Irises in My Yard

Irises from My Grandmother’s Garden.  My grandmother irises have been passed don to me, and they came without tags or names, but this purple and lavender iris is marked like the iris that is named Magic Man, and in 2017, it began blooming on May 15, 2017.

Iris – My grandmother had a large assortment of irises in her garden, and I am fortunate that I still have some bulbs that originated there. My Grandmother Would Be Over 120 Years Old Today, and her irises are still the focal point of my late spring garden, and they are the main reason that I garden today. When I was a little girl, growing up in rural America, my grandmother’s irises were the most exotic plants that I had ever seen or would see for at least 30 years.  Irises are fragrant, and my grandmother’s German irises are as magnificent as any orchid.

My Grandmother’s White Iris – Jacki Kellum

My grandmother’s white iris bloomed May 12, 2017. It is the most wonderful white iris that I have ever seen. It is not a cold and bluish white. Rather, it is a warm white, not beige but buttery. In 2017, it was the first of my grandmother’s irises to bloom.

 Irises are described by the colors of their standards [or upper parts], their falls [or their lower parts], and their beards [the fuzzy part on top of their falls].

German Iris in My Yard

German Iris Best Bet

Iris germanica ‘Best Bet’

  • Reblooms
  • Fragrant
  • 30″ – 40″ Tall
  • Large Bloom Size
  • Vigorous Growth Habit
  • Descendant of Titan’s Glory
  • LightWisteria Blue Standards and Deep Hyacinth Blue Falls

1988, Schreiner

‘Best Bet’ ( Schreiner, R. 1988). Seedling T 399-D. TB, 36″ (91 cm), Early bloom. Standards light wisteria blue (HCC 640/3); Falls moorish blue (739); old gold beard; lightly ruffled. M 1085-A: (( ‘Amigos Guitar’ x A 828-A) x ‘Navy Strut’ x G 119-1, ‘Royal Regency’ sibling)) X ‘Titan’s Glory’. Schreiner 1988. American Iris Society Here

German Iris Blue Suede Shoes

Iris germanica ‘Blue Suede Shoes’

  • Reblooms
  • Fragrant
  • 36″ – 48″ Tall
  • Dark Blue Flowers and Brilliant Yellow Beards

1996, Schreiner

‘Blue Suede Shoes’ ( Schreiner, R. 1996). Sdlg. AA 105-1. TB, 39″ (99 cm), Midseason late bloom. Ruffled medium blue (RHS 93A) self; beards yellow, tipped white at end. ‘Breakers’ X T 283-1: ( ‘Land O’ Lakes’ x ‘Pledge Allegiance’). Schreiner 1996. Honorable Mention: 1998. Award of Merit: 2000 American Iris Society Here

German Iris Clarence

Iris germanica ‘Clarence’

  • Reblooms
  • Fragrant
  • 30″ – 36″ Tall
  • Vigorous Growth
  • Pale Bluish White Standards and Pale Wisteria Blue Falls

Clarence can grow to be about 36″ tall. It is a pale and delicate blue with a hint of lavender, and its fragrance is as sweet and delicate as its coloring. Clarence’s clumps multiply rapidly.

1991, Zurbrigg
‘Clarence’ ( Lloyd Zurbrigg, R. 1990). Sdlg. ZZZ. TB, 35″ (89 cm), Midseason bloom and rebloom (Aug/ NC & VA). Standards  white, tinted violet at top; F. light blue violet, white center and shafts; cream beard; sweet fragrance. Parentage unknown. Avonbank 1991. Honorable Mention 1995; Award of Merit 1997; Wister Medal 2000. American Iris Society Here

German Iris Harvest of Memories

Iris germanica ‘Harvest of Memories’

  • Reblooms
  • Fragrant
  • 30″ – 38″ Tall

1985, Zurbrigg

‘Harvest Of Memories’ ( Lloyd Zurbrigg, R. 1984). Sdlg. R 87DY. TB, 38″ (97 cm). Midseason bloom and rebloom. (Oct in VA). Dresden yellow (HCC 640/1); yellow beard; slight sweet fragrance. ( ‘Magic Memories’ x ‘Key Lime’) X ‘Corn Harvest’. Avonbank Gardens 1985. American Iris Society Here

