Saturday, April 26, 2008

Worth the Wait

I purchased a bunch of dwarf irises several years ago from a mail order catalog. I wish I could remember the varieties and the company, but I cannot. I got five colors: apricot, light blue, dark purple, white with purple and white falls, and one other that escapes me now.

I promptly planted them out front around an oak tree. I like irises around trees because while they can have long roots, generally the roots are somewhat shallow rooted and compete well with the tree. At least the irises seem not to suffer and still continue to bloom wonderfully.

I really have been unhappy with these irises as they never did anything. I was actually contemplating pulling them for placement elsewhere, since I can never throw away any plants. I really need to be more ruthless with disposing of plants no longer needed or performing well, but I am SO glad I held off on these irises. Now the tulips, they met their demise just this week as it just wasn't worth me trying to coax some life and blooms from the 100 or so I dug out of the ground. The compost can use the nitrogen.

I am used to the big bearded irises which multiply rapidly. Very rapidly. But finally, after about four years I see some success with the dwarf ones! And it was worth the wait! I need to pay better attention because I had overlooked these guys. Such was the case when I finally snapped the pictures. It would seem they had been in bud or even blooming a day or two prior to me spotting them. Spring, isn't it lovely? Nothing says spring as well as a rainbow of irises. What are your favorite varieties and/or colors of irises?

in the garden....


  1. My irises are being tempermental this year. The ones on one side of a flower bed have bloomed, the ones on the other side have not. They are off-kilter or something.

  2. Such pretty flowers! reminds me, I need to move my irises.

  3. Your irises look great. Ours still haven't broken from their buds. I can't wait until they do, we have a bunch of them that we were given last year form my parents yard. It should be a nice display.

  4. I am not a big fan of irises but Nana was and those do look lovely.
    They even look good enough for
    Dr. McEwen be proud of you!

  5. Your season is a little ahead of my Kentucky zone 6a. My miniature bearded irises have bloomed, but the dwarf haven't yet.

    When we moved here I inherited a lot of tall bearded ones, but we have thunder storms and a good amount of wind. They always fall over (too many to stake). Therefore, when I add irises I choose dwarfs.

    Yours are so pretty. I wouldn't have thought of planting around trees for fear that would be too much shade. Apparently not. Maybe your trees are small?

  6. Your irises are lovely - I especially like that peachy colored one. Persistence and patience pays off!

  7. I favor the dark purple ones (I do have a thing for purple) because those are the ones that both my grandmothers had. They remind me of them! I really do like that peach one you have. I dont recall ever seeing one that color before and it sure is pretty. With time and knowledge, I am learning that the flowers I grew up with are not the only ones! I use to think irises are only purple! Gee, how naive was I???

    I dont have any iris in my gardens but bulbs just dont seem to do well in our yard. I see them around town but the soil is different from yard to yard around here. Clay, sand, limestone, etc. Our yard has a lot of sand in it...

    Tina, one of your pictures did not open up for me....?...

  8. See why I respond frequently to comments? Come inside and there are tons of folks to talk to. Mr. Fix-it the Jimster and I are burning about 100 dead trees that have been decaying in the yard for 7 years now. 'Bout time I guess. So much HARD work! But it will be one less chore and take care of many of the termites and pesky mice. Did I say tick city? Yes. Anyhoo.

    Jillybean, Maybe a different type of iris or more or less sun? Mine behave like that too.

    Dawn, What color irises? I have plenty to share-but not my dwarfs. lol

    Dave, Yours are coming. My big ones are just now opening. Seems slow to me this year. Looking forward to seeing yours. Passalong ones are super.

    Mom, No, Dr. McEwen would in no way be impressed. I don't do anything special with them. I wish I could hybridize and know them better. I think you should go to his garden this spring and takes lots of pics for us so we can see it. What say you?!

    Barbee, You must be a smart gardener to grow dwarfs only. I need to check out your blog as I have never seen you on blogs before. Will be there right away. My oak trees are HUGE and the irises don't mind at all. They maybe bloom a bit less but it SO works around here. Kentucky is not so far away so it will work there too. My daughter lives in Louisville and I really like Kentucky. If we weren't already settled here we might have wound up at the Fort Knox area. We need to be by a base.

    Nancy, Thanks, I so love the peachy one too. Patience is a must when gardening. Truly, but it is hard.

