Tag Archives: Bearded Iris

Early May Vignettes And Blooms – Iris

Here is a look at the irises in the first half of May.

An invasive aster overran my iris bed in the northern border many years ago. I had been able to keep it somewhat under control but for three recent years I was pretty absent from the garden and the aster has been strangling the iris. This iris was yanked up last year trying to extricate it from the aster and I was relieved this spring to find it had survived the move to its new location. All this bare mulched border is where the aster has been cleaned up this spring. The iris came with me when we moved to this house in May 2001. It was a gift from my across-the-street neighbor Henrietta circa 1977. It is much smaller than the larger, fancy hybrids available these days. I really like its delicate nature. A similar red one has disappeared, so I’m trying hard to take care of this one.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Passalong from Henrietta-Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Passalong from Henrietta-Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

This next one, also a Henrietta passalong, is blooming in the northern border too and apparently I have moved it to several other spots in the garden. The standards look white in the first photo but in the next appear more distinctly violet.  I’m pretty sure it is the same iris.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Here it mingles with Virginia sweetspire.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris) and Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire)

It also is thriving in a fairly shady corner amongst hellebores and salvia.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Although the photo is from April 21 this Henrietta passalong is still blooming.  Very tall, with large flowers, normally it is the first iris to bloom each spring—it was late this year.  I relegated it to the side garden soon after the first year we lived here. I objected to the way the bold yellow clashed fiercely with many of the pink peonies and roses in the other borders. Along the side of the house the strong yellow works better with purples of clematis and baptisia, and rosemary.

The next two irises frame the south end of the southern border, passalongs from Cathy, friend and former neighbor in my current neighborhood. The flowers are huge and command attention. The white one is an autumn rebloomer.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

This yellow is also a reblooming iris and came from Ted and Maria through a neighborhood plant exchange.

Iris – A Passalong

Another iris brought from our former home, this pale yellow iris came from my sister-in-law. She referred to it as a Japanese iris, although I’m not sure it really is.  It is a small form iris, gentle and subtle and was the last to bloom this year.

Kathleen’s Japanese Iris

Dutch iris; Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’, ‘Batik’, and ‘Orinoco Flow’; and Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris) all finished blooming before before May. A new batch of Dutch Iris Hollandica ‘Discovery’ was planted last week.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Purple Smoke baptisia was the starting point for today’s vase.  It grows outside of the main fenced garden and its flowers usually have been stripped away by now, presumably by deer.

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

‘Purple Smoke’ (B. australis x B. alba) is a shrubby perennial which typically grows 3-4.5′ tall. It was discovered as a chance seedling in a trial bed at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in the early 1990s. Features smoky violet, lupine-like flowers (from B. australis) and gray-green, clover-like foliage on charcoal stems (from B. alba).  [ “Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke.'” Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed May 3, 2020.]

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Purple Smoke was discovered by Rob Gardener, late curator of the North Carolina Botanical Gardens here in Chapel Hill and was introduced by Niche Gardens, also of Chapel Hill.  (Sadly  Niche Gardens closed in October 2019.) Kim Hawks, former owner and  founder of Niche Gardens, is known for other introductions, including ‘Kim’s Knee High’ echinacea and Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore.’

Last fall’s snapdragons are mostly white or salmon, but one yellow opened up this week. I thought it would be a good foil to the baptisia.

Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket Mix’ (Snapdragon)

Several of you were surprised to see Clematis ‘Niobe’ in last week’s arrangement.  I am happy to report the clematis lasted all week.  I have had other clematis cuttings fade quickly in arrangements, so I don’t know why that one did so well.  Hope Jackmanii will also make it for a few days.

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

The irises are having a good year, but I have lost a number of my passalongs from the late 70s.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

Iris (Passalong)

Some heavy rains came just as Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ began to peak, leaving many of the flowers bent to the ground.  There are a few more buds and I just stashed 4 in the refrigerator to bring out in a few weeks.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

I hesitated to introduce pink into this vase but Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ is looking fine this week.  It has very few flowers for some reason, perhaps from being a bit close and overshadowed by Festiva Maxima.

