I'm looking forward in the future to introducing myself to the Louisianas, their rich tones of rusty browns and other colors providing an interesting counterpoint to the rest of the garden. I've only just started with a few shade lovers and want to grow more. I also have one Japanese Iris, ensata 'Momojido', and want to perfect my growing of it; it is a sorry little plant and has not thrived. Perhaps moving it or replenishing its soil will work but sometimes there is an incompatibility, the relationship is not in equilibrium. That sometimes happens in gardening, the wrong plant in the wrong garden, and then it's time to find a new home for it with someone else. I'm not upset if it happens and want only the best for it, it will be an amicable parting.
Native to the Northern Hemisphere, Iris are grown and enjoyed worldwide. From high alpine ridges to deep forests, and deserts to wetlands along with many grasslands, Iris are found. Some have been used medicinally and others show up as representative symbols for royal houses and youth organizations. There is something about their recognizable flowers that is so appealing and on many levels. Their world is deep and large and I must explore further. I've often thought that a garden without Iris is the weaker for it and makes a statement about the gardener.
For more information please visit:
- AIS: American Iris Society
- Historic Iris Preservation Society
- Species Iris Group of North America
- North American Species introducing us to what's always been here
- Species Iris Database with interactive capability
For specific classes and types of Iris visit:
- Tall Bearded Iris Society
- The Median Iris Society
- Reblooming Iris Society
- Dwarf Iris Society of America
- Society for Pacific Coast Native Iris
- Society for Siberian Iris
- Spuria Iris Society and another Spuria Iris Society
- Society for Louisiana Iris
- Society for Japanese Iris
- Japanese Iris tribute page by a Belgian enthusiast
- Aril Society International has good eye candy
International Iris Societies
- Canadian Iris Society
- British Iris Society
- Danish Iris and Lily Society
- Italian Iris Society
- French Iris and Bulbous Plants Society
- Gesellschaft der Staudenfreunde is the Iris branch of the German Perennials Society
- Middle-European Iris Society
- Russian Iris Society
- Japan Iris Society and in English
- New Zealand Iris Society
- Iris Society of Australia
- South Australian Iris Society
Iris Research from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden which includes a cool phylogeny of Iris based on DNA sequencing
Most of the societies have links for where to buy Iris but in case they might have missed some try:
- The Iris Page from Cyndi's Catalog of Garden Catalogs. Cyndi's is an enormous compendium of mail-order gardening sources.
- Cayeux a French Iris breeder. I enjoyed the pictures even though I don't know the language.
My Aunt and Uncle used to visit us while I was growing up. We didn't see them very often, our lives were separate and didn't intersect much, and each visit was a pleasure. They have unique voices, on the order of old radio and movie stars, and I loved hearing them talk. My Aunt had a way of looking at you that let you know her expectations of you were pretty high and you didn't want to see her being disappointed with you.
When I was older I found out she loved gardening and eventually specialized with orchids, covering a small patio and growing them into perfection. She would lose herself with her gardening and plants, taking a respite from the day and replenishing her soul. Eventually they moved into a retirement community, and of course, bringing a few special plants with them. I don't know how my Aunt did it but she managed to secure a unit with a small garden, one of the few and rarely available. The scale was reduced, true, but the joy of being outside and involved with something she loved was still there. My Aunt passed away a few years ago and it's outside I feel closest to her, sharing the same processes, enjoying the weather, and feeling part of an ancient tradition. It's where I imagine Aunt Iris and her sisters, Rose and Fern, being forces of nature and taking on the world.