There are thousands of bearded irises available, and here we’ll show you what to consider when choosing the right plant for you, as well as some ideas on designing your own personal iris garden.
I like to get the most out the plants in my garden so as well as the colour, important questions for me when choosing a new iris are "Is it scented?", "When will it flower?" and "Will it repeat flower later in the year?”
Over the years I have collected many irises that tick these boxes and I’ve designed the shop website https://shop.chailey-iris.co.uk with tabs and search options to help you choose irises that meet your criteria.
A Themed Garden: Many gardeners plant “themed beds”. This is a fun way to personalise your garden.You may love block colour planting. Using the search box on the website type in your colour of choice, say ‘blue’ or 'white' and pages of that colour iris will be shown such as the blues: Autumn Sapphire, Jane Phillips and Monday Monday.
You may want to create a Scented Garden: Click on the scent option you prefer at the top of the home page, such as ‘sweet’ or ‘spicy’ and you’ll have pages of iris to choose from, iris like Hi or Blatant with pronounced fragrance.
How about a mass flowering event in early spring? Type ‘early’ in the search box and you’ll have pages to choose from such as Hi Ho Silver, Blue Shimmer and Superstition.
Do you want an iris that will flower more than once a year? Just type ‘rebloomer’ in the search box and you’ll have dozens to choose from.
A Hydridiser Collection: Once you have the ‘iris bug’ you may start to collect irises introduced by a specific grower. This is not only a fun challenge, but it helps keep these historic irises around for future generations to enjoy. An easy way to get started is to look though the web site for irises that you find particularly beautiful, and then look for other introductions by that person. Type their name into the search box (e.g. Monty Byers) and you’ll see their stunning iris varieties.
An Eclectic Garden: There is nothing wrong, and everything right, with simply planting the irises that you find most appealing! Many iris gardens start this way, and any long-time iris enthusiast will tell you there are special irises that they simply won’t give up. Consider using all types of irises in your garden, from the tall bearded down to the miniature and dwarf varieties. Use the menu on the web site to choose the iris type you prefer, ‘Tall’ etc.
Gardens evolve over time, and yours will too as you find what grows well for you and what you particularly enjoy.
Have fun, and don’t forget to check the web site for new introductions and sales. Everyone likes a bargain.