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket Mix’ (Snapdragon)
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’
Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)
Iris hybrid
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’
Foliage
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Vase
Black Matte Dish With Red Interior

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Good health and peace to you.

After The Rain

Rosa (Rose) -Virgie’s Old-fashioned Rose

The garden was soggy yesterday after an afternoon storm that brought wind and rain. Temperatures were in the 80s F. this week, but will be 70s today after the storm. It has been a lovely, long spring in the garden. Often we move from winter right into hot summer days and the blooms don’t have a chance to linger.

My mother’s older cousin, Virgie, passed along many of her plants through the years. This rose is one she, my grandmother, mother, my daughter for a time (when she had a yard) and I think another cousin from my generation all have grown. It is sweetly fragrant.

Rosa (Rose) -Virgie’s Old-fashioned Rose

The underside of this heuchera shows reminds me of a young child showing her colorful petticoat. In back, hellebores continue to provide interest. What’s not to love about a plant that will bloom for months without demanding anything. The heuchera was purchased, but the hellebores were passed along by garden club friend Vicki.

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

Dianthus is an old-fashioned favorite and has been so perfect this spring. It is planted among Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood), both of which were purchased last spring.

Dianthus Ideal Select Mix and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

More irises have opened this week. Many of mine were passalongs from a former neighbor, Henrietta on Wave Road, circa 1977.  (Columbine has spread to every corner of the garden, not always creating the best color combinations. Time to cut it back.)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris) (bearded German Iris) with Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) in background

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris) (bearded German Iris)

Though there are lots of bold colors in the garden, the soft fresh greens of spring are evident everywhere. The redbud in the southwest corner is another passalong from friend, Chase. I spotted two volunteers yesterday I hope to pot up and pass on to another gardener.  Passalongs carry happy memories.

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – May 2016

It is time again for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.

Near the back steps, a passalong dahlia is preparing for its second year in my garden, courtesy of Libby at An Eye For Detail. The foliage looks strong and flowers are forming. I neglected to dig the dahlia last fall so am relieved to see it made it through the winter.

Dahlia

Dahlia

In the upper left of the image above, fragrant Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) is inconveniently growing up through where the garden hose is stored and needs to be reined back. In front of the monarda, a few dark red leaves of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) are visible. Also here several plants of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) are pushing upwards through some impertinent clover and a ground cover of Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft). Foliage of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) peek through as well. The Aquilegia’s last remaining red flowers nod their heads.

Here is a closer look at the Echinacea and Aquilegia, with seeds formed on Iberis. The textures were not planned but do look interesting together.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

The other side of the steps features a long, sunny border fronted largely by Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy).

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Across the garden in its shadiest corner, several Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) responded well to the recent rains and have grown substantially. Their multi-hued foliage is rich and full for the moment. Meanwhile Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not) finished blooming, but the smaller silvery, patterned leaves add a bright pop to this planting area (lower left of image). In back at left fern-like foliage of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) and sword-like iris leaves add height and texture.

Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells)

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

In a small nearby border with a bit more sun grows more Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’. Its companion Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ has similar coloring. A stand of self-seeded Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) with long green, leathery leaves gives a change in texture and color.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue) and Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells) with Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) and Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) with Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Silvery shades of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and soon to bloom Lavender complement more leaves of Bearded Iris.

Bearded Iris, Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear), Lavender

Bearded Iris, Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear), Lavender

Four Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ have been planted for about three years. Most are finally getting some size and buds are forming.

Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

One of the August Beauty gardenias has been eclipsed by its aggressive neighbors.  Soon the monarda will explode with red, inviting hummingbirds to sip its nectar, and dark pink flowers will grace the echinacea. But for now this spot is a relaxing green with Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ providing white accents—a cool, calm, peaceful interlude.

One Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty' has become swamped by surrounding plants.

One Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ has become swamped by surrounding plants.

Thanks to Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for hosting. Read her foliage update and see more links to foliage perspectives from many parts of the world.

