Thursday, May 27, 2021

Midwest Gardening 2021: IRIS FABULOUS- I can't wait to share.

Every year, I hold my breath for our 'Fabulous' Iris to begin blooming. With our 80 degree temps this last week (and high winds with finally TWO rains) they have exploded in color and stature.

Photos taken May 24th, 2021

It was so windy, that morning I had to corral all the IRIS which were very tall this year, from our constant watering. Our part of Illinois was at just 2.3 " of precipitation since February 1st.  As, I have said in earlier posts, I never remember having to water in April and May.

The front wall of our home is basically greenery, Iris and a couple of pots I haven't planted yet for color. I love Iris for their elegance, vibrant hues, and their spikey greenery which adds interest to our garden. They are very hardy in our Zone 5 and if the weather isn't too hot they have a long 'bloom life'. We will have cooler temps now, so I'm hoping the bloom will be lengthened considerably.

Our new boxwood bushes survived the winter and are in need of a healthy trim to thicken them after all the planting is accomplished. I LOVE the texture with the Iris.

I had to hold this one from the wind---and it also gives you an idea of how huge the blooms are.  Iris are happiest planted on the surface and not even in the best soil. This is the perfect place, south facing and sheltered from north winds.

Sorry, I don't have the species list at hand. I ordered about $80.00 worth three years ago. And they haven't disappointed. This year, I will dig up and divide, making even more blooms hopefully next year.

This pale yellow is ruffly and simply reminds me of a summer dress! 

These are just gorgeous. You can see blooms already spent because of our hot temps.

Great color!

I'm so glad I tied these up--the winds have been fierce this Spring.

Over on the east side we have this variety! Peach and lavender, nummy! You can see the Sweet Peas in the back left beginning to go nuts. This flower bed will be redone as soon as the Iris have finished their bloom. 

By May 24th I had finished the pond! YUGH, what a project. I had to dig out the sand and the rocks...bleach everything, then multiple rinses. Get all the muck out, and reset and replace hoses and pumps. I finally have it looking good again and considerably deeper. 
Last year, I had thought raising the bottom would mean less care---WRONG! 
The pond last year ran too hot, and we had no frogs, and lots of slimy growth. So after digging out 13 gallons of blackened, slimy rocks and sand...I think I have it taken care of.  I rinsed the rocks 3 times, and then bleached them in the sun, before they went back into the pond. WE WILL see, how it goes! 

We use pond clarifier and mosquito floats which are organic and bio-degradeable and safe for people, animals, and water critters.

Here, the IRIS are yellow and burgundies which aren't blooming yet. This area is between the garage and house and is in shade until the sun is overhead. I'll share more Iris blooms from here next week! 

HOW are your favorite bulbs doing? 

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Thank you for your cooperation, 


  1. Oh wow, your irises are stunning. They are certainly queens of the garden. You have such a pretty variety of shades. How fabulous the sweet peas are running wild! The pond is a pretty place. Love the fairy

    1. Thanks so much Kim, I've always loved Iris. When I did pottery---I made three-dimensional Iris climbing up the much fun to capture all their ruffles and colors! Hugs, thanks for stopping by, Sandi

  2. Sandi, your iris are so beautiful. They certainly are a stately flower. I only have two plants so will not have the variety that you have but they are really beautiful..xxoJudy

    1. Hi, Judy. Only reason I spent so much and ordered many, was I knew from the past that the Iris love it in the front by the wall. When you find a Happy place for them, it's sure worth the investment. Hugs, Sandi

  3. Hi Sandi! Oh those peach and lavender irises are just gorgeous! Nummy is definitely the word for them! I planted some miniature iris bulbs a couple of years ago, and they send up spiky shoots every year, but never any flowers. The soil is probably not right for them, but that's beyond my level of gardening expertise! I've had bluebells all over my front garden this year (they've basically taken over), and planted quite a few daffodil bulbs for next year. At the moment my favourite (although technically a rhizome, not bulb) is the lily of the valley. It was my granny's favourite flower, and it's my favourite scent.

    1. Hi, Dorrit...I agree, I have had issues with the Siberian Iris myself, shoots and no flowers. And, I have planted those in various locations, I did notice the squirrels dug a lot in the area this year, so maybe they are just a munch for them. Thanks so much for stopping by! Sandi

  4. What totally fabulous eye candy!

    1. Hi, Jeanie...I know they are my favorite, thanks for enjoying! Sandi

  5. If bending down creates sensations in your body that savagely hint at the onset of the crematorium then gardening's not for you. But my new gardener's body is presently even more defective than mine (surgery's involved) and I feel I must ensure his good work doesn't go to waste. So I weeded the gravel beds. Theoretically this shouldn't be necessary. Almost a foot below the gravel is a layer of Terram, a hugely expensive wide-weave fabric which suffocates weed growth. It still works, but over the last two decades microscopic specks of airborne earth have lodged in the gravel above and the weeds - in their tenacious way - have made use of it. Also round the edges of the beds.

    So I weed, sitting on a stool. Which must be moved every time I clear to within an arm's length of where I'm sitting. And the stool's legs scrunch through the gravel, impeded by gross friction. And earth is driven under my nails. I am very very unhappy. Eventually I will be moderately pleased when I gaze down from my study (where I do things I'm rather better at) and see weedless vistas, but that is in the future. Prisoners in jail sometimes write ecstatically when they're allowed to go out and garden. I find it impossible to empathise with them. There must be more congenial ways of communicating with Nature, provided cucumber and dark green leathery lettuce leaves are not in the offing.

    1. Oh, Roderick. I do much of my garden work from a stool now, sometimes a scooter chair. It sounds like your gravel is the perfect place for Iris...which will choke out most weeds, if there is even a bit of soil under your gravel. Thanks for stopping by, you can simply enjoy gardens vicariously without the work...grins, Sandi

  6. Sandi! OMG! Your irises are spectacular!! I have some but they have not bloomed for 2 seasons now...Don't know why...It has been raining since Friday afternoon and we have gotten about 2 inches of rain..It is cool with temps. only around 50..Supposed to be better tomorrow for Memorial Day with a high about 70 and no more rain....Thanks so much for stopping by!!

    1. Hi, Debbie. If your corms are too deep,(they really like to ride the surface or if they are infected with burrowing bugs, you may get failure. I dig mine up every 3 years, inspect the corms, trim off any rotten parts, divide and replant with some nutrients very shallow! This will happen next year, with these at it will be their third year. I know the temps were weird last week, and we almost had frost one night.Enjoy the warmer temps on the way, Hugs, Sandi


Thank you for any and all comments. I will be happy to answer any questions or comments in replies or email! HUGS!