Sunday, December 12, 2010

Irises Irises Irises

Bearded Irises taken 2007
As fall and winter take over the garden, reviewing spring pictures of the past bring a certain hope and anticipation for the 2011 growing year.  One flower I anticipate every year are our Irises!  We have many "categories" of Irises in our yard.  Two main categories are:  Bearded and Louisiana or Dutch Irises.  From there we have several different "classes" of Irises.  We have:
  • Grandma's prolific and ever-multiplying Bearded Irises which are a light dusty purple
  • Irises that were in the bulb bed when we bought the house
  • Louisiana or Dutch Irises and Award-winning Bearded Irises given to us by Mom Boney
  • Irises from Auntie's yard
I wish I could say we still have every single Iris that has been given to us, as we have not purchased a single rhizome ourselves.  However, like everything else in our garden, we keep many and lose a few.  The picture above is of some Irises Pat planted in our garden by our back door.  That was the only year they bloomed. I assume they are gone.

Award-winning Irises taken December 2010
 This Iris bed is home to the Louisiana and Award-winning Bearded Irises Mom Boney gave us.  Allow me to clarify--neither Pat nor I grow Irises to enter them in competitions.  These are Irises that have won awards by someone else's hard labors.  Mom bought them from a garden club member who grows these in her yard.  Some of the rhizomes are still here and some are gone due to one heavy foot (mine) while weeding.  This bed is also home to our yellow and purple Louisiana Irises, although the yellow ones tend to show stronger here. 

More Irises beside our home. 2010
 Why so many Irises?  Well, one year I was commenting to Pat how my Daddy hated the little patch of Irises in the backyard of my childhood home.  My grandma tended to them with great care.  However, once the growing season was over, Daddy would mow them down.  She would get so mad at him!  Yet, year after year they would come back even stronger and prettier than before.  I managed to convince Pat that they are the easiest things to grow in a garden.  And for the most part, they are.  But the reality is, I think Pat tends to the Irises as much, if not more, than he does to the rest of the yard!!

Here is a shot of our latest Iris bed.  When we bought our house we had Red-tipped Photinias surrounding the back and side of our home.  They developed a fungus and Pat eventually ripped them out.  What was my suggestion??? Thin out Grandma's Irises and put them in the bed.  They're free!!

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