Like their namesake in Greek Mythology, Iris- “the messenger goddess”, or “the rainbow goddess,” these beautiful flowers deliver the message that Spring has arrived, in all the colors of the rainbow. I only got a few bloom colors this year, and I am thrilled to have them!
My friend generously dug them from her garden two years ago, and I transplanted them here. One purple bloomed the first year- from over a dozen transplants. Then, this year three purples bloomed, and an absolutely gorgeous pinky, mauve beauty. I’ve not looked up the varieties yet, but wanted to post this while they are blooming (except the Dutch iris- bloomed earlier this month).
I enriched the heavy clay soil with my organic, homemade compost and fallen leaf mulch. I followed directions from The American Iris Society’s website on planting the rhizomes. They take a little time getting settled in, but are worth the wait for the spectacular flowers.
This Bearded Iris traveled a long way to get here, and bloomed the first year after transplant! The season grew so busy this year, that I didn’t get these pics posted this Spring. My friend in Raleigh dug up two paper grocery bags brimming with iris rhizomes last year from her garden.
I brought them home, and planted a few groups in different sunny spots. Walter Reeves’ website walterreeves.com discuses when and how to divide iris rhizomes. I also found the American Iris Society’s detailed instructions about how to plant and grow iris very helpful.
The only one that bloomed this year was this regally dark and majestic purple beauty. I posted in the past about my Dutch Iris -which is planted in the same area. They are similar, but the bearded iris is larger, has more frilly flowers, and more striking foliage. The American Meadows All About Irises page contains helpful info about the kinds of irises, their histories, and how to purchase and grow them. I am so happy to have them growing here. As a bonus, the deer and squirrels don’t seem to find them tasty.