For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens


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Start the Season with Early Blooming Iris

Dwarf Bearded Iris|Heather Carpet

Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris, Heather Carpet (Chapman, 1999), hugs  a garden path.

Easy to plant, easy to care for, easy to enjoy! That is the Iris. And such variety too! Variety of size, variety of bloom season, variety of color, variety of style. Isn’t success in life all about the choices we make? That simple maxim can apply to the realm of the flower garden too. The Iris offer such a host of choices, one is surely to find just the right color, or size, etc. Let’s talk about the breadth of bloom time, for example. The Miniature Dwarf Iris and the Standard Dwarf Iris are among the very first Iris to bloom. Weather depending, of course, they open up their diminutive blossoms (just 5 to 15 inches in height) approximately mid-March to early April (in most temperate zones), heralding the launch of another promising Iris season.

The Hungarian language has a saying, “The pepper corn is small, but mighty.” (Kicsi a bors, de erős). The same can be said about these Iris of smaller stature. They are no less hardy than their taller, more robust cousins. Dwarf Iris, both Miniature and Standard types, propagate with strength and, once in bloom, stand up to the early spring frosts. There are several wonderful resources available which provide great detail on the origins of these hybrids. The Dwarf Iris Society is a good place to start for further links and leads on exploring the subject. Several Iris breeders today have introduced spectacular Bearded Iris cultivars in miniature.

Intermediate Iris|Schreiner's Iris Gardens

Intermediate and Border Bearded Iris blooming at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens

As spring widens its embrace upon the land, weep not for the fading Dwarf Iris, for the Intermediate, Median, or Border Iris are opening on the garden scene! A bit taller than the tallest Dwarf, yet shorter than the shortest Tall Bearded Iris, they offer brilliant bloom to span the gap between March and May, a beautiful complement to the Cherry blossoms! The earliest blooming Tall Bearded Iris will overlap with the later-blooming Intermediate Iris, to create a seamless floral transition of color. Sprinkle in several mid-season and late-season Tall Bearded Iris around your garden, and the color show continues well into June.

Dwarf Iris, Schreiner's Iris Gardens

A few moments spent even casually mapping out the succession of Iris blooms in your garden will yield months of rainbow color from your ankles to above your hips! Dwarf, Intermediate, Tall Bearded, as well as Beardless Iris, are all planted in the summer months. Below is a simple chart, indicating approximate bloom times for Iris ranging from the Miniature Dwarf to the Tall Bearded, and including the Beardless Iris such as, Siberian and Louisiana. Bloom time is greatly dependent on weather conditions and gardening practices, however. For example, Reblooming Iris require regular fertilization and dividing.

March

April

May

June

July/Aug/Sept/Oct

Min. Dwf. & Std. Dwf.

(5″ to 15″; 5cm to 28cm)

Intermediates & Border

(16″ to 27″; 40cm to 68cm)

Tall Bearded

(28″ to 48″;70cm to 122cm)

Tall Bearded & Beardless (such as, Siberian and Louisiana)

Reblooming Bearded Iris of all sizes

“Eyebright” (Standard Dwarf Bearded) iris, just a hair taller than its garden companion Candytuft.

If you are one who can hardly wait for the year’s Iris season to start, you have merely to plant some Dwarf Bearded Iris this summer. You will have Iris blooming with the first inkling of spring warmth. Even if you consider yourself simply a fan, a dabbler, a curious gardening newbie to the world of flowers, give the Dwarf Iris a try!

Do you grow Dwarf Iris? Share your comments below!

What to do in the Iris garden this month…..read more on our site.


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Creating Chromatic Contrast with Iris

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


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Willamette Valley Springtime Equals Color

Think spring. Visit us in May.

Memorial Day Celebration|Schreiner's Iris Gardens

Visitors to our Display Gardens during Bloom Season in May

From the foothills of the Coast Range in the west to the lowlands of the Cascade Range in the east, color washes across the Willamette Valley in waves of color from early to late spring.
On our farm, acres of Bearded Iris open in a rainbow show beginning early to mid-March, with the colors continuing through late May to early June. Patch by patch, the Dwarf varieties to the grand Tall Beardeds, take their turn opening blooms in a dizzying array of color combinations.
Our 10-acre Display Garden, located here on our farm since 1947 (Schreiner family history), is dedicated to the display of Tall Bearded Iris. Nearly 500 named varieties are planted among spring-blooming perennials for a well-rounded display of form, texture, and COLOR!
Plan your trip to visit during our Bloom Season Open House, May 11 to May 31st this year.
We look forward to seeing you!
SchreinerSignatureRGB


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An Instrument of Grace

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

Schreiner's Iris Gardens|Oh So Yummy

Tall Bearded Iris “Oh So Yummy” Blooms in May

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.

Visitors-webIdly 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.

Sincerely,

The Schreiner Family

Schreiner's Iris Gardens|Sky and Sun

Tall Bearded Iris “Sky and Sun” blooms in May

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.

Iris Lover’s Catalog now available online.


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A Whiter Shade of Pale — World of Irises

By Bryce Williamson

White. A color so important in the garden and so often ignored. I would shock people when giving judges’ training with the idea that the two most important colors in the iris garden were yellow and white. I stick to that position—yellow bring a shaft of sunlight into the garden and whites are…

via A Whiter Shade of Pale — World of Irises


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Bold, Fun, Gorgeous: Arranging with Iris

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…

via “Talking Irises” DISPLAYING IRISES Using a variety of flowers, vases and arranging styles to beautify our homes — World of Irises


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Perfectly Planning Pretty Plantings

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.

Happy planning!

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…

via “Talking Irises” TALL BEARDED IRISES: COMPANION PLANTS for PINK, RED, and PURPLE IRISES — World of Irises