In our front yard is a triangular shaped area that for now I’m calling the Iris Garden. In a week or so after the irises finish blooming I’ll have to change the name to something else but for now the Iris Garden works! I actually began this garden area as a winter color garden but soon realized that winter color should be interspersed everywhere and shouldn’t be all by itself. So I redesigned the garden to be what it is now. At different times of the year this garden provides different types of interest.
On each point of the triangle design is a tree. The largest of which is a Yoshino cherry that provides some powerful spring color with its white a pinkish colored blooms. Two small redbuds anchor the other points. They were transplants from my in-laws property. Redbuds are tricky to transplant but with some care ( and a long enough root) it can be done! (This is best done when dormant.) Eventually the trees will shade the triangle enabling the garden to be converted to a part shade to full shade garden area. That will be a few years down the road.
The current main feature of the garden is the river of irises that flow down from the top point of the triangle. These irises were all given to me by my parents who had a bunch of these lavender purple colored bearded irises. Now we have a ton too! These are highly fragrant irises and you can imagine with as many irises as we have in this garden the scent can be strong! We have other irises in other gardens but I felt that keeping the same color scheme in this garden would give the maximum impact.
There are a few other perennials in this bed along with the irises. Pretty much all of the perennials fit into the purple color category with variations in shade and tint allowing for a cool color blend. ‘Caradonna’ salvia is right next to the irises and will eventually become a second river that will re-bloom periodically through the summer. ‘Purple Homestead’ verbena is a spectacular groundcover that is perfect for this garden. It doesn’t like being constantly wet over the winters which makes planting in our sloped front yard perfect for it. In the summer two Russian sage plants will flower. One on the right side and the other on the left. Surrounding the Russian sage on the left will be several purple coneflowers that have grown each year from seed with mother nature’s help! (We just let the seed fall where it may!)
The Annuals – err… Annual …kind of….
We have one annual that grace’s this garden: California Poppy. It’s orange and has nothing in common with the rest of the garden’s colors. That’s OK since sometimes a unique and unusual color mixed in a sea of similar colors can make the garden pop a little more. Our California poppies self-sow freely. The foliage is a beautiful silver color reminiscent of an artemisia like ‘Powis Castle’. This poppy can survive mild enough winters but for us it’s more of an annual.
It won’t be long before the irises are finished blooming and the dividing and transplanting time will be here. Everything is happening much earlier this year than it has in past years!