Sat, 13 Mar 2004 23:26:43 PST
I have hesitated to get in on this conversation.  Most of my iris are 
hybrids, only a few species.  I do have over 1000 different named bearded hybrids, 
over 100 Pacific Coast Hybrids, more than 50 Louisiana's, a number of Siberian, 
Spuria, Japanese, etc.  The remondant ones bloom off and on all year and a few 
of the regular bearded hybrids are starting to bloom already.I do have 
Evansia iris Confusa and Japonica both in bloom now and a variegated Japonica.  They 
can tolerate quite a lot of shade.  I have two blooms on a Pacific Coast 
hybrid, a deep maroon with a gold style arm and a thin bright gold penciled line 
on all the petals.  I have lots of other plants in my garden besides Iris and 
grow lots of fruits and vegetables also.  It is constantlly expanding.  I have 
many different narcissus in bloom now, some tulips including  'tarda'.  I 
almost missed 2 beautiful Amorphophalus last week, kind of found them by surprise 
at the end of their bloom.  I do not remember planting them where they were.  
A few years ago I had ordered some bulbs from someone and I think these must 
have been in pots my husband  thought the plant died in so he dumped them out.  
That doesn't happen anymore.  I also have some anemonies in bloom.  
I have a long round border of lavendar and have planted several different 
bulbs behind it hoping to have something blooming most of the year.  It seems to 
be working.  I have Daffodil, anemone, Bluebell, Ornithogalum Arabicans, 
double narcissus, Nerine bowdini and I can't remember what else planted there so I 
have quite a bit of the year covered.  
Back to Iris, I have several siningia including a variegated one, none of the
se are blooming yet.   At this time of year I have to run out in the garden 3 
times a day just to look for surprises no matter how busy I am.    I have  a 
friend in Arizona who calls 3-4 times a day during Iris bloom season.  She gets 
so excited about each one opening and says it's like an Easter Egg Hunt."
My garden is open free to the public on weekends during April and we get 3000 
visitors.  It is fun, a lot or work and yes at times I would like to have it 
all to myself but so many people get so much joy out of it.  Their thanks and 
comments make us feel humble.  (But I would still love to sit out there 
uninterrupted and paint and photograph my own garden all by myself).
Carolyn In Los Gatos, northern Calif.

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