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Please share your iris!

Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,390
I hate iris.

This is probably because we chose the wrong ones to plant last year. We bought some Dutch iris bulbs and planted them, they grew and flowered but they were such weedy looking things. The flowers were really odd and unnatural looking, like an alien space craft, and the colours were hideous - neon yellow and electric blue.

I hated them so much that I ripped them out of the ground as soon as they'd finished to prevent them coming up and tormenting me this year.

However, out and about in gardens this last month, my wife keeps commenting on the iris flowers and obviously really likes them. She said yesterday that she actually preferred them to the roses nearby as they were more interesting.

So I may like to give them another try for her sake. 

But i'd like some recommendations for some good attractive varities and also if you have any photos of them in situ that would be really great to see how they fit in with other planting.

Please help me learn to love them  ;)
East Yorkshire


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,126
    edited June 2019
    I do like them (up to a point) and have 2 varieties of tall bearded iris.
    The flowering period is fairly brief - about 4-5 weeks, but the blue-grey spiky foliage adds interest without the flowers.

    Of the 2 I have, Iris White City is my fave.
    It's really a very pale lavender and looks quite ghostly in the evening. Lovely scent too

    Dusky Challenger - photo doesn't do it justice. The flowers are a really deep purple, almost black and huge with a lovely chocolate scent -

    Found a better photo of Iris Dusky Challenger-

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,818

    You definitely want to go for beraded iris (germanica) rather than Dutch as the flowers are much bigger and more satiny.   However, you do need good drainage and full sun to ripen the rhizomes and get good flowers.

    This clump got excited and flowered in late February here when it was unseasonably warm.

    The rest of the iris bed flowered in May, like they're supposed to.  I didn't take close ups but there are some pale lilac with deep purple, almost white, coppery coloured one and peachy ones.   They like this bed so I'm building the collection and will be planting new ones just as soon as I've weeded the bed - again.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    edited June 2019
    Iris sibirica is a less showy but really nice iris imo. If you like natural looking plants and not so blousy then Sibirica fits the bill. 
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    I put this one up on the cottage garden thread yesterday. Iris Sibirica by the pond.

    SW Scotland
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    Too early for beardeds yet here, but the sibiricas would be a good choice if you want something easier and more forgiving. Lots of subtle colours as well as dark ones.
    The Dutch irises are a different beast altogether, and won't return year on year either. They're good if you want a simple display, especially in pots,  to go with something else - almost treat them as an annual.
    One of my favourites is the chrysographes iris which is more like the sibirica - smaller, and likes a moister soil, and flowers like velvet. Mine are just flowering now.
    I don't have a current pic, but this is from a couple of years ago

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,299
    Here are some in my pond. I think they're Iris ensata, but don't know for sure as they came from my Dad's pond.

    And there are Iris sibirica next to it.

    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Posts: 955
    These are my yellow iris in the pond 
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,470
    Sounds as if you have a similar gareish Dutch Iris as me, planted in a rash moment (cheap pack of bulbs from SM) and regretted. They do look good against the stone but the colour and form is just too assertive. They have come back stronger every year (3rd yr) OH loves them  :/. I hoiked out a few this year and I am hoping they will disappear over time, with a little assistance!

    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,464
    edited June 2019
    If you have a reasonable or well drained sunny patch and like an early scented one there is Iris. unguicularis, I think it has another name, synonym stylosa.

    Ours flowers around March, a bit sporadic but does not have the best cultural conditions.
    Ours is under trees on a slight slope of clay based but reasonable soil.

    It would do better with the recommended well drained soil and sunny aspect. But the early scented flowers are nice.

    A lot of the big bearded ones are scented too.
    They are lovely, but downside for me on a personal level is they are a bit one trick and not long flowering enough. And you can't hide the leaves and rhizomes because they need a bake in sun to do well ?
    If you want a get out clause :D

    Forgot to say the one we have is the wild one so pale in colour but I understand there is a cultivated one called Mary Barnard that is different or darker.
  • VoyagerxpVoyagerxp Posts: 650

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