Sunday, July 14, 2013

Siberian Iris Season 2013

 The jet stream did not move north this early spring and stalled over our land. Our continental climate was cool and wet. The 50 to 70 degree temperatures ideal to Siberian Iris were almost absent throughout the bloom season.  The season ended prematurely with hot temps and thunderous storms. High winds and torrential rains, often monsoons, dropping one to three inches at a time paraded through day after day. Siberian Iris can tolerate heavy weather conditions. The late season bloomers were still a bit overwhelmed by conditions. High winds of 50 to 70 mph destroyed the burgeoning peony season.

This season proved that fine diversity now exists among the growing number of distinct cultivars, now over a thousand, with many variations in form, color complements and contrasts. Season interest can span weeks to provide remarkable perennial display.

The four Siberian Irises to bloom first this season were Caitlin’s Smile an Iris typhifolia selection (for more information on Iris typhifolia see the earlier blog), Shakers Prayer, Barbara Schmieder, and So Van Gogh; all have traditional pendant form. This form has vertical standards and pendant falls, they flutter like butterflies in a breeze.
Barbara Schmieder
Barbara Schmieder has smaller pale yellow flowers which fade as they age. This delicate plant is very floriferous it can be overshadowed by other Siberians in a landscape.
So Van Gogh
I have found So Van Gogh works as a single accent amidst dark blue-violet Siberians of similar form. A ratio of three blue flowered plants to one So Van Gogh works well.

Bells and Whistles
Bells and Whistles made a dramatic entrance in the garden. The large flowers are ruffled; the falls are blue with violet rim which matches the flaring violet standards with blue veins. The style arms are violet with light blue centers.

At The Crossroads
At The Crossroads has a light blue background with a plum colored spot surrounding a small gold signal. The style arms have yellow highlights. The flowers are large, stems and foliage erect, a significant accent to any garden.

Pretty Polly
 Pretty Polly is a pale pink with blue style arms. A floriferous and vigorous grower, this is a delightful pink.

Painted Woman
Painted Woman has a red veined rim painted around a gold signal. A pleasant countenance with pink falls and standards with creamy light blue style arms, more dramatic than Pretty Polly.

Uncorked a two toned blue with large gold signal and yellow rim adds more variety to the range of cool blue plantings.

Ginger Twist clump
Ginger Twist was magnificent, covered in flowers just above the erect foliage. Lavender standards rise above ginger falls. It has slight fragrance.

Somebody Loves Me is a tetraploid Siberian Iris, rounded form, light blue color with large white signals covering half the falls. It has heavy texture and waves about rather than flutters in winds. This tetraploid form is very popular I personally prefer diploids.

Somebody Loves Me

High Standards, another tetraploid, is a tall plant with dark blue flowers. It works well in mass as a background or surrounded with contrasting yellows or complementary colored Siberians.

High Standards
This picture does not do justice to Sultan’s Ruby it is more crimson in color.  An older award winner Sultan’s Ruby has recurved falls, luxuriant foliage and always considered an excellent accent plant.

Sultans Ruby
 This was my most popular seedling this spring. It remains unnamed and will be lined out for introduction in a few years. Mauve, dark blue with a gold signal the vibrant colors shine in sun or overcast skies.

Colorful seedling
I mentioned the multi-petalled Imperial Opal last year. We need more plants like this singular cultivar. Today I use it as an accent plant. I would love to see a garden of similar formed Siberians in a variety of colors. 

Imperial Opal
 Blooming late in the season Jerry Murphy has become one of my favorite flowers. Reddish veins overlaying yellow give the falls a brownish appearance from a distance.  The standards are crème colored with yellow trim.

Jerry Murphy
Many white Siberians bloom late or very late in the season. Jerry Murphy could be an excellent accent among a mass of white.

I hope this article inspires you to visit specialty iris growers and plant gardens featuring Siberian Iris. In the near future I plan to publish an e-zine on the topic of landscaping with Siberian Iris.

Feel free to leave comments or question!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hawthorn in spring dress

A photo gallery

For more about Thornless  Cockspur Hawthorn see my October 2012 blog The Uncommon Ornamental Hawthorn.
Bloom time pix taken 6/11/2013.
End of bloom

In a row adding beauty to an office complex
Decorating the yard of a firehouse