Monday, June 11, 2007

Irises, irises, irises

How fortunate that there is an iris for almost every corner of my yard.

In the drier areas and on the slopes, I grow bearded irises, like "Champagne Elegance," "Play with Fire," and several unnamed passalongs.

Just added this year from my sister-in-law's bounty comes a tall, graceful iris with lilac-striped falls, yellow beards, and white standards. This nameless variety catches the sunlight so well that it looks like it's glowing from within.

"Eric the Red," "King of Kings," and "Cambridge," Siberian irises, like to be in well-watered ground, particularly when they are setting flowers.

In the spring, I top-dress both bearded and Siberian species with peatmoss. After blooming, I cut down the stems to a few inches. The foliage remains until fall, when it is trimmed down to a few inches. I try not to over-fertilize but just can't help but scatter a little 5-10-5 around.

And the blue flag irises (Iris versicolor) keep their feet muddy in the soggy area of my former lawn. I haven't a clue how to care for them!


Xris said...

I really like the color of that second Iris. It looks like it's sort of a smoky raspberry with some glaucous iridesence. Does it look like that in person?

Doctor Mom said...

You summed it up perfectly! The rich color reads a little browner when it's in the shade and a little redder in the sun. I added another photo at the end of the post. Wonderfully dramatic!

Xris said...

Looks great with the pale pink of the penoies! That Iris is "Play With Fire"?

Doctor Mom said...

Yes, "Play with Fire" is its name. I can't recollect where I purchased it--probably a mail order iris nursery. It's quite robust and has expanded well over the past three years.