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CULT: How do you feel about...

Happy New Year Everyone,

I think Patrick Orr expressed my feeling about growing iris and companion planting. People who love iris generally love flowers other than iris too. If you have a small yard, want beauty all through the growing season and like a cottage garden type of planting you will probably enjoy iris planted with other plants. That is no sin. If you are creative you will look for ways to make each type of flower appear to be in the spotlight when viewed at the peak of its' bloom. My house is situated on a raised area which was necessary to comply with 100 year flood plane requirements. This created a bank around the house on the north, south and shaded west sides. Each side is planted with a mixture of plants to give me bloom year around. In regimented rows in the garden are the rest of the iris. I derive the most pleasure from the plantings around the house as I can look out of the windows and enjoy them as I move about the house. I can go out and view the iris in rows but I do not see them as often as I see the others. The MDBs are planted on the bank by the entrances where they are enjoyed many times a day. The ABs are planted both in rows in the garden and on the bank along the south side of the house. I have placed them where I can see them from my living room and they put a song in my heart as I work in that room or when I want to just sit on the tiny porch and enjoy a cup of coffee. Guests are treated to their beauty and are immediately enchanted by them. They can enjoy them from the comfort of the AC inside the house if they come during the extremely hot part of the day. Most are not nearly as interested in the structured rows of the garden.
I have a limited amount of space for planting so older varieties that I love are moved from the garden to the bank beside the house to make room for new varieties. I try to use more inconspicuous markers for the plantings on the bank. The rows in the garden can be more easily identified by their placement and markers and certainly have their place if one is hybridizing, selling rhizomes or has so many iris that mechanized maintenance is required. I will fault no one who wishes to enjoy their iris in neat rows. How you grow them is certainly a matter of personal preference. The world would be pretty boring if everyone planted everything the same way.
I would like to comment that I hardly ever have leaf spot in the iris on the bank which have other flowers planted around them but this year those planted in rows had quite a bit of it.
Arid, alkaline USDA zone 5

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