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Re: How do YOU grow irises?

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] How do YOU grow irises?
  • From: "Racheal Nekuda" <lilylvr@kansas.net>
  • Date: Sat, 4 May 2002 13:31:30 -0700

Hi Bobby,
When I was small my grandmother impressed on me some of the ways iris can be used for soil conservation. When I moved in the country where I have some fairly steep slopes, I used iris to secure the soil at the top. I had bought some iris to add to the collection of older unamed material I got from other sources. When the fairly inexpensive newer cultivars started to bloom, I was so amazed. I now have about 150 named cultivars and am adding more. They are so pretty. I have huge areas of nothing but iris, and I have iris mixed in with perrenial borders. I hybridize daylilies for my own enjoyment and have a nice collection of them as well. Mostly the iris are for display. I tried a little hybridizing with them last year but did not get any seeds. Here they do great in places where other perrenials baulk at the soil or the drainage, so those are iris only areas. Then I have used some rows to define  or back borders of other flowers.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Iris Moose 
  To: Iris Talk 
  Sent: Friday, May 03, 2002 3:21 PM
  Subject: [iris-talk] How do YOU grow irises?

  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

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