Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Iris reichenbachii

Brown Iris pumila

Pale Blue Iris pumila

Iris pumila with Artemisia 'Oriental Limelight'

Iris lacustris

The first iris to bloom in my garden this year was the tiny I. lacustris which in nature grows only in the Great Lakes region. It is now a threatened species and is no longer available in commerce, making it a rarity in gardens; I was lucky enough to buy my plant in the last year that it was legal to trade. My rather poor photograph can only give an impression of this diminutive beauty, it is tiny in all it's parts, the flowers are held singly on short stems at a height of about 8cm.
Another minuture iris presently in bloom is a dwarf form of I. reichenbachii which is 12cm tall with yellow flowers and although it appears to be quite delicate has survived several winters, unprotected in a small stone trough.
I also grow several forms of Iris pumila, and although they are not as rare as their smaller cousins, they are equally rewarding. I've had some success in pairing them with companion plants ( and rather unruly ones at that), an iris with brown/ coffee tones looks great with Euphorbia dulcis 'Chameleon' and a lovely purple and white contrasts beautifully with Artemesia vulgaria 'Oriental Limelight'.


James Missier said...

Love all your iris collection. Beautiful.

kilbournegrove said...

They are lovely, I have been on a coffee kick lately,(thanks to you, lol), and I picked up Euphorbia 'Bonfire' and Heucherella 'Sweet Tea' and the TBG plant sale. Coffee is such a great colour.

Is the Wiz said...

Iris are so fleeting but so elegant I love them all.

Barry Parker said...

Hi James,
Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

Barry Parker said...

Hu Deborah,

Just checked out 'Bonfire' and 'Sweet Tea'... very dramatic.

We must get together for a cortato again soon.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Is,

For some reason I only just signed on as follower on your site. I can't think what's taken me so long?

However I've been unable to forward any comments to you as they always get returned. I will keep trying.

Is the Wiz said...

Just caught sight of your Aquilegia canadensis. Wow!
Am waiting impatiently for my McKanas to open, we're definitely a few weeks behind you here.

Barry Parker said...

Hi Is,

The Aquilegia in the sidebar is a a yellow form called "Corbett'. I also have the regular form ( I'll post a picture of this in the sidebar). I'll be collecting seed from both soon; email me if you'd like some.