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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Rain Garden Planted in the Nick of Time

A week ago Saturday, on May 20, I helped sort plants purchased through the Washtenaw County Water Resources Office by people who were putting together rain gardens—like me. The advantage of helping out was that I got to take my order home that day instead of the following one—one more day to plant!

I planted them Sunday. I had done a partial planting last fall, so the plants I picked up just about completed the garden, with the last pieces coming from transplants from other spots in the yard.

The Rain Garden

We had better start with a schematic. You cannot see from one end to the other due to the redbud, so this will keep you oriented.

Site plan showing rain garden layout in relation to front of house, sidewalk, and road.
The rain garden, as planted in 2016–2017. The rough brown lines represent exposed tree roots. There are three green circles with perhaps too-tiny numbers in them; from left to right, they are (1) Rosa setigera, (2) Clethra alnifolia, and (3) Cercis canadensis. Adobe Illustrator file updated May 27, 2017.

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