Mums for Short…a beautiful display of mums.

ChrysantenfeestinLahr-Duitsland

It is amazing how flowers can be used as art.  In January you can enjoy the Rose Parade in California, but now in October you can enjoy display of art in Germany.  Take a few moments to watch this slide show. Do you create art with your garden mums?  Leave a comment of which picture or display you like best.

Thanks to my Friend Robyn for this slide show. Enjoy.

Perennial of the Week-Bearded Iris

When you are thinking about all of the beautiful Irises that you have seen, do you realize that you may have been looking at several different species of Iris rather just the more common Bearded Iris? There are also Iris species know as Japanese, Dutch, English, Reticulatas and many other species.  In fact there are close to 300 species of Irises that can be found. Today I am going to talk about the Bearded Iris.

Bearded Irises are one of the most popular perennials planted around the world. Colors come in all shades except that of pure red and green. They also come in varying heights ranging from 8 inches high to some growing up to 4 feet high. Wow!

Bearded Iris performs best in well drained soil.  They do not like to have their feet or roots wet. They are susceptible to root rot. In heavier clay soils consider planting them in raised beds.  Plant in full sun with the “boot” or rhizome just barely under the soil, in fact the rhizome can be partially exposed.  If they are planted too deep, you will not get any flowers the following spring.

This species of Iris grow from rhizomes (modified stem with fleshy roots) and need to split or divided every few years.  Plant the rhizomes about a foot apart with the bend of the root pointed toward the back of your garden. These are a very hardy perennial.

Iris rhizomes are usually available for purchase in late July thru October.  They should be planted as soon as you get them.  Most gardeners will start thinning their Iris beds in July and many are willing to share extras that they are thinning out.

Check with your local garden clubs to see if they host any Iris Festivals in your area, usually in late May and early June.  If there is a festival nearby take the time to enjoy a walk through the Irises. Iris Festivals are absolutely amazing, for you will see more than the common yellow and purple irises on display.

What are some your favorite Iris varieties that you have planted in your garden?

Color in the Perennial Garden

When planting your perennial flower garden, it is helpful to take into consideration the different colors of the plants. The color of the flowers will create a specific mood and ambiance in your garden. Here are some of the colors you may be considering for your garden and the perennial flowers and plants that will fit into that color category.

Yellow

The color yellow is perceived by the eye before the other colors. The members of this family attract and dominate the garden. You will want to plan groupings of yellow or gold as deliberate focal points. This will help to emphasize the features of your garden. You can also use yellow discreetly in order to make a surprise impact among a quieter planting. The color yellow is both warm and cheerful. It is reminiscent of the sun as it comes from behind a cloud. The following perennials have a yellow flower:

*Alyssum *Butterfly Weed *Columbine

*Coreopsis *Corydalis *Cushion Spurge

*Daylily *Evening Primrose *False Sunflower

*Gallardia *Geum *Golden Marguerite

*Iris *Lamiastrum *Leopard Bane

*Ligularia *Lupine *Marsh Marigold

*Mum *Poppy *Potentilla

*Rudbeckia *Sedum *Solidago

*Sunrose *Trollius *Yarrow

Blues

The color blue is stimulating, but it can be restful at times. In the distance, blue flowers will draw the eye after them and push the boundaries of the garden outward. At twilight, blue can seem to glow. The color blue will give your garden a cool feeling. The following perennials have a blue flower:

*Ajuga *Aster *Aubretia

*Balloon Flower *Blue Eyed Grass *Blue Flax

*Brunnera *Campanula *Catmint

*Columbine *Delphinium * Forget-Me-Not

*Geranium *Globe Thistle *Iris

*Jacobs Ladder *Lavender *Lungwort

*Lupine *Monkshood *Mt. Bluets

*Russian Sage *Salvia *Spiderwort

*Veronica *Vinca *Viola

Pinks

The color pink is soft, gentle and luxurious. It evokes an atmosphere that is peaceful. Sunlight can bleach the delicate tints to a washed-out paleness unless deeper tones of pink are used to add strength. However, in the evening light, the pale pastel pinks will appear luminous. The pink flowers will form a gentle and restful background to or between a more definite area of color such as the strong complementary blues and yellows or violets and oranges which paint distinct pictures. The pinks also help where related colors such as vivid and warm reds, oranges and yellow focus the eye and demand attention. The following perennials have a pink flower:

*Arabis *Aster *Astilbe

*Aubretia *Baby’s Breath *Beebalm

*Bergenia *Bleeding Heart *Butterfly Weed

*Canterbury Bells *Centaurea *Columbine

*Coral Bells *Coreopsis *Cupid’s Dart

*Daylily *Delphinium *Dianthus

*English Daisy *Filipendula *Forget-Me-Not

*Foxglove *Geranium *Hollyhock

*Iris *Japanese Anemone *Jo-Pye Weed

*Jupiters Beard *Lamb’s Ear *Lamium

*Liatris *Linaria *Lungwort

*Lupine *Lythrum *Miss Willmott Potentilla

*Mum *Obedient Plant *Oenothera

*Painted Daisy *Pasque Flower *Penstemon

*Peony *Phlox *Pink Panda Strawberry

*Poppy *Primula *Prunella

*Purple Coneflower *Salvia *Seapinks

*Sedum *Soapwort *Spider Wort

*Sunrose *Thalictrum *Thyme

*Toad Flax *Turtlehead *Veronica

*Yarrow

White

The color white helps to create a cool and restful mood in the garden. White gives a feeling of space. The neighboring colors will seem to glow more and be deeper. White flowers can separate the hues that contrast without altering their appearance of color. White can also make the color associations more pleasing and acceptable to the eye. Bright white will lighten up a shady area.

White flowers are an excellent choice for an evening garden during the summer. As the darkness begins to creep in, the white and pale pastels will remain distinguishable until all of the light is done. A border that is mixed with clumps of white will be given direction and coherence when the white clumps are repeated at regular intervals. The following perennials have a white flower or white variegated edge:

*Arabis *Astilbe *Aubretia

*Baby’s Breath *Bishops Weed *Bleeding Heart

*Boltonia *Bugbane *Campanula

*Candytuft *Columbine *Delphinium

*Dianthus *English Daisy *Forget-Me-Not

*Gooseneck *Hosta *Lamium

*Liatris *Lily *Lily of the Valley

*Lungwort *Lupine *Obedient Plant

*Phlox *Poppy *Sandwort

*Sedum *Shasta Daisy *Snowdrop Anemone

*Snow-in Summer *Sweet Woodruff *Thrift

*Veronica *Vinca *White Coneflower

*Yarrow

As you can see there are many different choices available for a perennial garden that will keep coming back year after year. While I have listed many varieties, this list is not inclusive. What are some of your favorite perennials and how will you use them in your garden this year?