Cynthia St. Charles Store

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why I Plant Iris

 Purple Pepper
 Python's Parasol
 Ride the Tiger
Wrapped in Raspberry

Why do I grow iris?

1.  The deer generally do not eat iris.  This is one of the few flowering plants I can enjoy that the deer do not devour.
2.  Iris are drought tolerant.  We do not have city water or a well.  We haul our own water from a water supply station in a tank on our pick-up truck.  We conserve water and this means we don't want a lawn to water, nor do we want landscape plants that need to be watered during the dry summers.  I have been able to get by with watering iris the first summer to get them established.  After that, they are on their own!
3. Iris are hardy in our sub zero winters.
4.  Iris are resistant to wildfires.  There have been two major wildfires since we moved to this area.  Neighbors within 1/4 mile have lost homes both times.  We have been evacuated both times.  After that experience, we decided to call in a fire expert to evaluate our home's potential for wildfires.  It was recommended (and we followed the recommendation) for us to remove all junipers from within 200 feet of our house.  We have had probably 30 junipers and Ponderosa pines removed from our place in the past few years.   Dry native grasses are also a wildfire danger.  I wanted to eliminate those, as well.  In their place, I have planted over 800 varieties of iris!  
5.  Iris are beautiful. 


Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

They are gorgeous! I am still trying to get mine established and blooming... your comments give me encouragement!

Yvonne said...

Love your photographs.
Not only are Irises beautiful and worth growing for all the reasons you have given.
They are also a magnificent colour source for art work!!

Marybeth said...

I have to transplant about a dozen iris to do a huge sewer line, new driveway and landscaping project. Do you think I will have any luck moving them this time of year?? I am keeping my fingers crossed. They have not been touched for 15+ years (my bad).

Cynthia St Charles said...

Marybeth, Iris can be divided and moved virtually any time of year. The ideal time is 4 to 6 weeks after flowering when they go dormant. I have many iris that were relocated during my landscape renovation and that happened mainly in early summer, late spring. They have all survived well and most have even flowered this summer.

Simone McPherson said...

Hello Cynthia, for the past number of weeks we have been totally inspired by your display of Iris'. They are the most amazing display of both structure and so tactile with the most wonderful colours ... just lovely when I think that I have seen them all ... you post more images ... just love them! Thank you for sharing. Simone & El Ranchero