Real gardens; Planting Iris rhizomes

Robt R Pries
Thu, 24 Jan 2008 12:28:38 PST
Marguerite; I have heard various arguments for how to
plant Iris rhizomes in different climates. I have an
almost fool proof answer. Look at the plants you have
that have been in place for a year or two. The Iris
will push itself deeper or crawl further out of the
ground according to its own sense of conditions. Your
established plants can tell you exactly where a new
plant should go. Most rhizomatous Irises have the top
of the rhizome exposed to some degree. I like to
consult with my plants before I make decisions.
Bob Pries, on a cold ozark High Ridge, just soth of St

--- Marguerite English <>

>     This is definitely an interesting topic.  It
> fits in well with the 
> PBS original mission of 'using bulbs in the garden.'
>  Sometimes our 
> topics are about collections or their scientific
> basis, and occasionally 
> about our gardens.  I enjoy both kinds of topics.
>     I do agree with Robert that our collections and
> our gardens are 
> different beasts.  I am on a mission this year to
> get my garden back 
> into shape after several years of neglect.  It is a
> challenging task, 
> but an enjoyable one.  I have ordered some old roses
> (which I mix into 
> my cottage garden area or my shrub border) and many
> new bulbs.   In fall 
> I always add new daffodils to the hillside where I
> live. On a previous 
> property, I once crawled under the chaparral and
> planted some near a 
> seasonal spring.  That did make sense at the time,
> as both I and my 
> daughters had a secret sitting place where they
> could be viewed when in 
> bloom.  (I no longer crawl under chaparral, but
> sometimes miss the days 
> I could!)  I've always wondered what future owners
> thought when they 
> found them. 
>     I would like to hear more about which bulbs can
> be moved outside in 
> my 'colder than normal California' zone.  As I repot
> my rainlilies this 
> year, I am putting a few out into my raised bed,
> starting with 
> Habranthus.  Those that have gone out in previous
> years have done well 
> and always show surprise blooms when in Aug-Sept.
> when everything else 
> is becoming dry and sere. 
>    Most bulbs (and many other plants) get planted
> into gopher baskets, 
> as that is a big problem on uncleared land, which
> surrounds my living 
> area.   Other bulbs have been chancy.  Lycoris
> radiata has divided into 
> smaller plants, did not bloom last year or the
> squirrels ate the blooms 
> before I saw them.  They are now in cages to protect
> from both gophers 
> and squirrels.  The need to put wire around plants
> makes them less 
> attractive, although if I have to put wire above the
> soil, I use the 
> green coated stuff.  That helps, at least from a
> distance.
>    Ipheon is a lovely little bulb that gets spread
> around the garden 
> areas.  Either I do it when I plant annuals nearby,
> or the gophers carry 
> them away and spit them out somewhere else.  They
> are a sweet little 
> surprise when they bloom in an unexpected place. 
>    Irises are also favorites.  I have planted many
> bearded Irises over 
> the years and love their scent and colors.  The
> squirrels have really 
> abused them the past three seasons, but I see (or
> rather hear) signs 
> that coyotes are back and doing their job with those
> nasty 
> garden-eaters!  I was really surprised to find one
> eating an Iris bud 
> after the fire three years ago; there was no food
> for them in their 
> normal dining areas.  They had never messed with the
> Irises before that. 
>   One question I have always had is whether to plant
> them with the 
> rhizome showing above the soil line or not.  I have
> read both pieces of 
> advice in reputable sources.   I have tried both
> ways and can't really 
> determine a difference.   I love the miniature Iris
> reticulata and all 
> of its cultivars. I see one is available at Brent
> and Becky's Bulbs 
> called 'Marguerite.'  It is definitely on my next
> order list.
> And Calochortus is another favorite.  I don't try to
> plant it in the 
> garden much, although I am starting a dry-sandy bed
> for Penstemons and 
> may get a few in there.  C. concolor and C.
> splendens grow as natives 
> all along my access road.  Spring can be lovely here
> when the 
> wildflowers bloom.    We actually have had 7 inches
> of rain so far this 
> season.  After a many-year drought, this may be a
> sign of a good 
> wildflower year.  I am definitely hoping so!        
>   Marguerite
> Marguerite English: Gardening with Penstemons,
> Salvias, Xeric plants, 
> Dianthus, Narcissus, Roses, and Irises at 3500 feet
> in zone 7B, 
> mountains of Southern California.  I collect and
> grow tender plants and 
> bulbs, especially Epiphyllum, Babiana, Lachenalia,
> Morea and 
> Zephyranthes  in a covered  patio room.
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list

More information about the pbs mailing list