Year Round Color

“Year Round Color”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

When I first started gardening, I bought a book that was about having flowers and color year round in your garden.  Unfortunately, the book was not that helpful because most of the flowers it featured do not grow well this far south.  However, I persevered with my idea, and it seems that it has finally paid off now because there seems to be something blooming just about all the time lately.

Today, when I came home from work, the weather was wonderful – sunny, cool, and breezy.  The amaryllis I have recently written about still had many blooms.  The petunias are still looking good, and, of course, the violas are still holding on.  So, what’s new?  The Louisiana Irises are just starting to bloom.   Yesterday, I showed one of my new varieties, Marie Dolors, and today another LA Iris was blooming.


This is a smaller, more common iris than Marie Dolors.  My husband brought several of these home from a fishing trip a few years ago.  His fishing partner had these and suggested that dear hubby take some home to me.  I think these originally came from the swamps around here because they look just like some of the wild ones you see there.   While Louisiana irises grow in water or at a pond’s edge, they also do well mixed in with other annuals or small perennials.  They just need about a half a day of sun and moisture, especially in the spring when they are actively growing.  These irises also prefer acidic soil, about what would make an azalea happy.

I have another iris that should be blooming tomorrow, and am holding out hope that three more that I planted last fall will produce flowers this year.  It seems that my plan to have something blooming year round has finally become a reality.

Update 4/4/09 Patrick O’Conner, who is a Louisiana iris grower and breeder, informs me this is not a Louisiana iris but is iris virginica, or Southern Blue Flag iris.  It, too, is a native in this area.  I am glad to know exactly what this iris is.  Thanks for the info, Patrick.



  1. April 3, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    YAY! Irises! This is my next hunt. You’re a great inspiration, you know that, jan?

    • Jan said,

      April 4, 2009 at 1:32 am

      Thanks, Chandramouli. Of course, I have been “inspired” in my garden by other gardeners. Irises are such lovely flowers, but they can become addictive like amaryllis, and you can’t stop at just one.

      Stuart, the garden finally seems to be coming together so that there is some color all the time. I also am trying for more perennials with just a shot of annual color. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Stuart said,

    April 3, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Great efforts Jan. This has been my aim as well to try and achieve year-round colour.

  3. April 4, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Hi. Nice pictures. Marie Dolores really is a great grower. The small blue iris, I think, is not a Louisiana iris. It is Iris virginica. Virginica is also a native iris (to Southern US, including Louisiana, and especially the Northshore). Unlike Louisiana irises, virginica has a ridge along the center of the blade and, sometimes, the base of the leaves is wine colored. It’s a nice native, just not in the Louisiana group.


    • Jan said,

      April 4, 2009 at 6:39 am

      Thanks, Patrick. Did you recognize Marie Dolores as one of yours? I bought her from you last fall, and I am so happy with it. I think the flower is just gorgeous and so big. I can’t wait to see if the others I got from you will bloom this year. You probably are right about the small blue iris. The person who gave it to us just called it a LA iris probably because he assumed that the irises blooming in the swamp were all LA irises. I’ll check for that ridge. Either way, it is a pretty little flower. Thanks for the info.

  4. April 4, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Jan, this is a gorgeous iris. As usual, I’m behind and reading backwards. I’ll go see your previous iris in a minute, but this one looks like an opal.

  5. Jan said,

    April 5, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Jodi, I am behind in reading my favorite garden blogs, too. This is a lovely little iris and is a great addition to the garden.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: