Monday, June 2, 2014

My irises are looking good, too

I love plants and especially those of the flowering variety that come up every year without fail. Flowering annuals are nice because within an hour's time you can go from the blah of winter to the colorful flowers of summer.  But that instant gratification comes at a cost and that cost comes every single year.

I've tried my best to whittle my annuals down to the bare minimum and I have done that by planting perennials that come back every year without fail.  This list consist of hostas, irises, daylilies, coneflowers, rose bushes grown on own roots, phlox, bee balm or Monarda, and sedum.

Believe me when I say...over the years I've wasted a lot of money on plants that just were not right for my plant zone or were not right for my soil or light conditions.  Here in Michigan we can have pretty much any kind of weather.  We can have a very very cold winter like we did this past winter or we can have a winter with no snow and 80 degrees in March like we had two winters ago.  Both were harsh in their own ways.  We can have humid summers or dry summers with low humidity.  Unless you want to replant every year you will need to plant those plants that can handle it all.....both the good and the bad weather.

Irises are great because they can handle the cold and the hot.  The only thing that will really kill them is for the rhizome to sit in damp wet soil.  If you plant them in soil that drains well, you'll be good to go in the iris department.

The colors of irises is really unlimited.  I have black, white, numerous varieties of purple and blue, gold, bronze, yellow, pink, and peach.  Once the flowers are spent I cut the flower stalk off.  This leaves me with spiky spade like leaves to contrast against my sedum or my cone flowers.

Irises multiple easily and once they are too crowded their flowering slows down.   This gives you a chance to expand your flower bed or give them away to friends.  I've received some wonderful irises from friends that I cherish every time I look at them.

My irises are just starting to flower and whats great is that they are flowering at different times so that my iris blooming time runs about 4-5 weeks.
A lovely streaked iris planted out by my mailbox.  These irises handled the road salt and snow a lot better than my mailbox.
 Another mailbox iris.
Besides the irises, I have cone flower and sedum planted by the mailbox which provides me color throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
A lovely all white iris that I planted to go with my black irises but it appears that they bloom at different times.
Two tone purple iris. 

 This light lavender iris has a tinge of copper that doesn't show in the photo.
Bright vibrant purple iris this is lovely lovely lovely.

Today in between looking at our irises, we continued to cut back our rose bushes.  We are about halfway done.  I cannot stress how unpleasant of a job it is turning out to be.  Normally, we would have roses in bloom right now but because they are regrowing from the base, I really do not expect roses until the beginning of July.

We also planted our tomato plants the other day and they are doing good and tonight's rain is perfect timing.


  1. The first couple of years we lived at our house, all of the irises bloomed. There were TONS! Then I was told that I needed to separate them, so I did and now, only a few bloom. It's been 3 years now and only about 20 out of 60 plants bloom. They are in very well drained soil, but some are in shade, so I wonder about that...but even if they are in full sun, they won't bloom. It's a bummer.

  2. Have you thought about maybe getting fertilizer for bulbs??? I like the Root Tone line of organic fertilizers.

  3. Your Irises are beautiful.

    When I sold my last house I left behind some plants and unfortunately one of them was a favorite. It was an all yellow Iris with long thin leaves. I'll never do that again. I've never seen one like it since.

  4. Oh bummer.

    Maybe if you had a photo you could ask the Internet for info on finding the same type.

    It's amazing how many hostas, irises, and day lilies that there are available.

    Annette from CA sent me a red day lily that I have never ever seen here in MI. I think sometimes certain varieties are more prevalent in certain areas than others.


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