Rainbow Goddess

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

Iris was the goddess of the rainbow in Greek mythology, and considering all the colors that irises come in, it is appropriate that they be named after this goddess. The irises I have in mind are the Louisiana irises, which despite the name, can be grown just about anywhere from the Gulf Coast to Michigan to England, Australia, and South Africa. Louisiana irises are very easy to grow. While these will grow in water, they also do quite well in the garden. If planted in water, they should be no deeper than six inches. In the garden, plant 1 to 2 inches below the surface and then mulch deeply to keep in the moisture. These iris start growing in the late fall and continue until bloom time in the early spring. They tend to go dormant once the warm weather sets in.

I started out growing these beauties with ones shared with me by my sister. Gradually, I have added more. I think these are such lovely flowers and anticipate the blooms in late March/April.

 

Bayou Classic

 

Heavenly Glow

 

Irish Bayou

 

Marie Dolers

 

Poverty Point

 

These flowers are often described as “precious jewels,” and after growing them in my garden for a few years, every time I see one of these colorful flowers, I have to agree that is a perfect way to describe them.

New Blooms – Iris

“New Blooms – Iris”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

I knew once blooming started in my garden this year, everything would just explode into bloom all at once.  It seems that normally one new thing would bloom, then another.  Not this year, I can hardly keep up with the new flowers.  A few days ago, I posted about the first Louisiana Iris to bloom, Marie Dolers.  Now, there are others that have joined in.

My oldest Louisiana iris, Bayou Classic, has started blooming.  This is such a great flower – big and goes with everything.

 

 

I had hardly notice Bayou Classic when I turned and saw Kay Nelson, another LA iris, I just discovered last year was also blooming.

 

 

Even though there is a tremendous amount of new blooms showing up now, I am still able to stop and enjoy these two lovely flowers.

Big and Beautiful

“Big and Beautiful”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Big and beautiful is the only way to describe this flower. The first of the Louisiana irises has started blooming. This one is Marie Dolors which puts out big, white flowers.

 

 

I have this particular iris placed in the garden with Iceberg roses and white violas, and the three make a very nice combination. There is also white lilies nearby, but this year they are not blooming at this time.

Marie Dolors is a very vigorous iris and has done very well for me. The flowers are supported by thick stems which are showing multiple flowers blooming at the same time. This is only the second year I have had her, and already she has multiplied well. In another couple of years, there should be a good stand of this white beauty.

I really like white flowers, and this one is surely making this section of the garden lovely.

Mom’s Gift

“Mom’s Gift”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

I have many plants in my garden that my mother has given me.  Many, many years ago, she gave me some daylilies, and I planted them in the only sunny spot available at the time.  They did okay the first few years and then, because of the lack of sun from growing trees, slowly went into decline.  They became very small and stopped blooming even though I lavished them with water, fertilizer, and compost.  Eventually, I decided they had to be moved, and they were the impetus to create the circle garden in the middle of the side lawn.  I initially started out with just a circle about eight feet apart, and the next year, I added two halve circles on the outside.

When the daylilies were planted in the new garden, it was autumn, and they settled in fairly well spending the winter establishing roots.  That spring, for the first time in years, they bloomed.  Not profusely mind you, but there were several flowers.  Over the years, these daylilies have gone from puny to robust.  This is the best year ever.  The red ones have been blooming for a while, and yesterday, the first of the yellow opened.

 

yellow-daylily-redu

 

Because of these yellow daylilies, when I was making the new garden, I decided to have this as a mainly yellow area.  Now that these plants have become so numerous, I think I will be tweaking  this area a little come fall.  But right now, I am going to enjoy seeing these great flowers every day for a while since there are so many buds this year.

The red daylilies are doing just as well as the yellow.  They always start blooming a little sooner than the yellow, but when they bloom together, it is quite a show.  Even though this is the yellow garden, the red do look nice here, and to be honest, were planted here only because this was a sunny location, and they needed sun.

 

red-daylilies-redu

 

In the outer circle, I have some Stella d’Oro daylilies that have also been blooming well.  I also have a few in the front of the big circle which I think I will move to the outer circle.  These I might move this spring and not wait for fall, if I can find the time before the hot weather comes.

 

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Now, an all yellow garden might be a little too much, so I do have some other flowers to break up all that yellow.  The Louisiana iris, Bayou Classic, is planted there and is also blooming now.

 

bayou-classic-redu1

 

I have also planted Victoria salvia here just recently to add more purple color for the summer.  This area is also where the Texas bluebonnets are planted in early spring and asters in the fall; both of which bring in the purple as an accent color.

It is amazing how one thing leads to another.  Mom gave me daylilies which needed sun, and now I have a whole area, that used to be lawn, turned into a garden with constant blooms.

Three Beauties

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

 

Yesterday, a friend and I went to several nurseries close to home, and even though it was very cloudy and rain threatened all day long, it turned out to be a very good day for purchasing plants.  The ones I am most excited about are three Louisiana irises that are real beauties.  I am looking for more of these lovely flowers in pink to light lavender tones to place in the “pink” garden, and Saturday was my lucky day.

Louisiana irises are almost finished blooming, and since I no longer buy plants that are not in bloom (too many mismarked plants out there from past experiences), I didn’t expect to find any at nurseries still in bloom.  But, fortunately, there were some in bloom and in colors I wanted, one on sale and the others really inexpensive.

Meet Kay Nelson.

