Look Locally over the Garden Gate: June’s plant is focus is  Iris Germanica…

Screenshot 2022-06-30 at 13.50.13

Its common name is the German Bearded Iris, which doesn’t do the plant justice!

Conjuring images of beer festivals with rosy, hairy-faced men, not unromantic granted! However, I prefer the Greek association with the genus name Iris who was the goddess of the rainbow. Now that inspires! You can see their silken flowing robes and the spectrum of colours of these resplendent towering plants in the bright light of our first summer weeks. In fact, by now Iris germanica have mostly performed their socks off in our gardens during the month of May. Shrivelling their petals inward to protect the future in seeds within; heroines indeed!

So, you may ask, why are they June’s plant in focus? Well, I am passionate about sharing the horticultural whys and wherefores of maintenance as well as pontificating about the joy of plants and 6 weeks after flowering is the time to tend to them should you wish to divide and multiply your early spring garden goddesses. 

A good clump of Iris germanica with its thick rhizomes baking in the sun will do well for 5 -7 years.  But their flower power performance will progress to the more virile and juvenile growths that spread along their rhizomes outwards from the centre of the plant. Leaving a central clump that shrivels and dies.

They are best lifted and divided now with plenty of growing season left in order to get established in their new position before our long wet cold winters. Heralding from Mediterranean Europe they prefer a well drained and sunny position.  If you have a heavy clay soil plant their so rhizomes are proud of ground level, with loose sandy soils they will make their way to the soil’s surface.  You can also plant on them on a mound either way make sure you get the soil around their tendril like roots to ensure they anchor themselves in order to support those long sail like leaves which you will need to cut in half now to help reduce wind rock.

They will take a few years to establish from the smaller divisions but when they do they are a marvel in the spring garden.

For information on these or any other flower join me on Facebook @mimosadesign.

Email: info.mimosadesign@gmail.com
Call: 07737 286784. 

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