Several years ago I was kindly given a clump of Iris Sibirica in a bucket, it took some detective work to figure out that this is what they were. They were quickly planted and haven’t moved since (apart from growing outwards). It took a year for them to establish and flower but when I saw their intense deep blue colour and unusual form, I was captivated. I had never seen flowers like these before and their sweet scent is a great bonus too.
They contrast beautifully with the mexican orange blossom behind them (green-gold leaves with clusters of white flowers). I have a few pots of very young iris grown from their seed. This year, I also chopped a bit off either end of the rhizome clump and have planted those in other parts of the garden. A while ago I also decided to go shopping and bought several more types of Siberian Iris:
- Iris Sibirica “Tropic Night”
- Iris Sibircia “Pink Haze’”
- Iris Sibirica “Emperor”
- Iris Sibirica “Butter and Sugar”
- Iris Sibirica “Mrs Rowe”
- Iris Sibirica “Caesar”
- Iris Sibirica “Roger Perry”
- Iris Sibirica “Southcombe White”
They’re spread about the garden. Being young and inexperienced at the time, I had bought those irises as small, cheap, un-potted plants and put them straight into the ground instead of into pots to grow on. Consequently, one has since died, another will want rescuing from an enthusiastic dicentra and another is being eaten alive by caterpillars. Being efficient and organised I made absolutely no note of what variety I planted where. At the time I thought it would be exciting to wait a few years to let them get established and then recognise them once they start flowering.
Well this year, two of them have started to flower. Although several of the irises in the list are similar in colour, making them tricky to identify, this iris should be easy:
A beautifully haunting, ghost of a white flower, this is Iris Sibirica “Southcombe White”. It almost didn’t make it as the flower stem folded over when it was smacked with wet washing hanging from the line that runs above it.
As I’ve been writing this, the second iris has also now opened to reveal a flower that looks a lot like the bog-standard Iris Sibirica, but is a paler blue, splashed with purple. A brief Google Image Search reveals this one to be Iris Sibirica “Roger Perry”.
Unfortunately, this was also a victim of the washing and an errant bed sheet has snapped the stem so this flower is no more. If the rest of the plant survives then it’s been set back a year, otherwise I’ll have to add it to the shopping list, but at least I’ve got its name.
When I finally have all seven clumps of iris established and flowering, I’ll be able to determine the one that didn’t survive and go about getting a replacement. The next time I decide do something like this, I’ll be sure to mark out the positions of what I plant where so that I don’t have to wait several years in order to replace those that didn’t make it.