Posts Tagged ‘irises’
My Dad was a gardener and had a pretty good collection of beautiful Irises. When he passed away, I dug them up and moved them to my garden. They didn’t do very much that first year (2012) since they were just getting established, but this year they have been spectacular. It has been wonderful having such a variety of color in the garden. I had no idea Irises even came in so many colors.
I also hadn’t realized how heavenly scented they are. Their perfume drifts over the garden all day, but especially in the early morning. Ah, bliss.
Here are some of the many colors abloom in the garden this year.
This doesn’t even include the White, Yellow, Blue and Black ones. Irises are one of my favorite flowers, rating right up there with Roses, Clematis and Peonies. I just wish their beauty lasted all summer.
My Dad was a gardener and he grew a lot of things, from roses to fruit trees. He had a beautiful collection of bonsai that he had cared for for about 25-30 years. He loved growing Rhododendrons and also had collected some beautiful Irises. Unfortunately, as he aged, and as his macular degeneration became worse, he was unable to garden as much as he wanted to.
A couple of years ago we helped my Dad clean out his Iris bed. The weeds had taken over and the Irises needed dividing. We
dug them all up so that we could untangle the roots of the weeds from the Iris roots. There were too many to fit back into the newly prepared bed so we took the ones that were left over. There was no way to know which ones were planted in his garden, and which ones we got. They didn’t bloom that first year after moving them, but this year they have been spectacular. Not all of them have bloomed yet, but here are pictures of the ones that are blooming now.
Sadly, Dad passed away on Christmas day. I like to think that he is enjoying these beautiful blooms as much as we are.
Isn’t it too bad that cut flowers are so expensive?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have vases of color all over the house?
Well, actually, you can. If you have a few packets of seeds, and a little plot of ground that gets plenty of sunshine, then you can grow your own flowers for cutting.
This winter, when you’re looking through all those catalogs (see post “Have You Ordered Your Gardening Catalogs?” http://wp.me/p1OXDF-Ub) and planning your garden, be sure to carve out a space for your cutting garden. I use my whole garden as a cutting garden, but some gardeners like to have a patch set aside just for cutting.
Clear the ground of grass and weeds. Dig and turn the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches. If your soil doesn’t drain well or isn’t fertile enough, add some composted manure (available in bags at Lowe’s: http://www.lowes.com/pd_252970-82589-WGM03204_0__?productId=3083255&Ntt=manure&pl=1¤tURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dmanure&facetInfo=) and mix in well. Level out the top of the soil and plant the seeds. You can plant in rows, with the taller plants at the back so they won’t shade the shorter plants, or you can plant in squares or groupings of each kind of flower. To plant annuals, I put the seeds down and sprinkle more soil on top. Tamp down the soil with a hoe to make sure the seeds make good contact with the soil. Keep the area moist (not wet) until the seeds germinate and have a couple of leaves. Then water deeply every 3-4 days. As the plants mature and the roots go deeper, water deeply weekly. Soon you’ll have plenty of flowers to cut for your own use and to share with family and friends. Most annuals improve with cutting because it encourages more blooms.
Some of the flowers listed below are perennials (plants that come up year after year), and can be planted from seeds but many are planted as seedlings, which give them a head start in the garden. Some of the flowers listed below are from bulbs that will come up year after year.
Some Of My Favorite Cutting Flowers
- Centranthus (Jupiter’s Beard)
- Companula (Canterbury Bells)
- Bachelor Buttons (Corn Flower)
- Scabiosa (Pin Cushion Flower)
- Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco)
- Rudbekia (Black-eyed Susan)
- Gypsophilia (Babies’ Breath)
- Japanese Anemones
- Bee Balm
- Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower)
- Roses (a shrub, but great for cut flowers)
- Hydrangeas (a shrub, but great for cut flowers)
For more information and pictures of these blooming plants check out these posts:
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Last year for my birthday (August) I wanted and got tulip and daffodil bulbs. I knew I wouldn’t get to enjoy them for a long time but I’d never planted bulbs before and I wanted to try it. I had so much fun visiting the garden sites and picking out just the right colors and heights. I wanted to mass them in four separate beds, two in the front and two in the back yard. So I waited for the bulbs to arrive and began to prepare the beds. I learned that you can plant them one at a time with one of those tools that look like a can with a handle on the end but since I was planting so many (300 tulips and 50 daffodils) I decided to dig the bed out and then I could place them just right.
Our spring was very late this year, actually we almost didn’t have one. It was almost like winter went right into summer since we got our last snow on Memorial day. But the bulbs were growing and soon leaf tips popped up out of the ground. It was so exciting watching them grow and since they are Darwins they got pretty big before they began to set their buds. I put the one little stand of daffodils outside the picket fence in the front and half the tulips in the back and half in the side yard where I could see them from my kitchen window.
They were covered with huge buds and I couldn’t wait for them to open. I was feeling pretty lucky since there is a herd of deer that lives near us and are notorious foragers in late spring, especially after such a severe winter. The deer eat the leaves as soon as they break the ground and keep them mowed down pretty well after that. Most of my friends had lost most of their tulips already but here were my big giant buds ready to open. Every morning I would check to see if they’d opened yet.
Then it happened to MY tulips. All of the leaves and stems were intact but there weren’t any buds left. I ran to check the ones in the back yard and since the back yard is surrounded by a 6′ privacy fence I guess they decided to pass on those. One of my friends who had lost all of hers early on had a gorgeous stand of tulips. After cropping hers a few times they left them alone to grow.
But on the bright side, the plants didn’t have to produce blooms this year and so I theorize that next year the show should
As most of you probably know, I didn’t, that deer won’t touch daffodils and you’re supposed to inter-plant them. Who knew.
Anyway, here are some pictures of my surviving tulips. They were so beautiful for such a long time so Happy Birthday to me.
By the way, it’s about time to put more bulbs in. I’m hooked on these beauties.