For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens


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Tall ones. Short ones. Pretty in-between ones.

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Collecting Field-Fresh Bearded Iris Cut Stems

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, sacrifice and a love of what you do.” – Pele

Greetings fellow Iris enthusiasts,

At Schreiner’s Gardens we strive to put a smile on your face when you open a box and see large, healthy rhizomes, every one you ordered. Whether buying a car or a box of iris, the product garners the attention. Usually one barely gives a thought to the workers who make it happen.

In spite of our best efforts, our iris refuse to jump out of the ground on their own and sort themselves, on the way to their destination. Talented and dedicated employees are necessary. Every organization has to have people to be depended upon. Schreiner’s Gardens is fortunate to have top quality employees, men and women, who have worked decades here. They do anything and everything: answer phones and the mail, provide the best customer service, dig and ship iris rhizomes, prepare and maintain our beautiful display gardens, transplant our crop, and service our vehicles and machinery. Pictured in our print catalog are the friends and employees whom we entrust with the most vital tasks.

Just as it’s a thing of beauty to see an orchestra perform in concert, an onlooker can come away with a similar reaction watching our crew. They are very good at what they do. There’s little doubt that they care. Even in extremes of weather, there’s a ready smile. So the next time you open that box of iris, remember our staff behind the scenes, whose mission is to satisfy YOU.

Our catalog features our new introductions for 2017, as well as 30 additional varieties from outstanding hybridizers. Iris offer tremendous variety of incredible color, from the early-blooming dwarf to the late-blooming tall bearded, to the slender elegance of the beardless iris. Within the narrow confines of a city lot, or stretched along an entire side yard, colorful iris lift your spirits each spring.

Finally, 2017 heralds a new chapter for Schreiner’s Gardens. We have accepted the opportunity to offer renowned hybridizer Mr. Bill  Maryott’s beautiful, modern Daylilies to our customers – another hardy and easy to grow perennial Look for more information on our website. As always, we thank you for choosing Schreiner’s Iris  Gardens.

Yours in gardening,
Ray, Ben, Steve and Liz
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Schreiner’s Farm Full of Bloom in May


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Annual Iris Naming Contest 2016

 

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B857-C is nice, but I need a proper name!

Each October we select one of our seedlings, never before introduced, to be named by you, our fellow Iris enthusiasts. This year’s candidate is a purple and white seedling, very logically (although unimaginatively) named B857-C. This purple-bearded delight stands 33 inches tall and blooms mid-to-late season. CONTEST NOW CLOSED. Thank you for your interest. Look for next year’s contest in October 2017.

Contest open to US residents only. Entry deadline is 9:00 p.m. Pacific, Wednesday, October 26, 2016.  The winner will receive one plant of the named Iris (shipped summer 2017) and a $25 gift certificate to Schreiner’s Iris Gardens (mailed with a copy of the 2017 catalog in the spring of 2017).

The contest winner will be notified via email in early November.

Sharing our passion for Iris,
The Schreiner Family

Images in this blog are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of the copyright holders Schreiner’s Iris Gardens.

 


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“Summer Olympics” in your yard?

So, you’re not a world-class gymnast, or the world’s fastest sprinter, or even a sun-tanned beach volleyball player,but still you might be dreaming of an “Afternoon in Rio”, or of someday joining the Summer Olympics….We all have dreams, don’t we? Well, we’re excited for the summer games even still. Opening August 5th in Rio de Janeiro, the games inspire us all the world over. And right here in Oregon (home of several Olympic athletes, incidentally), we’re inspired to have some fun with Iris names while we await the lighting of the cauldron.

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Summer Olympics, R.G. Smith 1980

Top of the list “Summer Olympics“: Aptly named for its bright golden color that often will come around in the summer or late fall in addition to the spring bloom, as it is a reblooming Iris.

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Dream Ticket, Larry Lauer 2006

The US Olympic Dream Team has got the “Dream Ticket“to bring home that “Pure As Gold” hunk o’metal draped around their necks this summer.

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Pure As Gold, William Maryott 1993

One for all of you aspirational types, here’s to “Dreaming of Rio“. And why not? If athletes can dream big, why not the rest of arm-chair contenders?

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Dreaming of Rio, Schreiner 2008

And for all the athletes whose dreams have come true, spending the “Afternoon in Rio“, we send our joyous congratulations! Dream big, win big, and go for the gold!

The rest of us can enjoy the games, in the afternoon, on the patio, gazing at our summer gardens.

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Afternoon in Rio, Schreiner 2005


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Consider the Early Blooming Iris

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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.

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

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 Bearded Iris|Gold CanaryLet’s have a few more words about these Dwarf Iris, though. 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 (quite fascinating, really). 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.

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

Reblooming Bearded Iris of all sizes

Music, Keith Keppel 1999

Music, Standard Dwarf Bearded
Keith Keppel, 1999

As Barbara Whitehouse and Bee Warburton write in their chapter entitled “Miniature Dwarf Beardeds”, in The World of Irises, (The American Iris Society, 1986) “…each iris lover should grow at least one or two clumps of them …. However, they are so charming that one or two clumps may ultimately become a whole bed or border.” (pg 145)….

