As the record cold weather continues (it was 4 degrees this morning….in MARCH!) and the view is still of snow, snow, snow my brain is stuck dreaming of the upcoming garden rather than actually doing anything IN the garden, it’s too easy to yield to temptation. As I scrolled through photos of last year’s blooms, I noticed holes here and there that really need to be filled, and areas that could be expanded just a bit for balance. Plus there was a big lack of apricot and orange once the tulips were gone, but before the zinnias came into power. Thus the visit to Schreiner’s amazing website. Who knew there were so many irises available with just a click? Sadly, they won’t be shipped until July (a proper time for planting in our area, although I’ve pretty much planted or moved irises any time the ground is thawed!) so it will be a wait until 2020 for blooms, but I am patient. (Sometimes!) Here’s what made it into my basket (after much reduction from the initial unrestrained spree, due to budget considerations! There really were dozens that struck my fancy, and I’d love to be able to afford some of the fragrant and reblooming varieties, but they are pricey!)
Because iris borers are a problem here, and they are difficult to battle if chemicals are not used (and I don’t use them) I chose mostly the dwarf and shorter irises, which seem less prone to borers. They also bloom earlier than the tall German Bearded iris, so it will spread out the flowering period. My first selection is 12″ “Jive” which is a cheery combination of orange with deep purple marking on the falls. Next comes 13″ “Decorum” which is similar, but a softer pale apricot with that startlingly brilliant deep blue beard. And for an earlier bloom “April Fanfare.” I can’t wait to see it in person…lavender with touches of apricot. These could look great combined with one of my favorite violas, “Penny Peach Jump Up” which are also a combination of peach and lavender petals. I already have a mid-sized May-blooming peach and also a deep purple mid-sized one, so hopefully the timing will work out great. Couldn’t resist a couple of tall German bearded selections, despite the risk of borers, because they bloom later and should really help fill in the gaps. I’ll just try to be more vigilant and do more research on eliminating borers. Here’s 36″ tall midseason blooming “Parisian Dawn” which is just gorgeous, as is this 34″ beautiful soft orange variety called “Lace Legacy” which will bloom
midseason. Both are supposed to be very large bloom heads. The last choice “Delirium” is a bit different, but dramatic and should look terrific against the brick of the house, so it’s destined for the Addition Garden, which has no irises at present and definitely needs some! “Delirium” is classified as an Intermediate Iris at 27″ in height. And lastly is my “free bonus” for ordering, Iris “Always and Forever” which I think will fit in nicely in the potager’s front border near the deep purple clematis. No iris are grown inside the potager’s fence since they are not edible, but outside the fence anything goes/grows. So that’s my bit of consolation for yet another week of unpleasant weather. My bank account certainly hopes that I can return to long hours in the gardens SOON!