Irises have always been favorites of mine...at one time I was so involved with growing them that I had one of the tour gardens when Tulsa hosted the national convention years ago. Even through his teen years my son also enjoyed them...working enthusiastically in the Iris Society with me (quite an accomplishment when you can get a youngster to weed, plant, even show them!)
Under the redbud trees there is a bed that has great clumps of tectorum, a delightful little species iris that prefers shade and looks like so many floating butterflies in a breeze. (Iris: these pictures are for you!!)
There is a bed of the prolific blue Siberian irises that came from my father's garden, as well as a few spurias (which I fell in love with the first time I saw them in California where they grow superbly!).
Other than that we start spring with the charming little ones, the "babies", from the dwarfs to
the border bearded that live among the rocks bordering the beds. They entertain us until the tall beardeds come along...and I have to admit, I'll probably always love them the most!
Even after all these years my favorite pink is still the incomparable "Beverly Sills". I saw it before it was introduced in the hybridizer's garden in California where it went by the garden nickname of "Bubbles"...just like Beverly! Even though there are new and more striking pinks, a good prima donna can't be outclassed (just like its namesake!)
I made a terrible mistake all those years ago when I got the bright idea of doing an all pastel bed where I could see it from inside the house...I thought soft pinks, white, blues, and lavenders would be delicate and charming. It was the most bland and boring bed I ever had and was totally changed out after the first year! Found out very quickly that you're lost without a bit of brightness, or a strong color, especially some yellow for instance to "spark" everything! I guess that's why mixed borders are so much more exciting!
Large clumps or rows of one particular shade of iris (all soft blues, etc.) can be definitely striking as any flower can be en masse. I suppose though that since irises are such independent sorts, hardy and prolific, and such classy garden objects, they shine better in a single clump of each variety. Such prima donnas can stand out among the other flowers just as the divine Beverly could outshine the rest on a stage full of people!
Can you tell that I still love these most? But I love them best now in our old-fashioned gardens where they blend into a tapestry with all the other jewels!