Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pretty pictures: Iris cvv.

. . . On the other hand, the outdoor-gardening news here is not entirely about Oenothera seedlings. (However much it may feel that way at times.) Some of the news is even good.

The husband and I have actually made garden-related plans, this year. As in, we chose a certain number of plants to grow, and then planted them. Whether this is going to work out for us is still unclear, but it seems like it has to be a step in the right direction. I've heard about people doing this before. If other people have done it, it's probably how you're supposed to do it. (Right?)

So now we have a raised bed along the fence on the north side of our yard, with a row of Cannas planted next to the fence, Irises on the west end, and strawberries on the east. In the middle section there is lettuce and spinach, which I'm not actually sure about this, because I have very little sense of how they work, and because we started them as plugs instead of direct-sowing in the ground like the package says because the husband insists on using landscaping fabric in the garden even though I told him we should just direct-sow like the package said.1

And we're probably not going to get any strawberries this year, because the plants there were all relocated from the north side of the garage, one batch in the fall (which mostly didn't survive) and then one batch in the spring (which mostly did), and they're all seeming a bit traumatized still.

But I'd said there was good news, and the above is neither. The good news is that the Irises are blooming!

Iris 'Shelley Elizabeth.'

I got them in 2010 from Ginny Burton, where they spent their first year buried under Salvia elegans bushes. The second year went better -- I even got one bud -- but then it was separated from the plant under mysterious circumstances, and none of the plants attempted a second bud.

But this year, finally, they're actually blooming, and it's great.

Iris NOID.

Naturally, now I want more of them,2 though I think these two complement one another so well that if I do start looking around for more Irises, it'll be to plant in a separate area, not to combine with these two.

Both of them together, plus Sheba and cilantro seedlings as a bonus. Also weeds, but you'll ignore those for me if I ask nicely, right?


1 Back me up here, people.
2 Which is most gardeners' standard response to most plant-related successes; I realize I'm not blazing uncharted new territories in gardening-related emotions.


Diana said...

Three words: Rainbow Iris Farm. If you like different iris than you can find at the local garden centers this is the place to check out. I bought a selection last year for my rain garden and several of them have already bloomed.

The down side to irises is the short bloom time - both for individual flowers and for the plants. Fortunately I also like the foliage.

Good luck in your new, outdoor, gardening.

Paul VA said...

I really really hate landscaping fabric. It might work for a season or two but before long enough stuff has built up on top of it that the weeds are growing on top of it. Or they just start growing right through it. Then comes the fun part, trying to remove the fabric with several inches of crap on top. And at this point it starts riping into tiny pieces anytime you try to pull up more than two square inches at a time. I use newspaper under all my mulching. A nice thick layer, I lay down whole sections at a time. It keeps the weeds from popping up and when it is time to replace the mulch, the newspaper has decomposed.

Liza said...

I'm not a fan of the landscaping fabric. From what I can tell in my yard, it does nothing to stop weeds from poking through. Whoever put it down also put rocks on top of it, which only serve to make weeding lots more difficult. Why spend the money when it's unnecessary?

But then, some people need to learn the lesson themselves, nothing wrong with that.

spurge said...

Beautiful irises! I love the color on that copper-peach-whatever color that is one. Landscape fabric is a total rip-off - only thing it does is make it impossible to pull out the weeds which grow right through it. I don't garden with my hubby - too many arguments! :-) Good for you guys if you can survive gardening together!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Beautiful irises! I love that purple shade. Sounds like you're slowly getting into some outdoor gardening. I enjoy both the indoor and outdoor. The overload of plants all over the place keeps me insanely busy, but I couldn't imagine being without them.

I'm not a fan of landscaping fabric, either. In fact, I hate it with everything I have. It doesn’t work that well, and it breaks down over time to become a holy mess. When we first moved here, the garden had been neglected and weeds and grass had grown through, and over, the landscape fabric that the previous owners had added. I can’t tell you how difficult it was to remove that *crap*. It was so hard that I truly believed I’d have a nervous breakdown at some point. UGH. Bleh… Never again.