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Beared iris Border

Hello there everyone,

Last september I divided some bearded iris and made a new border at the foot of south facing wall. The irises seem to be growing well so am hopeful for at least a few flowers this year.

I planted some foxtail lilles (eremurus) as well as i gather they like the same conditions ie sunny and dry. I would like to plant something to give some interest during late winter / early spring time  and later on in the year ie july august time that wont overshadow the iris rhizomes but gives me something to look at other than bare soil once the irises are finished and the eremurus have died down. 

I was thinking other kinds of bulbs

Any suggestions ?


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,359

    crocus and the mini tulips would be my choice. not too much heavy leaf to shade the irises. And the bulbous irises, I. reticulata leaves are so thin they cast no shade at all. 

    I've got an iris just going over now, disappears to nothing very quickly, Iris bucharica, very pretty. 

    Hermodactylus tuberosa might be good as well but it might be getting into bearded iris time when it flowers. They wouldn't go well together.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • How about Nerines?  - late summer flowers that need their bulbs baked too? Do you have space to put a paving slab witin the border and to put a pot onto?  Something like cannas in a pot,  will have the foliage above the iris rhizomes and can have beautiful foliage, for lat summer.  Other than that something on a stem so that it is deeper rooted and with a crown higher than the iris flowers if you've space.  Or  - something trained against the wall as a back drop e.g. berberis/contoneaster that is bomb proof and will take south wall baking?  Depends on how deep the border and the soil is.  image  but late winter is the tricky one.

  • AllymcAllymc Posts: 23

    There are some nerines already against the wall that were discovered struggling  amongst the couch grass that had taken over the border, they seem to be doing quite well now they have had the grass removed from around / over and in them . The border isnt very deep only 1.5m from the path to the wall and isnt in very good shape and is very stony and rubbly with the odd half brick etc in there so decided to go with the conditions that are there already. 

    The wall isnt the best looking wall , a low rendered and painted breeze block affair about 1/2 m in height that has been put in ( i assume to retain soil and make a level area for the greenhouse that was behind the area in question when I moved in).

    I like the idea of the I reticulata.





  • AllymcAllymc Posts: 23

    Forgot to mention that the border in question is 5m in length. Now have all the info image

  • chickychicky Posts: 10,400

    I have a patch of bearded irises and I plant gladioli in the middle (oh no !! Dame Edna, I hear you cry !!).  They are a similar shape to the irises (ie tall upright leaves) and if you avoid the flamboyant Dame Edna varieties there are some quite pretty ones.  They are all in GC's at the moment - don't think it is too late to plant them.

  • daffygardenerdaffygardener Posts: 109

    How about some creeping thymes or oregano, they are low growing, flower, good for bees and will give you a matt of colour and green or some in variegated forms of oregano.  The gladioli are found in some beautiful shades including a lovely green flower to compliment the iris you already.

  • granmagranma Posts: 1,929

    What about Autumn Crocus,The leaves come out then  die away until autumn.  I too love my Iris I have a mixture of Iris reticulata, Mini daffs ie tete a tete , narcicii are not overpowering , grape hyacinth , I fill all the gaps with cows;ips, wild type primrose - cant think what they are called might be P. Vulgaris - the pale yellow ones.I am in the process of planting house leaks - It is just an experiment I may not be happy with them if the bulbs wont grow through . But we shall see .

  • granmagranma Posts: 1,929

    forgot to say i have alliums too the giant type planted throughout  the iris bed . These specialy near the wall for protection should work out better for you than mine , we are surrounded by fields and open to the elements of whatever the weather brings!

    the allium seed heads are huge  the size of a dinner plate .they are very decorative in

    the winter, speciely covered in snow or frost ,

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