Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Brown Iris pumila
Pale Blue Iris pumila
Iris pumila with Artemisia 'Oriental Limelight'
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'.