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How do YOU grow irises?

  • Subject: How do YOU grow irises?
  • From: "Iris Moose" <irismoose@daylily.net>
  • Date: Fri, 3 May 2002 18:21:59 -0400

There are a lot of ways to answer this question.  I am interested in however you wish to respond because this could be an informative discussion.

I am glad to go first.

I grow my irises in a perennial garden setting.  I have no beds that are solely dedicated to only irises.  In fact, when building our garden we are designing it with many raised, circular beds approximately 15 feet across.  Our garden is primarily focused on the daylilies as we grow over 500 different cultivars.  Right now we are at about 50 iris cultivars but hope to expand this to about 200 within a year.  

The focus is to incorporate the iris as a garden plant and not as a specimen plant, nor to grow irises like corn (in rows like a farm).  Since I am only concerned with displaying iris and not selling them this is ideal for our goals.  I wonder how many people grow irises for just the iris and how many grow irises for there value as a garden plant in the mixed perennial planting?

The challenge for me now is acquire a vast perennial collection and then to place the irises and daylilies in appropriate settings to show them off to their maximum potential and worthiness as a plant to include in the full garden.

In our zone 7b garden I also hope to grow a good representation of irises to include all the forms that will grow in this climate such JI's, TB's, etc.  At this point I also believe that the reblooming tall bearded types have the greatest value in irises as far as being the choice to have include in the mixed perennial garden.  The reblooming TB's have the value of blooming during different cycles of the garden and also appear to adapt better to different garden cultures than irises that are bred primarily for a pretty face or their display on a show table.  The rebloomers may even grow more vigorously which allows us to share them quicker with friends.

Because of these traits in the reblooming types, I am also hybridizing for this characteristic.  The more hybridizers working towards this goal will surely advance the pretty faces of rebloomers are a snappier pace.

These are just some short, quick comments.  I hope many of you in this forum will add your thoughts to this discussion.


Bobby Baxter
Iris Moose

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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