in the way of iris leaves and needed to get more variation in texture. Nature cured that and killed (rotted) all my iris over winter. I keep trying but they(TB and such) will never do well here. I am now trying pots for the second year. I keep them in the garage then move them out in the spring when below zero weather is unlikely.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Jan 4, 2015 11:54 AM CST
Mary Stella, You might want to try some of the intermediates, and Mini's they are very winter hardy.
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: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Jan 4, 2015 12:15 PM CST
Mary Stella, have you tried any historics?
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Image
Henhouse
Jan 4, 2015 2:14 PM CST
Mary Ann, I can share Gingersnap with you.

Marilyn, You're welcome to visit anytime. Just give me enough advance warning so that I can pick up the poodle poopettes.

Neal, I have some new favorite historics that bloomed for the first time last year.. I agree with you..There's a grace and elegance in their form and growth that's very different from the modern hybrids. I wonder if they're hardier, as a rule than the moderns??

'Easter Bonnet', 'Father Rigney'
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'Alcazar', 'Moonlit Sea'
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'True Delight', 'Whole Cloth'
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'Confetti'
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'Moonlit Sea' seems the weakest among this group, but the rest went gang-busters the first year out...

I guess if Ninebark works in Alaska, it's probably hardy in the lower 48. I can't even imagine the short window of gardening you must have Mary Stella. Looks like delphiniums in the background of your profile picture. If you grew those, all I can say is WOW!
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.

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