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**MY LOVE AFFAIRS WITH ‘IRIS’ **

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I have tried unsuccessfully to keep this lady happy…..but she always deserts me in the end!
I started out with Siberica, she was tall blue and stately and then I added a few shorter ones…. just when I thought I had cracked it….the Summers warmed up, she did not appreciate my lack of attention in the watering department…she upped and left me!….. I was devastated, how could she?
So I decided to go with her shorter friends Iris reticulata …..just how difficult could she be…..I planted up several all with beautiful names. Carolina, Pauline, Harmony, Katharine Hodgkin George, to name but a few…..bought them pretty terracotta pots, and they rewarded me handsomely…….until I left them to rest in the shady border and it turned out to be another hot Summer…..disaster! lost everyone about fifteen pots in all….
You would think this might have put me off Iris…well no, I have taken delivery of two bearded ones…..apparently (according to expert Siris ) they like to be baked and naked! I will find the perfect spot, will that keep her happy, or will she up and leave me just like the rest of her unfaithful sisters…..time will tell!
I have found a couple of photos…of some of my earlier successes with this difficult lady…
The last two photos are of my new ladies ….Dancers Veil and Edith Wolford, a couple of beauties you have to agree.
I hope you found my blog amusing, I am sure there must be lots of you out there who’s love affairs have not been a ‘bed of roses’….

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Comments

 

This did make me smile.......
I have not tried to grow as many iris as you, but the ones I have bought have failed dismally after year one. I see bearded Iris in the garden centre and am tempted to buy the prettiest one available, but so far no luck at all.
Last year's was attacked by snails which was a surprise to me! I have one left in a pot so I shall nurture it as best as I can and shall think of you 'not giving up and soldiering on!'
Even the small pots of Spring Iris which I buy are never seen again after their first flowers!

21 Jan, 2020

 

Naughty Irises. Your blog made me smile. I never have much luck with the reticulata, they seem to vanish here. Siris has taught me the baked and naked rhizome trick and last year they were absolutely beautiful. The Siberian ones like damp conditions dont they so they do well here. I have an order of Iris lazica and Iris unguicularis on the way, I have Iris unguicularis Mary Barnard in a pot, new last year, no flowers but it has grown.

21 Jan, 2020

 

I find the reticulate ones do really well for me and they like to be warm and dry in the summer, I wonder if they just got too dry. I have some in the 'conifer bed' and those that are in the wetter bits don't do as well.
But I have several I siberica and they are usually in damper areas and doing very well.
Iris are one of my favourite genus and there is something going on with them every month of the year.

21 Jan, 2020

 

Wild rose...I am glad to hear I am not the only one...its a case of right plant wrong place!
Dawn I would imagine the Siberian do really well for you with that huge lake....
I must get Siris to give me an in depth plan....

21 Jan, 2020

 

Edith is an absolute stunner and I'm sure she will love you. I too adore Iris, but those beardeds take up so much space and you can't grow a lot up close to them because they need the sun on the corms. Good luck!

21 Jan, 2020

 

I have irises that are older than me. In the ground naked as you say and exposed to the sun. They love their sun. Nice selection you have. Rarely do I get blooms the 1st season.

21 Jan, 2020

 

I’m really like my Iris foetidissima (Siris :-)
The leaves look so good in winter and of course the real beauty is the seeds.

22 Jan, 2020

 

A nice selection Dd , I've just bought a couple of pots of Harmony (ret) only time will tell if they like this garden or not ...

22 Jan, 2020

 

I'm never successful either, I have the old ones that were in the garden when I moved in, they always do well but rarely hang onto any new ones..

22 Jan, 2020

 

I love Irises but haven't grown any on the balcony for many years.

Last year I was very surprised to see a couple flowering under the window of my church. I don't think I planted them but I did plant the Daffodils & Tulips as well as some Bluebells there some years ago. I haven't planted any other bulbs there in years. Could they have come from seed brought in by a bird? I've no idea. But in spite of their tiny size they really stood out from quite a distance & I'm hoping they will return again this year.

22 Jan, 2020

 

Your Irises are fabulous DD. I wish I could grow them as well as you can. It was my father's favourite plant.

27 Jan, 2020

 

You put a smile on my face when I read your blog. My hubby absolutely loves Irises I always forget to buy them as my love is roses and lupins. This time of year I love the Hellebores and primroses.
I love the new ones you have bought.

28 Jan, 2020

 

Rose.....your husband obviously has good taste! I will let you know how the new one adapt!
Linda they are very hit and miss......
Balcony how strange....I wonder if they will return this year!
Lincs..... pleased I am not the only one to struggle with this lady!
Amy we grew Harmony along with several others, a few have appeared in the sinks, I am pleased to say...
Dawn I think Iris Foetidissima is reasonably bomb proof!
Bathgate I am amazed to find you have Iris older than yourself! tough cookie indeed!
Karen thanks! it will be interesting to see how they do this year, they are fairly established plants.....

29 Jan, 2020

 

LOL Thanks Dotty, I snagged a few rhizomes from my mom's garden. It's the Helen Collingwood Iris which is a strong robust grower, purple/lavender & heavily scented. I see you've made some excellent choices as well.

31 Jan, 2020

 

Time will tell Bathgate.......

31 Jan, 2020

 

Sorry I missed your blog earlier. I don't do brilliantly with reticulata Iris, get too dry I think, planting a bit deeper might help. I could have given you some Beardeds if you had said you wanted to try, but they do need full sun and not ideal for small gardens like ours, but now I've got my allotment....I'm hoping for a great display from the 2018 ones that wouldn't fit in my home garden. (Tall Beardeds don't flower easily in pots, they don't like their extensive roots restricted.)

8 Feb, 2020

 

Siris it was a spur of the moment decision to try some bearded, still not sure where to put them! but that’s nothing unusual is it! they will go in the ground, they have started to grow in the pots already.......when would be the best time to plant them.? and do they need anything under them to get them off to a good start?.......we must meet up soon!🤗

10 Feb, 2020

 

Dd, did you buy in pots? I would carefully with the soil intact put into the ground with the rhizome at ground level ( don't leave a depression) facing where it would get the most sun all day, difficult in your garden? Bit of bone meal around, no high nitrogen fertiliser or they might rot. If area wet, some gravel under the pot soil level to aid drainage. I would be surprised if they flower this year.

10 Feb, 2020

 

Thanks for that information Siris, as you say very difficult to find somewhere with that amount of sun...... I did buy them in pots, and yes I would be very surprised if they flower this year!

11 Feb, 2020

 

Fingers crossed though.

11 Feb, 2020

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