For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

Creating Chromatic Contrast with Iris

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BlackIris_WhiteAlliumThe idea of a monochromatic garden isn’t a new one, but it is a good one.

Bearded Iris represent the full spectrum of the rainbow. Planting a full range of colors in your garden brings brightness and variety to the scene. Some of us like the mixed up rainbow effect, others like to plant in tidy, organized blocks of color. Building upon the idea of uniform color blocks,  below we present the idea of planting an area using a monochromatic theme. Monochromatic color schemes are derived from a single base hue, then extended using its shades, tones and tints…. As a result, the energy is more subtle and peaceful due to a lack of contrast of hue.* Iris blossoms in shades and tones of a single base hue move the eyes from dark to bright and back again.

Let’s take purple as an easy example. The range of purples in the Bearded Iris family seemingly defies notation. Nevertheless, here is just a sample of Iris falling into the purple spectrum.

Varieties featured above from left to right: Badlands, Rosalie Figge, Rhinelander, Good LookingExcuse Me Darling, Christmas PresentRoyal Sterling

Here is another example of reds lightening to pinks:

Varieties featured above from left to right: Infrared, Red Hawk, Code Red, Dance The Night Away, Entice, Power Point, Rite of Passage

Keep in mind, when creating a visual spectrum in the garden, you might wish to choose Iris that bloom at the same time. The Iris pictured above were chosen only for their color for purposes of illustration. When selecting Iris for your garden design, pay particular attention to their listed bloom season. Also, keep in mind that Iris will bloom at slightly different times depending on the weather and climate in your area.

A fun idea for a chromatic extremes, or “Yin Yang”, garden might be the exclusive use of very dark and white! When these Iris are planted in proximity (12 to 18 inches apart), and with simultaneous bloom time, you are sure to enjoy the full impact of the color contrast. You’ll find these groups of white Iris in our new Moonbeams in May Iris Collection, and the dark Iris in our new After Midnight Iris Collection.

The possibilities are endless. The wonderful thing about gardening is that you can always change things up. Experiment, have fun, let your creative spirit loose!

P.S. Share images of the results of your garden design on Schreiner’s Gardens’ Facebook page.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monochromatic_color

Author: Schreiner's Iris Gardens

Dedicated to growing and selling the finest Iris in the world.

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