Irises Are May Flowers, Mostly

I wrote about irises, native and not, in the summer of 2020, but this time I would like to look at their succession through the bloom period, which starts in May and usually goes into June.
The month of May starts with native blue-eyed grass and Iris cristata, a US native, but not quite to this area. The blue-eyed grass, which is a failure in this yard as a bedding plant, adds a nice sparkle where it alights for about a month before it unobtrusively fades into the background. It is also extremely easy to remove unwanted seedlings as the root system is small.

Blue-eyed grass popped up in the gap between the driveway and the curb. A shadow of a developing flower shows through the backlit flower bud in the upper left-hand corner. Photographed on May 8, 2024.

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Irises, Native and Not

I mentioned rearranging plants in my last post. This is the best time to rearrange your irises. They are dormant, and they are happier to remain dry this time of year, which makes post-planting attention simple.

Native Irises

I moved blue-eyed grass last week. It seeds where it wants to, but the plants are very easy to move. They are small enough to be a trowel job, even when they have reached blooming size.

Blue-eyed grass in bloom in moderate shade. Photographed on June 6, 2020.

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It’s the Purple Period!

The purple period marks the transition from spring, with its columbines and Baptisia, to early summer, with its roses and peonies, and irises bridge the seasons.

The planter box at the end of the driveway runs south to north; just north of it, the Alpine columbines are  coming into bloom. Right behind them are the rather asparagus-looking Baptisia flower buds; the highly divided leaves to their right belong to the geranium Johnson’s Blue, which is just budding up. The last plant wraps around the outer edge of the entire bed; it’s crested iris, which was at its peak Saturday.

Looking across the brick entryway into the backyard. Front to back: Alpine columbines, Baptisia flower buds, and crested iris. Photographed on May 23, 2020.

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