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A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for by Kelly Norris

By Kelly Norris

The variety of bearded irises competitors that of the other perennial grown in temperate climates. For a few gardeners, they convey again hot stories of a grandparent's backyard; for others, they seem to be a state of the art plant with a doubtless never-ending skill for generating new varieties and styles.

In this complete and definitive advisor, iris professional Kelly Norris offers an available but authoritative review of those deservedly renowned vegetation. Introductory chapters exhibit the way to develop effectively, find out how to use them within the backyard, the way to opt for the simplest vegetation, and the way to "create" new irises. A consultant to Bearded Irises additionally presents photographs of the main amazing crops in all of the six well-known different types, from the dainty miniature dwarf bearded irises to the stately tall bearded irises. A source part lists forte nurseries, agencies dedicated to bearded irises, and public gardens with awesome iris collections.

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Extra info for A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts

Example text

Gwendolyn Anley, Irises: Their Culture and Selection (1946) Ask any irisarian to tell you how they got interested in irises, and you’re liable to make a new friend. Iris lovers, indeed all plant lovers, always seem more than willing to divulge the details of the day their obsession began, in short story form. Mine began in Cal Reuter’s Nebraska garden and continued when my new prized possessions bloomed the following spring. For many iris lovers, irises become the object of collecting and ordering into rows, beds, and plantings, with perhaps a few other companions thrown in for good measure.

She’s represented in art and literature as a young maiden with wings on her shoulders or simply by the rainbow itself. Linnaeus couldn’t have chosen a more perfect name, given the genus’s profound range of colors. As you’ll discover in the pages ahead, my mind spins a constant reel of planting combinations with bearded irises — marriages, often based on color, that make or break the art of crafting an appealing garden space. But starting out in the world of bearded irises is like dropping a blind tourist into the middle of a crowded city without a map.

The original pattern of yellow and brown still colors many irises in the MTB class but has probably tired just as many gardeners because of its limitations. I mean really, how many ways can you do yellow-brown-red in variation before it becomes a little trite? But jaded eyes aside, the variegata pattern makes great art in the landscape. The pattern plays off the familiar colors of yellow and purple in other plants, while jazzing up the color display more than something white or pink might. Luminata, ‘Moonlit Sea’ (Sass 1942) Neglecta, ‘Best Bet’ (Schreiner 1988) Self, ‘Black Is Black’ (Schreiner 2010) Plicata, ‘Aunt Mary’ (Stanek 2000) Variegata, ‘Born to Please’ (Rogers 2006) Zonal, ‘Flash of Light’ (Johnson 2008) Zonal An iris with a white or lightened area around the beard.

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