    Skeeter, Got TONS of dark purple irises. I would love to share with you anytime. It seems in TN the purple ones are the most common but they do come in rainbows! The iris is TN's state flower. Cool huh?

  9. Tina Dr. McEwen was such a sweet man he really would have loved yours. He was just that kinda man.
    I think there are more of the purple ones EVERT WHERE!!

  10. Right color (LOL) but afraid I would have to water them too often if they like moist ground. Too many droughts here in the Deep South!

    The other picture finally came up. Wonder whats with that???

    Jillybean, dinner sure will be yummy tonight. Again thanks...

  11. Tina, if the weather holds out for us, we will be at the burning bit again tomorrow... argggg.

    Sales person coming to get measurements for new windows on Wednesday. We thought they would be around $200 each but now find out they will be about $289 each. arggg,. Come on Stimulus check! LOL...

  12. Yah! Come on stimulus check!
    Just came in from my flower garden,(corner of the driveway) got it ready for bloom power. Jack of all trades worked on the other corner. He installed my mini rounded rail fence. I have a colorado blue spruce planted beside some wild roses, we made a L with the 1 foot high fence. These wild roses are from the tank farm, they have looong canes and flower white in a grape cluster. We thought it would be nice to see the canes draped over the fence. Gotta love the small things in life.
    I'm going out to the shed to find some 1 gallon pots, we decided to plant the little trees in pots for the first year, that way mobile will be gone! More planting tonight!
    Tina, my iris are the large pale yellow ones, almost as common as the blue flag. They haven't bloomed in a very long time, did well with the roses though so maybe I'll put them back there. That's saved til tom.

  13. Dawn, I love Blue Spruces!
    Colorado was full of them...

  14. I must admit that purple is one of my favorite colors. Shade doesn't really matter all that much. Patience definatley DOES pay off. I must make myself a mental note... need more patience!

  15. Mom, That is so sweet to say about Dr. McEwen!

    Skeeter, Almost done burning. Very nice bonfire. We are celebrating with a glass of wine by the bonfire. So rare we do this...Burn away. It is okay and easier!

    Dawn, Smart to baby your seedlings. Pots are the way to go unless you have a nursery bed. I love those wild roses but they don't work here. Spruces are nice. Tha is what is in the point post. Sounds cool but I can't picture the fence.

    Cinj, That patience thing is SUCH a hard thing. I can practice calmness, obedience, hard work or anything, but patience is hard. The whole point of the post to be patient. Good things happen as all things happen for a reason. Times shows us why.

  16. Very nice iris pictures --mine aren't open but the buds are getting closer. Busy day for us and I missed my daily dose of garden talk so here I am --lol. We had the Spring Ball tonight -the boys looked handsome of course but the girls dresses were just beautiful. The sportcoat and tie is so blah --but seeing such an array of colorful spring formals was like seeing a garden full of flowers:) I did take down the broken trellis on the side of the house today:) Checked on my new grass that ISN'T grass yet, rofl. And, my mom found my car key that got lost in the yard --near ???? yes the iris:0) I was over there watering some petunias and apparently it broke off the chain --this was about 3 days ago --so it was super nice and hubby and I can't thank mom enough. Saved us having to rekey with the Ford dealer --they have to reprogram the keys to work --we are very grateful! Night y'all another busy one tomorrow with church and Sunday school and the dreaded grocery shopping --only because of the new arrangements --I still can't tell you where anything is yet --just some more time and hopefully I can line up my list like I used too --Ciao!

  17. Dawn that is funny about the roses from the tank farm cause I don't remember you getting some. However
    I also got some. They are out out
    next to the shore road starting at
    the main road and coming down beside the shore road. When I planted them years and years ago I only dug up a couple of small ones. All the other ones were just branches that I stuck in the ground to see what would happen and by golly they all took!!!!! I now have a whole row of a hedge there. I got a lotta plants over there. The wild iris I got have all died but a couple as I think it is not wet enough for them. The 1 thing I never took was pussy willows and now I wish I had. I think if I put them down back it would be wet enough for them.

  18. Hi Tina, I love your iris. Ours have just begun, most are the tall ones but I have one dwarf, Champagne Elegance, that is very sweet, white tops and buff yellow falls. I am working in my brain on a post about them. They come as early, mid and late, like the daffodils, tulips and evern daylilies, so patience helps to see them all bloom. They just need to arrive at their special 'time'. You seem to have a good variety and your patience did pay off!

