The 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.
Here is another example of reds lightening to pinks:
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.
By Bryce Williamson In “Iris Stories: ‘April Melody,’” I wrote about the hard work over many years Jim Gibson put into the creating of the iris. Being so difficult to achieve a good pink plicata flower, it was much to everyone’s surprise that ‘April Melody’ proved to be a prolific parent from him, leading to the…
Back in the spring of 2015, as we geared up for the celebration of the 90th anniversary of Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, and to welcome the Annual AIS Convention-goers, we received a message from Cathy Egerer of the Historic Iris Preservation Society. She proposed we plant an historic Schreiner Iris bed in our Display Gardens to commemorate our golden anniversary. While our 10-acre display garden contains beds filled with hundreds of Iris cultivars, seedling tests, guest Iris, Dyke’s Medal winners and more, surprisingly we had not yet dedicated a single bed to our own legacy of 90 years of Iris breeding.
We agreed that this would be a tremendous addition to the garden. Ms. Egerer then enlisted the help of dedicated Iris enthusiasts across the country. These generous individuals donated and shipped the historic Iris rhizomes from their own gardens to us here in Oregon. We received several dozen specimens of older Schreiner hybrids, dating back to 1936. Once cataloged and arranged, Ben Schreiner (4th generation owner) planted the “newcomers” and tended to them throughout that first winter.
Thus, our official Historic Schreiner Iris bed was conceived of and built. We would like to very sincerely thank Cathy and all of the folks who donated Iris and time and postage to this project (please forgive us if we have forgotten to list anyone by name): Carlos Ayento, Nancy McDonald, Linda Baumgartner, Judy Schneider, Arlyn Madsen, Lani Shooks, Patty Del Negro, Wanda Rezac, Charles Pickett. We are grateful to you all for helping to restore these historic Iris to their roots.
Do you grow historic Schreiner Iris in your garden? We would love to know.
by Carlos AyentoAs mentioned previously, the Chicago iris gardener is presented with many problems: humid summers, cold winters without snow cover, and the pests such as grey squirrels, rabbits and iris borers. While pest can be controlled to an extent, weather cannot; and only the toughest irises survive and thrive in the Windy City. In…
by Jean Richter
The turn of the century has brought new hybridizers experimenting with space age iris, and these iris are enjoying unprecedented popularity. Following are some of the most recent space age iris to grace our gardens. Riley Probst began his hybridizing career in Missouri, but now calls California his home. Here is his space age…
Mr. Carlos Ayento has been collecting and proving Iris in his hometown Chicago for a good long while. We enjoy his company and feedback here in our Display Gardens at Bloom Season when he’s able to visit. This brief report of his trials and tribulations in his home garden should prove helpful to our readers. Thank you, Carlos!
By Carlos Ayento
I have been involved with irises since seventh grade. That was back in 1992 when I planted eight tall bearded irises from a collection offered from Burpee’s Seed catalog. Seven of those irises I would later find out were introduced by Schreiner’s. These were Invitation (1982), Grand Waltz (1970), Stepping Out (1964), Gay…