Posted by: Your Personal Garden Coach Lynda | May 27, 2016

An Iris Journey

Many years ago, my dear friend, Sally, took me to her mother’s home.  Large open land with irises around the house.  Her mother gladly gave me a couple of rhizomes and I happily planted my first irises at our first home.  This little iris multiplied easily and I took them with me to our second home.  When we moved out of Missouri and headed to IL, I once again, brought the irises with me.  Here, they have had several different locations around the house, have battled the dreaded iris borer and continued to multiply. Over the 20+ years we have been here, I have shared them with many a neighbor, friend and family, including our son, Patrick.

To my surprise, two years ago, I lost all my irises.  Not really sure why, had multiple varieties, but they were all gone.  The deep purples, from my mother, a gorgeous sunset gold cultivar, a batik blue and white, pure whites, all disappeared.  It made no sense.


Happily, my son, came to the rescue.  My “Sally” iris is back!  This little iris, is not available in any catalog.  It is very old fashioned with a delightful fragrance even if its colors are not spectacular.


The tall stately, Iris germanica, is well worth putting in your garden.  The texture and shape of its sword like leaves are great back drops once it stops blooming.  The variegated varieties add another element of color.  Now that my gold and green leafed cultivar is blooming, I have to tell you, its has an amazing grape fragrance.

I remove the spent flower stalk and use an insecticide to fight the borer.  Nasty creatures will bite you if you hold them in your hand, as my daughter, Carolyn found out when she was little.  The leaves are pruned in August to a fan shape and that is the best time to dig and share.

I am glad that Patrick did not wait till Aug. to dig this little guy up for me.  Welcome home!




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