  19. Anonymous, I was wondering where you were! Lola has been missing too. Nina is out with her family. Hi there! All the kids went to the ball or just the two oldest? You and hubby too? Sounds lovely. I like your comparison to spring colors. SO glad you got your key back! By the irises no less. And the broken trellis is gone? I have a pic of a beautiful wisteria blooming. Will have to post it for you soon.

    Mom, Your rugosas are beautiful. I should check and see if I have reloaded the pics. Sorry about your irises but it is not too late to get a pussy willow. Go grab one! They grew great in Germany as we had one in our yard. I don't remember it needing moisture, just sun.

    Frances, I am looking forward to seeing you post on your irises. I know they will be stunning and the writing to go with it as well. The one drawback for irises is they don't last long so it is good they bloom at different times.

  20. Tina, this is great - turned into a regular forum!

    I agree with you, Tina, but disappointment is the most difficult for me to handle.

    Thank you for putting me on the map, so to speak, with your Tenn/Ky side bar group, clever you. I checked it out. Hello to your daughter over there in Louisville.
    Going to the derby?

    I must clarify one thing. I do grow tall bearded, they were already here when we bought. When I buy new ones, I tend to buy dwarfs, because they don't blow over.

    Regarding photo not opening. Sometimes I see that (not on yours though) and if I click reload then it opens that time. Or, it could have been that one of Blogger's servers was down at the time.

  21. Hi Barbee, I like your bumble bee picture. Nope, not going to the derby. I would love to at one point. You have a bunch of horse racing in Lexington don't you? I think the derby is in Louisville?

    I just watched Volunteer Gardener and they had a segment on irises at Iris city here in Tennessee. They said the newer hybrid varieties of tall bearded are bred to have stronger stems to not blow over. I never had that problem here I guess mine might me all newer. What color are your irises? And I do see you are a fairly new blogger with your garden blog? Welcome to the world of garden blogs. I learn so much each day from everyone and made new friends too as a bonus!

  22. Tina, I'm glad you like my alter-ego bee (Barbee'). I chose that one of my many names to use on the Internet. As a child I was called: Ann, Barbara, Barbara Ann, Barbee', Babs, and now my grandchildren call me Bobbie.

    When I discovered Blotanical I wanted to participate. My web site does not function as a blog so I decided to whip up a blog, which I did: Barbee's Blog. Now here I am! And, no longer a lonesome gardener.

    My web site is almost two years old. (The Garden At Crocker Croft) Lexington and horses? Oh, my yes! One of the categories in the side bar is Horses.

    Moved to KY from TN in 1973. Never been to the Derby; I don't like crowds. My husband took my elderly father once years ago. My dad said he'd never seen so many old men with young women. I suspect that was a bit of widower's envy.

    That is interesting about the new varieties of iris having stronger stems. That is a good thing.

    These in this garden are all different colors. When they bloom I will do a post about them with photos.

    Thank you, Tina.

  23. Widowers Envy, that is so funny Barbee...ROFL...

  24. Barbee' and Skeeter, I must've been sleeping last night! Barbee' I do love your alter ego and you have quite the popular blog. I'll have to check out your website soon. Where did you live in TN? And no derby? That is kind of one of those things you must do once in your life, especially if you live in Lexington! I bet you know your dad well and why not??

  25. In Tenn. we lived in Jackson, Memphis, and moved here from Lexington. I told people we just changed our zip code.

  26. Barbee', Did you ever go to UT's Summer Celebration at the Ag Center in Jackson? And hear Rita or Carol speak? I enjoy this annual event and really look forward to it. Jackson is pretty neat but I would think gardening in Lexington would be so different. Cooler for sure; which is always good. If you ever come back to the annual event, I attend each year and we could meet up. It is held in July and I will most likely post about it when it gets closer to the time. Lotsa fun-and free.

  27. Tina, we lived there in the 1950's, in Memphis in the early '60's, Lex, TN. in late sixties early seventies, moved here to KY 1973. Those early years I was busy bearing and rearing four babies in six years and four days. No time for gardening, although I wanted to.

    When I was younger I used to go to such meetings here in Lexington, KY. By then the children were all in school.

    I am working on a short post for tomorrow, Tuesday, about a mystery iris that I hope people will identify for me.