In an earlier post, I claimed that there was an iris for every spot in my garden. How little I knew! During a recent visit to my siblings'-in-law house in Worcester County, I was delighted to discover another type of iris: Japanese iris (Iris ensata). The plants' elegant stems, topped with blossoms in a lush shade of velvety deep purple, rose from an under-planting of lilac-blooming catmint. Beyond, the garden rolled down across fields to the Nashua River. It was sunset. Lovely.
How to capture that evening iris scene in my own little yard? Okay, I've got the slope. Kind of. No river at the base, but it is damp. Japanse irises like damp. And this spot could definitely benefit from beautification.
In order to learn more about Japanese irises, I took a brief run down to Tranquil Lake Nursery in Rehobeth, MA. The beds of Japanese irises, all labeled, were in bloom.
The "Catherine Parry" variety boasted large, intensely colored blooms.
"Returning Tide" was more subtly hued. Lovely, too.
These irises are best planted in the fall, so lots of time to do more scouting.