Tag Archives: iris

The emergence of the irises

 Today was the day of the irises:

Iris versicolor

Iris sibirica ‘Ruffled Velvet’

Iris sibirica ‘Ruffled Velvet’

Iris sibirica ‘Snow Queen’

Iris sibirica ‘Snow Queen’

Iris sibirica ‘Snow Queen’

Iris ‘Gerald Darby’

OK, I have identified my first “must-have” plant for 2012.

While reading the most recent issue of Fine Gardening magazine, I came across one of their plant recommendations for Iris ‘Gerald Darby’.

First off, you had me at “Iris” as this is one of the few plants that absolutely thrives in my wet clay conditions.

Secondly, I was completely reeled in by the color of the spring foliage:

I love that color and already have so many ideas as to what I can pair it with (thinking red foliage).

Thirdly, check out the phenomenal blooms:

Done and done.

To get an incredible write-up on this Iris along with stunning photos, check out this link at Nancy Ondra’s Hayefield website – http://hayefield.com/2011/01/19/one-plant-three-seasons-iris-gerald-darby/. She will sell you on it more than anyone ever could. Hot damn!

For now, I’m about to click on the “Add to cart” link on the Heronswood site.


A peony, some iris and a near fatal encounter with a deer

Yesterday, I posted a photo of a ‘Bowl of Beauty’ peony in bud and literally an hour later, it bloomed like an SOB. It is the only bloom so far out of three different plants and I dig it because it gives me a chance to ogle the one bloom for the next day or so:

There was also just one Iris sibirica ‘Snow Queen’ bloom as of yesterday and overnight it turned into Bloomapalooza:

Same goes for the Iris sibirica ‘Ruffled Velvet’:

And just in case you didn’t know already, I sort of like my Catmint:

Just to keep on my toes, the deer have appeared in droves the past two days. This young fellow was running around the yard like he was lost and while it was sweet and all, I calmly escorted him off the property and gave him by best intimidating sneer:  

True story, I stepped outside at 5:45 to run this morning and saw a large heap of animal in the backyard with a bird perched atop. I assumed it was a deceased deer and was planning on how to dispose of said carcass but when I got within ten feet, the deer jumped up, I peed myself and the deer ran off. The deer must have been in serious REM sleep when I approached because it didn’t move. When I returned from my run, the deer had returned to it’s favorite place and is most likely, still there:      

I’ve finally learned to keep my camera nearby and ready to go so I can hopefully capture some decent shots of the wildlife. This morning, I was the “bird hunter” and despite taking maybe one hundred photos, these are the only pics that came out OK. Bird photography is not a strong suit right now, but I’ll keep working on it:

Finch in a River Birch tree 

Cardinal on the weed filled playground

Good times for all!

The Natives are restless

It has become a Mother’s day tradition (OK only for the past three years) at the ONG household. We make Mom breakfast in bed (and the term “make” is a bit of a stretch) and then the kids and I go out for the morning/afternoon to give Mom a truly deserved day off from being all mom-ish. We will go out to lunch and then we head for the Bowman Hill native plant sale in New Hope, PA (click here to read more). I spend the prior week studying their catalog in great detail and I identify which native plants will work for me and I bring that list with me. Then the spending spree begins and I purchase a ton of plants I had never heard of before. Below is a photo of everything I bought earlier today;        

What are native plants and why should you buy them? Glad you asked … school is in session (and my apologies to all those who know this already).

Native plants are those plants that grow naturally in your particular region and have grown there for a long period of time. They thrive under your region’s conditions and require very little maintenance. Here are some reasons why you should go native already:
  • As previously mentioned, these plants are way low maintenance since they have existed in the wild for a long period of time without any special TLC.
  • Very little water is required in allowing these guys to thrive. Umm … hello … good thing! 
  • Natives have developed natural resistance to diseases and insects which make them even more appealing.
  • By planting native, you are keeping with the natural and unique look of your area and that will keep your garden from looking  so cookie-cutter.
  • In my simple words – you keep shit the way it is supposed to be. The whole balance of nature is not disrupted and you my friend will have good karma. The wildlife will get what they need and keep that whole circle of life thing going.

Now to keep it real, I don’t only plant native. There are just too many non-natives that rock. But by educating yourself on what the native plants are in your region, you may find that there is a native plant that will serve the same purpose, or give you the look and feel you are going for with a non-native. 

Here are some native plants I have purchased in the past that are absolutely kicking butt today:
Lobelia Siphilitica
Amsonia Tabernaemontana
Chelone Glabra
Phlox Paniculata 
Aster (Purple Dome)
Chasmanthium Latifolium (Northern Sea Oats)
Echinacea (Purple Coneflower)
OK … enough of the preaching … for your viewing pleasure here are some updated photos from the garden this afternoon:  

Peonies, Campanulas, and Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’.

Super blooms on the Ninebark ‘Summer Wine’.

Cascading branches on the same Ninebark.

Another view of a Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’.

Bloom on the Astilbe ‘Deutschland’.

Nepeta (Catmint) in near full bloom.

Close up shot of the Catmint blooms.

Nice big bud forming on the Iris ‘Snow Queen’. 

The buds are forming on the Camassia Esculenta. It worked … it friggin worked … successful bulbs!  

Amsonia is blooming for the first time. Loooove this native (wait until you see photos of the yellow fall color).

The ornamental grasses (Panicum) I butchered/divided into three a few weeks ago are all thriving. Tough little bastards.

I don’t do it enough … here are some Peony blooms brought indoors.

That’s all folks. If you’re reading this far down – thank you.