Harriet’s Iris Backyard – FineGardening

We’re again as we speak in Harriet Robinson’s lovely Maine backyard, as we speak exploring her assortment of irises:

I began amassing irises once I joined the Maine Iris Society about 12 years in the past. I joined not a lot for a love of irises as for the truth that this group had numerous skilled gardeners as members. My iris assortment grew facilitated by swaps from members, door prizes at conferences, and purchases at auctions and gross sales. I started to like irises, particularly siberians which match properly with different perennials, historic bearded irises which can be much less frilly than fashionable ones, and Commonplace Dwarf Bearded (SDB) and Miniature Dwarf Bearded (MDB) irises which bloom earlier and are simpler to move to flower exhibits. I now develop SDB irises as edging crops, different median (particularly Intermediate Bearded, IB) and Tall Bearded, TB, irises in 4 devoted iris beds for a range to take to our yearly flower present. I develop siberians with different perennials in blended gardens, and a group of hybridizer Currier McEwen’s (the daddy of the fashionable siberian iris) siberian irises in devoted beds.

Right here’s an instance of SDBs used for edging within the beds in entrance of my home. ‘Tiny Beacon’ is the MDB within the foreground subsequent to SDB ‘Inviolate” after which ‘Rainbow Rim’ and euphorbia ‘Bonfire’. I significantly like the intense yellow ‘Cache of Gold’ past the steps however take pleasure in inserting all of them with colour mixtures in thoughts. (The troughs on the entrance steps comprise rock backyard crops.)

The most important of my bearded iris beds has a mixture from latest to historic irises and blooms for five or 6 weeks beginning with IB and ending with TB. Amongst my favorites on this mattress are ‘Code of Honor’, an IB launched in 2013.

Yellow ‘Coronation’ from 1927 is a good grower and retains flowering for 3 weeks or extra. Right here it’s with TB ‘Shipshape’ from 1968, a Dykes winner, the very best award the American Iris Society offers.

The small iris mattress was the primary one I put in and contains principally historics. ‘Stepping Out’ (1964) (purple and white) and ‘Blue Sapphire’(1953), each historic Dykes medal winners, are on this mattress. The decrease purple and white to the left is ‘Frosted Velvet’, a 1988 Miniature Tall Bearded, and the decrease yellow to the suitable is ‘Kaleidoscope’ from 1926.

I’ve a small space devoted to hybridizer Bee Warburton. Her granddaughter has given me a number of Warburton SDBs and IBs. Pictured are the IBs after the SDBs within the entrance row completed blooming. This mattress is an extension to a protracted border. My most well-liked mulch for bearded irises is pine needles which assist some with weed management.

I started amassing hybridizer Currier McEwen’s siberian irises for a small public backyard close to me. Because the aim of the gathering grew from amassing a illustration to looking for all the extant ones, I had so as to add massive beds to my backyard to comprise as much as 100 cultivars. It is a work in progress as I proceed to hunt those I’m lacking. ‘Sally Kerlin’ (registered in 1968 and launched in 1970) was McEwen’s first registration and has the primary place (decrease proper) in these 3 lengthy beds. This iris is likely one of the very first ones I planted within the pool backyard lengthy earlier than I had any concept I’d have a group of simply McEwen cultivars. It stays a favourite of mine.

‘Snow Bounty’ (1973) is entrance and heart right here with others within the assortment round it.

My present favourite McEwen is ‘Romantic Woman’ (1984).

Different favourite siberians embrace ‘Dirigo Indigo’ (2004). It’s a fantastic companion to peonies, cranesbill geranium ‘Brookside’ and amsonia within the pool backyard. It blooms later than many of the Siberians within the pool backyard.

‘Swans in Flight’ (2006) is the primary siberian to win the American Iris Society’s high award, the Dykes medal. Right here it’s with peonies within the pool backyard on a transparent day that exhibits of the White Mountain view.


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