Monday, January 1, 2018

Reblooming Irises: A Love Affair

By Ginny Spoon

When I first joined the American Iris Society in 1991, I learned about reblooming irises at our local chapter of AIS, the Chesapeake and Potomac Iris Society. Irises that bloom both spring and fall were the ones that I wanted most of all. That is where I met Don Spoon, who outbid me on every single iris that I wanted at the auction after the national convention that year. Although frustrated by those efforts, I managed to buy more rebloomers at our club sales over the next several years. Many of our own members in Region 4 were also iris hybridizers and had introduced reblooming irises. They included Charlie Nearpass, Clarence Mahan, Lloyd Zurbrigg, J. Griffin Crump and yes,  Don Spoon.  Sterling Innerst and Joan Roberts were also in our neighboring Region 3, and have introduced many lovely reblooming irises.

'Durham Dream' (Lloyd Zurbrigg)--image by Ginny Spoon

As the years went by, and my garden grew, I knew that irises were my favorite perennial. Not only do they come in all sizes and different kinds, but there is an iris of some kind blooming in the garden almost every month of the year.

'Lucy Doodle' reblooming MTB (Charlie Nearpass)--image by Cindy Rust

'Autumn Rose' (Ginny Spoon)--image by Ginny Spoon

The white reblooming iris in front of 'Autumn Rose' is my first introduction, 'Autumn Ivory', made possible when Don Spoon brought pollen from his garden and taught me how to hybridize.

Our Winterberry Iris Gardens--image by Ginny Spoon

One fall, we had almost a third of our garden blooming with reblooming irises. It was a glorious sight and one I will always remember.

 'Daughter of Stars' (Don Spoon)-- image by Ginny Spoon

As some of you may have guessed, I married Don Spoon and have now gotten back all those irises that I wanted in that auction, and more besides. We both love and hybridize irises, especially the rebloomers in our northern Virginia garden.


  1. Iris are wonderful in the garden and even after the beautiful blooms are done, the foliage itself still adds interest throughout most of the gardening season. Thank you for an interesting and informatively post!

  2. Where can I get reblooming Iris. It is my observation that you can plant iris anytime and I want some now ?? Any ideas? I love iris and have 25 different colors. I need some reblooming iris.

    1. Try
      You can order the Iris Rebloom Checklist to see which iris bloom in your area.