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RE: Re: CULT: rows vs beds

  • Subject: RE: [iris-talk] Re: CULT: rows vs beds
  • From: John Reeds <jreeds@microsensors.com>
  • Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 09:43:52 -0700

> To follow-up on what Linda has said, I grow irises both in 'corn rows'
> (mostly) and in garden beds (some). My experience is that bearded iris
> performance cannot be sustained at the same level in mixed plantings as in
> monoculture.
> 
> Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4/5)
> 
Some iris really seem to fade out unless the rhizome receives heat from the
sun directly.  I don't remember the climate zone of the original inquiry,
but in southern California (where the foliage stays all year, though it
fades a bit in winter and in summer), some TB iris may be suitable for mixed
plantings.

I would suggest those which maintain the healthiest foliage throughout the
year; which seem to thrive on being left alone more than dug and separated;
and are not rot-prone.  Pagan Pink leaps to mind for me; other possibilities
to try include Dawning, Stingray, or Double Dribble.  Louisa's Song, Ocelot,
Touch of Mahogany, and Idol may be similar in behavior; I haven't grown them
long enough to see if they need to be separated every few years or not.
Pagan Pink thrives on being ignored (I just pop out the dead hulls once in a
while), and Dawning has a remarkable ability to space its own rhizomes
rather than overgrowing itself.  Stingray has tall, healthy foliage and
reblooms at various times throughout the year.

BONUS NOTE:  I am so happy, some of my better iris are sending up a second
(lesser) wave of bloom.  Excellent stalks are rising out of Double Dribble,
Innocent Star, and PAINTED FROM MEMORY! for the second time around this
spring, just when everything is starting to fade.  Two of my Blyth imports
from last year moved right to the top of my charts of favorite iris
(Louisa's Song and Painted From Memory), although no one else got to see
them at their best because I pulled open every flower on both to pollinate
them.  I didn't make as many crosses as usual this year, but no way those
two were going to waste.

John Reeds, in 9b southern California
jreeds@microsensors.com 

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