Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ABC Wednesday - I is for Invicible or Irritating?

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other bloggers that are participating in this meme.

Invincible - incapable of being conquered, defeated, or subdued.

describes the Iris.

Irritating might also describe the Iris.

When we moved here 8 years ago, the Sunny Corner Bed was completely filled (and overgrown) with Iris tubers. Thus, there were very few blooms. During our second Spring, I dug and dug and dug tubers out of the bed... and gave up. I filled two good-sized boxes and three paper grocery bags full - and gave them away.

I covered the rest of the bed with about 6" of soil, planted other perennials, and covered the bed with 6" of mulch.

The next Spring? Iris were growing through - all over! I dug and pulled, etc. every Spring for the next few years. Finally (8 years later) I think I have a handle on the situation. I did leave two or three spots of iris (dividing and spacing them) that are very pretty - and manageable.

Intermediate Dwarf Bearded Iris
(name unknown - lost tag)
I purchased this iris. It's very pretty, and I need to divide it this Spring.

Bearded iris
(inherited with the property)

Reticulata irises
, Mathew's subgenus Hermodactyloides from western Asia, are another section of bulbous irises. Leaves of this section are grey green and square or almost cylindrical in cross section. Bulbs have netted tunics and the flowers long tubes. They are small plants that are mostly very hardy, flower in early spring and are dormant in summer. They are suitable for rock gardens, bulb frames or alpine houses and should be planted in well-drained soil that can dry out in summer. (I'm guessing all these iris listed below are about 6" tall.)

*Iris danfordiae is from mountain locations in Turkey where it flowers near the snowline. It has bright yellow dotted green flowers with a deep yellow or orange crest. Bulbs need to be planted deeply or they will split into smaller non-blooming bulbs

*Iris 'Harmony' is a popular hybrid of Iris histrioides and Iris reticulata with a nice contrast of blue and yellow

*Iris 'George' is a hybrid of Iris histrioides and Iris reticulata

*Iris 'Sheila Ann Germaney' - is a another desirable hybrid between Iris histrioides and Iris winogradowii. It is similar to 'Katherine Hodgkin', but more even pale blue toned and showing less influence of the yellow palette.

Below: This is a Species Iris of some type - it was in flower beds when we moved here. I don't know what type it is... but I do know that it has a very long, narrow tuber. The tuber continues to grow long and narrow and spread throughout the bed... thus the iris move all over the place. It takes a little time (a couple of years), but you might find them crowding into other plants' territory. (They are beautiful, though, aren't they?)

*Credit given Pacific Bulb Society. Click this link to view other varieties and more information.

this post is property of http://yardisgreen.blogspot.com


Wanda said...

What a wonderful post... Just loved walking through your garden of flowers.

I too posted an Iris...pure white, my favorite.

Randy Emmitt said...


Your mystery iris might be Iris tectorum, Japanese Roof Iris. Though the leaves look a little long for it. We have both white and blue flowering.

Hazel said...

I love the purple irises. Sheila Ann Germaney is really beautiful. If they were growing in my neighbor's backyard I would covet them.

Jingle said...

it is interesting that both words describe the same flower...

very creative take on i, enjoyed your wisdom on it.

Roger Owen Green said...

i suppose invincible could be irritating - hadn't thought of it that way.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Wanda, I'll have to visit your post!

Randy, I'm not sure about the Japanese Roof Iris. I've looked at so many types of Iris - but this flower seems to be Just different enough... nothing ruffly about it...
But thanks! (It's truly as close as I could come!) :-)

Hi Hazel, Thanks for your visit. You truly would love these little irises!

Hi Jingle, Thanks for visiting today!

Roger, :-) All in the perspective. lol

Ms. Burrito said...

So pretty and Interesting!

Please come and see my ABC Wednesday post, thanks!

sue said...

I love irises, and can't imagine having enough for them to be irritating as I seem to have trouble getting them to grow. I had no idea there were so many varieties. Are they all yours?

Rosey said...

We have wild iris growing in some wet areas here in the mountains of Colorado and I look forward to them every year.
Yours are stunning!

Diana (Di) said...

The Iris reticulata are always the first to bloom, and now we wait for the Siberian and wild Pacific iris, the latter being a thorn in my side for they become deeply rooted everywhere. The bearded are perhaps my favorite, but they require digging every 2-3 years and I'm not up to increased maintenance these days. Don't we have enough on the schedule> ;)

PS: love the warm glow of our header photo

helenmac said...

Irritating iris -- a new idea to me!
Thank you for the beautiful images of this glorious plant,
HelenMac, ABC Wednesday Team

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Ms. Burrito - Thanks for visiting. I've already been over your way! ;-)

Sue, Yes. These are all mine - but you need to pick up a gardening catalog or two! There are more varieties than we two could imagine together! ha.

Hi Rosey, Thanks~ I cannot tell you what the mystery iris is, but I'm wondering if it's not considered a bit invasive? It really likes to walk around!

Hi Di, The Siberian must be planted "where you want it to stay," but the others? Garden changes should be at the discretion of the gardener, don't you think? :-)

Hi helenmac. I know. Iris truly are beautiful, but if you're subject to wind... those somewhat delicate bearded iris don't stand up well.

Rose said...

Now this is a problem most of us would be thrilled to have! I have been trying to add a few more iris each year, but last year my aunt gave me more than I had room for. She dug all hers up, too, and had so many I gave many away to friends. Seeing all your lovelies makes me excited to see all mine in bloom this year.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Rose! Isn't it funny how things work? Your Aunt was happy to thin hers out. In about 5 years, you'll be doing the same! :-) This Sunny Corner Bed had been neglected for about 8 years by the time we'd moved in!

Meryl said...

My first visit. I love your logo, and your garden flowers are breathtaking. I live in a city - no yard, just parks...no flowers like yours!

troutbirder said...

I do love Iris although the digging and replanting every few years can be a pain.

Rosemary said...

Your post brings a smile , love all the iris....interesting...

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I love seeing all your different types of iris. We once rented a house that had pretty much all iris tubers taking over. I never tried growing them here until two years ago when my sister dug all of hers up. Now I want to add a few more varieties. I guess the trick is to stay on top of dividing them, something I didn't really know was that important to irises.

mrbrownthumb said...

These irises make me want to add more of them to the garden. I wish I had room for a couple of these beauties.

Shady Gardener said...

Meryl, how sweet of you to visit and leave a comment this first time. :-) Thank you for the compliments. We are truly ready for Spring!

troutbirder, I understand about the "pain," however I'm thinking that maybe if I adjust my attitude a bit - I could share those extra tubers as they get crowded! :-)

Rosemary, Thank you for smiling at me. lol

Hi Catherine, I think if you start with a couple or three varieties and learn to take care of them, you could add a couple more until you find you have enough. Then, the key is to find a friend/fellow gardener that would appreciate some free nursery stock! :-)

Mr. BTh, How about those little miniatures?

Jamie said...

Love that first one you purchased. I'd love to see a close-up. So pretty.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Jamie, I'm not sure I have a closeup in the file, but I can take one before too very long. :-)

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Your mystery iris is a beauty! I adore it. Could it be a Douglass iris? (A plant I've struggled to grow...)