Think spring. Visit us in May.
“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow cycles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” – May Sarton
Ralph Waldo Emerson said when he went into his garden with a spade to dig a bed, he felt such exhilaration and health, that he felt he’d been defrauding himself all the time in letting others do for him what he should have done with his own hands.
We need places of reverie and reflection. It feels good to put work aside, relax and enjoy the garden. To just relax on a bench and quietly gaze upon the landscape. The cares of the world quietly slip away.
Idly strolling among the Iris, unexpected delights endlessly appear. Captivating juxtapositions of color are seemingly on parade. Deep purple against a glowing orange, an icy white contrasting beautifully with a lavender Iris, then a brilliant gold, the darkest black, a sky blue…On it goes. Countless new colors and combinations. As Emma Townsend wrote, “Irises are the glamour pusses in the world of floral loveliness.” Time spent in an atmosphere of beauty is restorative.
The Schreiner Family
P.S. Please consider a trip to Schreiner’s Gardens at bloom time. Our 10-acre display of over 500 Iris cultivars, planted among a dizzying array of mature perennials, welcomes local and international visitors each May. Call our office or visit our website for more Bloom Season details.
By Susanne Holland Spicker (Irises from l to r) ‘EXTRAVAGANT’ (Hamblin’84), ‘JUMP FOR JOY’ (Hager ’99), ‘CELEBRATION SONG’ (Schreiner ’93), ‘POEM OF ECSTASY’ (Hager ’97) with giant allium, ruffled poppy, roses and lupine make a colorful floral piece to beautify and bring the garden insideI have…
Ms. Holland Spicker has once again assembled a perfect planning guide for companions in your Iris bed, this time for the pinks, reds and purples. Her use of collages of color and plants makes planning your decorative garden, and your next order of plants, super simple.
You might also take a peek at our Bearded Iris planting guide pages found on our website.
The Schreiner Family
By Susanne Holland Spicker’RED SKIES’ (Ghio ’07)”The garden: Where inspiration and creativity begins and it never ends”This time of year I like to pause and evaluate the previous gardening year. By now in zone 6 the irises have been divided or transplanted into new areas. Perennials were planted in the fall. Poor performers have been moved…
The practice of “Companion Planting”, a centuries-old gardening tradition, follows the theory that different plant species, planted close together, assist each other with nutrient production and absorption, controlling pests, attracting pollinators, and other factors necessary for their full productivity. This practice is clearly beneficial in flower gardens as well. When planning your beds, consider water conservation as well as overall aesthetic design.
Ray Schreiner, quintessential plant-lover, has designed the Display Gardens at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens with these companion planting principles in mind. Some of his choices fix nitrogen in the soil, others attract butterflies and other pollinators, some work to control weeds, and some are chosen simply for aesthetic appeal.
Ray plants the Display Gardens with a wide range of sun-loving as well as shade-dwelling flowers. He chooses mainly perennials, but adds some annuals for a quick splash of color along the borders. These give the Iris gardens a balanced feel with their varied heights, colors and shapes, and lengthen the display of blooms from early Spring into late Fall. Some of the companion plants our guests can find in the garden during bloom season include Alliums, Peonies, Icelandic and Oriental Poppies, Delphiniums and, of course, the ubiquitous Lupine. Ray plants flowering trees and shrubs such as Dogwoods, Magnolias, Birch, Willow, Heather and Rhododendrons to round out the park-like setting. Shasta Daisies, Rudbeckia, Reblooming Iris, and Clematis brighten the summer gardens here. “I like to have color all year round,” says Ray. “Too bad there aren’t a few more seasons in the year.”
Some tips to keep in mind as you choose your companion plants:
Plant in zones: Group together plants with similar light and water requirements. Choose a variety of plants with different heights, colors and textures to create interest and beauty.
Choose drought-tolerant perennials, such as: Day Lily, Echinacea, Lavender, Sedum, Gaillardia, Rudbeckia, Phlox, to name only a few. To enhance your drought-tolerant Iris beds, choose perennials that require full sun and that bloom around the same time. Choose other perennials, with low-water needs, to continue the display of color throughout the year.