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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2015 Annual Iris Naming Contest

Schreiner Iris|Iris Naming ContestOur Annual Iris Naming Contest is now closed for the season. Please check back again in the fall for next year’s contest. Thank you to all who submitted an entry! We’ll be announcing the winner soon.

Each October we select one of our seedlings, never before introduced, to be named by you, our fellow Iris enthusiasts. This year’s candidate is a bold, vibrant purple seedling, very logically (although unimaginatively) named YY63-A. This orange-bearded, bi-tone stands 33″ tall and blooms mid-season. Send us your name suggestion via the entry form below.  Contest open to US residents only. Entry deadline is 9:00 p.m. Pacific, Tuesday, October 20, 2015.  The winner will receive one plant of the named Iris (shipped summer 2016) and a $25 gift certificate to Schreiner’s Iris Gardens (mailed with a copy of the 2016 catalog in the spring of 2016).  We look forward to receiving your suggested name!

While you’re contemplating that perfect name, take a look at Benita Green Lee’s terrific write-up on how hybridizers choose names for their seedlings, “Putting a Name to That Face“.

The contest winner will be notified via email in early November.

For complete contest details click here.

 

 

Sharing our passion for Iris,

The Schreiner Family

Images in this blog are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of the copyright holders Schreiner’s Iris Gardens.


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The Winner of the 2015 American Iris Society’s Dyke’s Medal Is …

The American Iris Society annually awards its highest distinction to one outstanding Iris. This year our close friend and Iris breeding associate, Mr. Keith Keppel of Salem, Oregon, is the esteemed recipient of the 2015 Dyke’s Medal for his dynamic and debonair, “Gypsy Lord”.

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“Gypsy Lord”, Keith Keppel, 2006

Learn more about the American Iris Society and the annual Iris judging at their website www.irises.org.

Congratulations Keith from all of us here at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens!

Shop our End-of-Summer Clearance on Tall Bearded Iris!


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Bearded Iris Grow Strong All Summer Long

Summer days, summer gardens. Most enjoyable. For the Tall Bearded Iris in your garden, summer is also the perfect time to grow, to expand, to be transplanted.

Planting IrisBearded Iris experience two root growth cycles in their annual growing cycle. The springtime growth we all eagerly anticipate in our Iris beds begins with the lengthening of the foliage upward and the root system outward. The rhizome uses its stored-up nutrients.”….As the bud swellings appear in the new fans there is a quickening of the new roots that will supply the plant with nutrients for new growth during and after bloom. The old roots from the previous year’s growth then wither and decay.” ( The World of Irises, p 314)  After the springtime color display of full bloom has passed for the year, the underground development begins in earnest.

The Iris revel in the long summer days. During the six to eight weeks post bloom, the plants absorb the necessary nutrients for next spring’s growth and bloom. The rhizomes send out new increases which will become new self-contained, self-supporting rhizomes by early to mid-July. Once the summer growth is complete, the Iris takes a well-earned rest. Enter the gardener, spade in hand, plan in mind. Now is the time to dig, divide, share and transplant.

HowIrisDivide-webHere, in the Willamette Valley our Iris bloom season ends early- to mid-June. Therefore, at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, we begin digging our fields early to mid-July. On a smaller scale in your garden, consider digging your Iris to transplant this summer if the clump is three to five years old. Share the divided Iris not only in your own garden, but also with the neighbors, friends and family….garden clubs, retirement homes, 4H clubs, and so on. Allowing Iris clumps to become over grown can lead to poor or no blossoms, smaller and smaller rhizomes, and outbreaks of rhizome-based diseases (such as bacterial soft rot).

Remember that the latest date for transplanting depends on local conditions. Newly planted Iris require a minimum of 6 weeks to set their new roots. Thus, they should be in the ground a minimum of six weeks before the first hard frost. Consult local resources to determine the frost dates in your area.

Dividing Bearded IrisSo, how do you go about digging and dividing the Iris in your garden? Visit our “How to Grow Iris” pages for more details and images on dividing and caring for your Iris! Take a look at another great Iris care resource, “A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow“, by Kelly D. Norris.

Iris | Iris Fertilizer

What’s happening in the July garden? To trim or not to trim the foliage…Depending on your location, you may have a handful of lingering Iris blossoms, or all of your bloom stalks might be sporting the papery remains of the seasons’ blooms. When all blossoms on the stalks have finished, carefully trim the bloom stalk at its base. Leave all green foliage, though, in place. They offer an elegant vertical visual throughout the garden. You may remove any browned and dry leaves. Keep the Iris beds clean and free of weeds. Well-established Iris plants are drought tolerant. Newly planted Iris, though, do require a good long drink approximately every 7 to 10 days if the weather is very dry. Reblooming Iris also prefer irrigation between the spring bloom and summer/autumn re-bloom times. We recommend an application of a low-nitrogen fertilizer (such as 6-10-10) approximately one month after blooms have finished. Superphosphate and bonemeal also work well as a fertilizer for Iris.

Discount IrisSummer brings the promise of long days enjoying our gardens and all aspects of our lives. The season also brings with it our annual Summer Sale. You’ll find over 300 varieties of Tall Bearded Iris at deeply discounted prices.