Views From Last Wednesday

I have been wanting to record some garden views from last Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Bearded Iris Guard Meditation Circle

Bearded Iris Guard Meditation Circle

Lynn's Iceberg Rose

Lynn’s Iceberg Rose

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)- black iris

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)- black iris

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Tradescantia (spiderwort), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Tradescantia (spiderwort), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

In A Vase On Monday—Clematis Trio

In A Vase On Monday - Clematis Trio

In A Vase On Monday – Clematis Trio

Monday brings the chance to share cut flowers from the garden by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday.

At the garden center last week two glazed ceramic planter saucers caught my attention. For some time I had been looking for a square black dish to use for floral arrangements. This style came in several other tempting colors, but I settled on black and white.

The new containers lend themselves to Ikebana-style designs, as do Clematis which are happily in flower this week.

In A Vase On Monday - Clematis Trio

In A Vase On Monday – Clematis Trio

Today’s design turned out quite differently from my original plan to use a red Clematis ‘Niobe’ on the white dish and white Clematis ‘Henryi’ on the black. The effect was underwhelming in this case, but I am tucking the idea away for the future.

Fortunately I had gathered additional material, Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ and several kinds of iris, most of which soon found their way into the arrangement.

Clematis Trio – C. ‘Jackmanii’, C. ‘Niobe’ and C. ‘Henryi’

Iris leaves were added for height along with Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’ and Iris tectorum. A small amount of red-purple-greenish foliage of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ was also incorporated behind C. ‘Jackmanii’.

In A Vase On Monday - Clematis TrioIn A Vase On Monday – Clematis Trio

Materials
Flowers
Clematis ‘Henryi’
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’
Clematis ‘Niobe’
Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’ (Bearded iris)
Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Foliage
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’ (Bearded iris)

Clematis ‘Henryi’

Clematis ‘Henryi’

Clematis ‘Niobe’ With Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Clematis ‘Niobe’ With Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower addiction. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and other gardeners are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – April 2016

It is time again for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.

The dogwood for now is green. There were only a handful of flowers this spring—the most disappointing dogwood display ever. I keep threatening to remove the poor performer but inertia keeps it safe for now.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Below, this this early morning scene highlights the fresh green iris foliage which is very strong and healthy this year. Beside them, in the foreground on the right, green-gray catmint is filling out and up. Looking beyond irises, just beyond the meditation circle, a large circle of daffodil foliage is dying back slowly. Narcissus are wonderful in early spring, but I pay the price of planting them in the middle of the lawn by having to watch the leaves yellow and wilt.

Further back are five evergreens, Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper). They were planted to add some height and privacy to the garden. Because I worked around some existing plants, they are not necessarily situated in the most effective way, but they do help with privacy.

At left behind the fence the neighbors’ red maple is gorgeous this year. Back inside the fence the tall trees in the right back corner are Cupressus arizonica ‘Carolina Sapphire’ (Arizona Cypress) awash in the early morning sun that has yet to reach the rest of the garden. And the large shrub on the right is Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea). It is sending out suckers everywhere and needs a severe pruning, my intended task for this morning.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Lots of plants are bringing great promise. Not all, but many, of these early plants have lovely silvery foliage, such as Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) and, in the background, overly abundant Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear). Echinacea are maturing, with a few already forming flowers.

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Last fall the garden was overgrown when I was trying to plant allium. I just cleared a spot and stuck all the bulbs together. That pretty much sums up my gardening style. I have been reading this spring about suggestions for underplanting alliums to hide their foliage, so lesson learned.

Allium ‘Gladiator’ (Giant Allium) (3 bulbs) Allium ‘Persian Blue’ (Giant Allium) (3 bulbs) Allium azureum (Blue Allium) (10 bulbs)

Allium ‘Gladiator’ (Giant Allium) (3 bulbs)
Allium ‘Persian Blue’ (Giant Allium) (3 bulbs)
Allium azureum (Blue Allium) (10 bulbs)

Here are a few more images to wrap up this April foliage highlight.

Side Path-Iris, Lavender and Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Side Path-Iris, Lavender and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Narcissus, Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Narcissus, Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Iris, Lavender and Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Iris, Lavender and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) and Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Chrysanthemum and Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Chrysanthemum and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Thanks to Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for hosting. Read her foliage update and see more links to foliage perspectives from many parts of the world.