Monday, December 8, 2014

"Talking Irises" TALL BEARDED IRISES -- Revamping An Existing Bed For Maximum Impact

By Susanne Holland Spicker




Are you thinking of revamping an existing flower bed? If you're like me, and want to add some irises from your 'wish list', but don't know quite where to begin, here are a few tips that have helped me that may prove useful to you.
  • Determine the square footage of your garden space. This is done by multiplying the garden width by its length. (A 10 X 10 foot area = 100 square feet). This bed is approximately 65 X 8 feet and has about 50 different iris cultivars. 
  • I use irises as my dominant feature. I plan on about 2 feet between each cultivar. (This requires more frequent dividing, however).
  • Choose a color scheme. Complimentary colors are opposite on the color wheel. This bed focuses on yellows and violets, opposites on the color wheel. 
  • I make a collage of the irises I have, and the ones I want to add. I added 5 new ones this year and have them in the collage to see how they coordinate.
  • Be aware of bloom times--using irises that bloom very early through very late will give maximum impact. 
  • Use a wide variety of companion plants, staggering their bloom time, providing a variety of heights and textures. 
  • Take pictures! Keep a garden journal, making changes if necessary.
  • And most important, have fun!









Revamping a bed can be a challenge, but hopefully these tips can make it a pleasant and rewarding experience for you.

Do you use irises as the dominant  interest in your flower beds? If so, I would love to hear from you!

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