by Ron Killingsworth
It seems the "normal" bloom season is not the "usual" bloom season. Bloom was late this year, very late, and when it arrived, the Dutch irises, Tall Bearded, i.virginica, Spuria irises and Louisiana irises all bloomed at the same time. And when I say the Louisiana irises all bloomed at the same time, I mean the early, mid and late bloomers all bloomed at once. We had a relatively short bloom but boy was it something with all the irises blooming at once!
I wanted to share some spring pictures with you. Most of the pictures are irises but I have thrown in a few other things just to keep you interested. Sue, my wife, increased the number of Tall Bearded irises she is growing so we had quite a few in bloom this year.
|"Applause Line" Tall Bearded by Joe Ghio 2004|
It is difficult to grow bearded irises in the heat of Louisiana, but Sue and I built some raised beds in an area of the side yard that is shaded from about 2 PM til dark. We made sure the beds are well drained and are watered very little from the sprinkler system. They seem to be doing quite well. Time will tell.
|"Blue Jean Baby" a Louisiana iris by Charles Arny 1987|
"Blue Jean Baby" is one of my favorites - it is so pretty, in part because of the name. There is nothing prettier than "my baby" in blue jeans! Charles Arny is no longer with us but he left a lot of beautiful irises for us to enjoy.
|"Braggin Rights" a Tall Bearded iris by Tom Burseen 2004|
|"Bullion Audit" a Louisiana iris by T. J. Betts (2003) of Australia|
|"Cedar Bayou" a Louisiana iris by K. Strawn 1993|
|"Chacahoula Fire" a Louisiana iris by Rusty McSparrin 2005|
|"Cherokee Rose" antique rose bush - climbing|
This rose bush is a welcomed sight each spring. It blooms early and then it is gone. The flowers are really pristine white and beautiful. They remind me that Easter is near.
|"Colorific" a Louisiana iris by Joe Mertzweiller 1978|
|"Dixie Deb" a Louisiana iris by Frank Chowning 1950|
|Double Poppy (We call them Marie's Poppies)|
Marie Calliet was a charter member of the Society for Louisiana Irises and lived in Little Elm, TX, north of Dallas the last years of her life. We obtained some poppy seeds from her on one of our visits to her garden and we grow them in NW Louisiana. This is an example of a double that grows well and blooms during the Louisiana iris bloom season.
|"Dr. Dormon" a Louisiana iris by Sidney Conger in 1972|
|"Dural White Butterfly" a Louisiana iris by John C. Taylor 1989|
John Taylor has hybridized many Louisiana irises "down under". He has produced many beautiful and award winning irises. This iris, although registered in 1989, remains an award winning white loved by all iris lovers.
|More Dutch irises in NW Louisiana|
|White Dutch irises growing in NW Louisiana|
|"Fire Alarm" a Louisiana iris by Caroline Dormon 1951|
|"Elvis Dreamer" a Tall Bearded by Tom Burseen 2008|
|"Enviable" a Louisiana iris by M. D. Faith 2002|
|"Extra Dazzle" a Louisiana iris by Heather Pryor 2003|
I'll continue my pictorial of the bloom season in NW Louisiana with part two. Meantime, if you are interested in growing Louisiana irises, or just want to know more about them, then visit the website at Society for Louisiana Irises. If you want to know more about all irises, visit the website of the American Iris Society. Hope you enjoyed the pictures.