Iris germanica massed in Nashville

Iris germanica massed in Nashville

Each day in the garden now is an adventure. This week’s specialty seems to be Iris. I will admit that I don’t have any bearded iris (Iris germanica) in my garden because the maintenance is higher than with other species. They are subject to borer and need to be divided frequently.

Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother'

Iris sibirica ‘Caesar’s Brother’

Iris sibirica 'Snow Queen'

Iris sibirica ‘Snow Queen’

Iris sibirica ‘Welcome Returns’

I love Iris sibirica (Siberian Iris) because they’re basically foolproof. They typically grow three feet high.In my driveway bed, there is a large stand of ‘Caesar’s Brother”, a classic purple, that has just started to bloom. By the end of the week, there will be a large mass of it and next to it will be ‘Snow Queen’, a serendipitous mislabeled plant. In another bed, I have a reblooming Siberian, ‘Welcome Returns’, which is more of a blue than a purple. In the back yard, I have  both ‘Blue Moon’ and ‘Perry’s Blue’. Although I love the flowers, they are fleeting but the slender and linear foliage provides a long season of contrasting foliage to many of the surrounding perennials.

 There are also some dwarf cultivars that I’ve planted at the bottom of a hill. ‘Baby Sister’ is a lovely blue while ‘Little White’ provides a nice color contrast.

I also have some Iris cristata (Crested Iris). My first one was ‘Powder Blue Giant’ which has done quite well considering that it is sited in a very dry site. Then I acquired ‘Eco Giant Orchid’ or so I thought. However, when it bloomed last year it was white so I think it’s probably ‘Eco White Angel’. The flowers are quite large for this species and the petals have a golden yellow splotch.

Being a sucker for variegated foliage, I had to have Iris pallida ‘Variegata’. It has been slow to spread but is finally developing into a medium sized clump. The flowers again are fleeting but a lovely shade of lavender and the foliage is stunning from April through November. Which irises do you love?

Iris siberica 'Baby Sister'

Iris sibirica ‘Baby Sister’






Iris cristata 'Eco White Angel'

Iris cristata ‘Eco White Angel’

Iris pallida 'Variegata'

Iris pallida ‘Variegata’ with pink columbine