Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Iris Cristata

The little native iris that can form dense mats in the filtered shade of the forest floor is coming into bloom. Iris cristata is diminutive at a height of about five inches, but has a nice sized bloom for such a small plant.

I have it growing in full sun along my drive and it is doing just fine. Last year a white form was purchased and split between the two gardeners. Both plantings were a multiplying success. One was planted in shade, the other full sun.

Out in the wild cultivated garden among the Bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica and the now fast growing wild things, are numerous 2'x2' patches of the Dwarf Crested Iris. It all came from one tiny little sprig found on a hike many years ago.

The native iris has nothing to feel bad about compared to its larger and showier relatives. One of the things I actually prefer about the dwarf native iris is that it holds its leaves all the way to the killing frosts in the fall. The foliage of these fancy catalog iris craps out pretty much after the bloom is done.

In another day or two there should be patches with twice this much bloom.

Even among the larger and ever more numerous blooming rhododendron and azaleas, the ground hugging carpet of Iris cristata can be admired as you pass by.

I have been told this particular rhododendron is 'Blue Boy'

A new deciduous azalea planted last fall is looking settled in.

There has been plenty of rain for the last several days with more on the way. Thankfully it has been warm as in 70/50. This is perfect weather for transplanting and a hosta binge is ongoing. Bigger clumps are dug up, divided and planted in "holes" in the ridge top garden. In other words the garden continues to expand.

Then late in the day it is time to see what is new, what work has been done and to pull a few weeds while you stroll.

And just think, one day I will be able to do all that in my own garden.


lola said...

Magnificent, I remember our neighbor had the little iris & I really liked them as a child. They are really pretty. I will have to see if they would do good here.

Frances said...

Hoooweeee, it is looking good. I love the little iris and will be on the lookout for the white. We need more white everything to brighten the shady spots and cool the hot spots. That pinky iris is gorgeous. We are having a better than average iris year here too. And rain.