 

kay-nelson-la-iris-redu

 

Isn’t she lovely?  Next spring, when this one blooms it will look so nice with the other flowers in the “pink” area.  It has just enough contrast with the other colors that are already planted there.  Another iris purchase that I will plant near Kay Nelson will be Glowlight.  I think this bicolor flower will complement Kay very well.

 

glowlight-la-iris-redu

 

The last iris will go on the opposite side of our property to be in the circle garden which is predominately yellow.  This is Heavenly Glow.  I think it will look good with the red and yellow daylilies that are planted there that are just starting to bloom.

 

heavenly-glow-la-iris-i-redu

 

As I have said before, I am trying to add more perennials to my garden to make upkeep a little more manageable.  I think these three lovely irises will give many years of beautiful flowers with just a little bit of care.

 

new-la-iris-trio-redu

 

 I can’t wait until next spring when these three beauties are settled in the garden and blooming.  It is good to have things to look forward to.

A Classic

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

 

Another Louisiana iris has started blooming.  This time it is Bayou Classic.  I have had these for several years now; they were a gift from my sister.  This particular iris is not only big and beautiful, but it is very vigorous, sending out a myriad of blooms and spreading making more plants.  Louisiana irises spread but never invasively.  Besides, with such gorgeous flowers who wouldn’t want more to spread around the garden or give away to friends and family.

 

bayou-classic-redu

 

I have these in two sections of the garden.  Right now, only one group is blooming, and the others should be blooming in a week or two.  It is nice that the bloom period is extended since these two groups will be blooming  at different times.  I guess they must each be in a different microclimate to bloom a week or more apart.

This fall, I will have to divide both groups as they are becoming crowded.  Louisiana irises are divided in the fall, just before they start a new growth spurt.  It looks like next year, I will have another group of these wonderful spring time bloomers gracing a different area of my garden.  Maybe it is time that they found a place next to the back patio.  That area could use some color at this time of year.

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.

swamp-iris-redu

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.

Why Is It Called That?

“Why Is It Called That?”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Dolor means sorrow, misery, anguish.  So why would that word be associated with a beautiful flower?  Last fall, I ordered several Louisiana irises, and the first one to bloom is called Marie Dolores.  It was described as a vigorous grower and that wasn’t an overstatement.  Of the four I planted in October, this one is the largest and the only one to have a flower so far.  I am hoping to see the others sporting the beginnings of flowers stalks soon.

 

marie-dolors-iris-redu

 

As to the name, the only thing I can come up with is Mater Dolorosa or Sorrowful Mother, one of the titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Maybe this iris was named Marie Dolors in remembrance of Christ’s mother instead of its being a “miserable” flower because such a beautiful blossom as this one has nothing sorrowful about it.

Waiting Is Hard to Do

“Waiting Is Hard to Do”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

In September my sister and I received our order from Zydeco Iris which we promptly planted.   Louisiana Irises are planted in the fall after being dormant in the heat of the summer.  I am happy to say that the irises are doing well after what I thought was a rocky start for two of them.  Marie Dolors was described as being vigorous, and that turned out to be true.  As soon as it was in the ground, new leaves started sprouting out.  When this iris arrived, the leaves were few, small and about three inches high.  Now, the foliage is almost twelve to fourteen inches high. 

 

 

marie-dolors-cropped-redu

 

This rhizome should produce some splendid white flowers in the spring.

 

Another one I bought was a rose pink, Persistent Cuss, and it, too, has done well.  While the plant is not as large as Marie Dolors, it is coming along nicely.  This one is also supposed to be vigorous once established.

 

poverty-point-redu

 

 

Two other ones that I bought, at first, did not seem to be doing as well as the above two.  Poverty Point, a gorgeous medium rose pink, and Irish Bayou, a deep rose pink , lost all their leaves, and I thought they were lost.  Poverty Point’s rhizome even looked yellow while Irish Bayou kept its green.  Even so, I just kept watering these two hoping they would recover.  Well, just the other day while walking around the garden, I was thrilled to see that Poverty Point has sprouted leaves in two places along the rhizome.   So, it looks like that one has survived.  Irish Bayou, still has no leaves, but the rhizome looks good, so maybe I am just a little too impatient for it to rebound.  I feel certain that it should start to put out foliage any day.

 

I can’t wait for spring to see these Louisiana Irises in bloom.  It is hard to have new plants and have to wait for months before the flowers show up.

 

Note:  Happy birthday to a very special daughter.

Fall Iris Planting

“Fall Iris Planting”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Still having computer problems.  Dear hubby is still working on it.  He didn’t get a chance to work on the computer today because he had an eye doctor appointment, but he hasn’t given up all hope yet.

But, on to more pleasant topics.  My sister and I ordered some Louisiana irises in late July, and she got them today.  We ordered from Zydeco Louisiana Iris Gardens.  This is a south Louisiana grower and it is nice to have a source so near to me.  I have been wanting to order from Patrick O’Connor for about two years, and this year was the year we finally got our act together and placed the order.

It was difficult deciding which ones to select, I wanted just about every one he had.  I finally decided on Irish Bayou, Marie Dolores, Poverty Point, and Persistent Cuss.  Of course they won’t bloom until spring, but if you check out the link above you can see pictures of the ones I chose.   The rhizomes are a good size and hopefully should produce many flowers.

My sister gave me some Louisiana Irises years ago, and that is what got me started wanting more.  After seeing the ones growing in the New Orleans Botanical Garden during a spring visit, I was determined this was the year to get more of these irises.  I just went on Zydeco’s web site to check out the ones I just bought, and I have already picked out some that I will want to order next year.  Oh, if only I had unlimited resources to buy all the ones I want.

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