I love it when my Iris are in bloom. I am quite taken with any flowers in blue or purple, and a little yellow here and there too. I love their tall thin stems and their modest straight leaves, and then the best of all their unusual shape. Their height gives my garden some “vertical interest” and their blooms provide needed colour in that time period when my bulbs and spring flowering perennials have finished, but my peonies, roses and daylilies aren’t quite ready.
The iris bloom is made up of six petals – three upright petals on the inside (standards) an three outer hanging petals (falls). I always thought the beard on a bearded iris was meant to be the hanging “falls”, but this refers to the soft hairs on the falls. Now that I’m experimenting with painting my irises – I’ve taken the time to have a closer look at the structure of the plant!
There are over 300 species of Iris – the tall bearded Irises that we see most often are Iris Germanica, while the smaller irises known as Crested Irises are Iris Cristata. The Dwarf Lake Iris is closely related and is known properly as Iris Lacustris. Both of these smaller Iris are native to North America.
The similar Siberian Iris is native to Europe and Central Asia – including Siberia of course. This is everywhere in my garden, and I adore the vibrant blue with yellow and white markings on the falls.
The best types of Iris of course is the kind that your friend and neighbour or favourite relative digs up from their garden and gives you a piece of. In our old house I had so many lovely purple and peach coloured bearded iris. They reminded me of my friend, our old neighbours and my uncle. I dug up a few and stored them before we moved, but then decided to share them with a relative, who promptly sold his house. Maybe this means that I should spend more time making new friends and finding new irises to share with new friends and younger relatives.
The local garden centres this year are short of many plants due to the pandemic, and I have not heard of any perennial sales or garden open houses happening. I hope that by late summer maybe there will be some gardening events to attend so that I can find some new varieties to plant for next year.
My uellow iris have just about finished their bloom, and the blue siberian iris are fading – making way for my favourite peonies. Happy June blooms.