Monday, December 3, 2018

Reblooming Irises: An Autumn Feast

By Virginia Spoon

Our garden in northern Virginia, zone 6, at an elevation of 1100 feet with alkaline soil, is almost a perfect location to grow bearded irises. In the autumn the colors of the reblooming irises blend with the leaves of the mountain maples, the black gums, persimmons and dogwoods.

Mountain Maples in the fall in our backyard.  Image by--Ginny Spoon

Reblooming SDBs, 'Eric Simpson' with 'Ray Jones' in background.  Image by --Ginny Spoon

As I am writing this article in mid October, the rebloomers are putting on quite a show along with the changing leaves. Our weeping cherry tree is changing color and the winterberries are starting to lose their leaves while our resident Mockingbird is tirelessly guarding his hoard.

The weeping cherry tree and winterberries at Winterberry Gardens. Image by --Ginny Spoon

Each day brings a new surprise while stalks appear as if by magic. I thought 'Lord of Rings' matched the changing leaves of the cherry tree so well. 

'Lord of Rings' (George Sutton 2003) reblooming in October at Winterberry--Image by-Ginny Spoon

It is so peaceful to wander around the garden and enjoy the sounds and colors  and even the smells of autumn. Our Katsura tree now smells like burnt brown sugar and somewhere nearby, someone is burning leaves. A customer called a few days ago and asked about fragrant irises that matched their color. I remembered a few, but I had some rebloomers open and I checked the fragrance of 'Persimmon Pie' and remembered why we named it that. Also, 'Mango Parfait' was reblooming and it smelled like a fresh mango.

'Mango Parfait' (Don Spoon) reblooming in October at Winterberry. Image by--Ginny Spoon

What would a fall garden be without the chrysanthemums? There are perennial mums that come  back every year and their colors blend in well with the rebloomers. Ours grow beside our entrance and I must remember to plant some among the irises next spring.

Perennial mums at Winterberry. Image by-Ginny Spoon

Rebloomer, 'Doubleday'(George Sutton 2001) Image by--Ginny Spoon

  Winterberry Gardens, our woods in autumn --image by Ginny Spoon

Enjoy the crisp fall weather and all of the sights, sounds and smells because ... Winter is coming.

Our resident Mockingbird guarding the winterberries in winter. Image--Ginny Spoon



  1. Gorgeous post, beautifully written. Thanks for promoting my favorite flower, reblooming irises!

  2. Very nice - love the way you tied the irises in with the other autumnal plants and colors


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