German Iris Immortality

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

  • Reblooms
  • Fragrant
  • 26″ – 29″ Tall

1982, Zurbrigg

‘Immortality’ ( Lloyd Zurbrigg, R. 1982). Sdlg. P 33 Alba. TB, 30″ (76 cm). Midseason bloom and rebloom (summer and fall in VA). Ruffled pure white; white beard; slight sweet fragrance. ‘I Do’ X ‘English Cottage’. Avonbank Gardens 1982 American Iris Society Here

German Iris Magic Man

Iris germanica ‘Magic Man’

  • Fragrant
  • 36″ – 48″ Tall

1979/80, Blyth

‘Magic Man’ (Barry Blyth, R. 1979). Seedling K78-1. TB, 38″ (102 cm), Midseason late bloom. Standards light blue, deeper infusion around midrib; Falls velvety purple, 1/8″ band of light blue around edge; tangerine beard. ((‘Fanfare Orchid’ x (‘Arctic Flame’ x ‘Morning Breeze’)) x ‘Latin Tempo’) X ‘Cabaret Royale’. Tempo Two 1979/80. Here


German Iris Matinata

Iris germanica ‘Matinata’

  • Reblooms
  • 36″ – 48″ Tall

1968, Schreiner

‘Matinata’ (Schreiner, R. 1966). Sdlg. W 190-A. TB, 39″ (99 cm). Midseason bloom. Color Class RV1F, Uniform bishop purple self including beard; real purple color. ‘Prince Indigo’ X T 480-A (((L 474-J ((L 158-A ( ‘Blue Glow’ x ‘Black Belle’)) x ‘Storm Warning’))) x R 632-B ( ‘First Violet’ x ‘King’s Choice’). Schreiner 1968.

For a garden that has multiple Dykes Medal winners in its history, it may seem crazy to name another iris as the summit of technical quality. Such an iris is MATINATA (’68, HM ’69). This is an improved ‘PRINCE INDIGO’, about which the Schreiners already wrote, “If space limitations restricted one to growing only ten outstanding iris, one selection ought to be the finest deep violet.” That one is now unquestionably MATINATA. Its color is officially bishop’s purple rather than pansy violet, but the surface texture makes more difference than the change in hue. ‘PRINCE INDIGO’ is a short nap velvet, ‘ROYAL TOUCH’ is pure silk, and MATINATA is a silk taffeta that you can almost hear rustling in the breeze. And it stands up almost 40″ in the breeze, large self-colored blooms, first class vigor, branching, and bud count. [H. M. Parker, “Thirteen Is a Lucky Number,” The Bulletin of the American Iris Society, No. 199 (October 1970): 50-51.] American Iris Society Here

German Iris On Edge

Iris germanica ‘On Edge’

  • Reblooms
  • 36″ – 48″ Tall

1986, Schreiner

‘On Edge’ ( Schreiner, R. 1986) Seedling #R 892-G. TB, 37″ (94 cm). Early midseason bloom. Standards light lavender, stitched pale lavender blue inside; falls white, edged deep violet purple; old gold beard. ‘Cozy Calico’ X seedling #K 1307-1: ( ‘Sinkiang’ x ‘Loop the Loop’). Schreiner 1986. Amerian Iris Society Here

German Iris Victoria Falls

Iris germanica ‘Victoria Falls’

  • Reblooms
  • Fragrant
  • 40″ Tall

1977, Schreiner

‘Victoria Falls’ (Schreiners, R.1977). Seedling# I 68-A. TB, height 40″ (102 cm). Early to late bloom. Ruffled uniform light to medium blue with white spot on center of falls; white beard. Seedling# D1146-A: (‘White Pride’ x seedling# Y 163B) X ‘Violet Favor’. Schreiner 1977. Honorable Mention 1978; Award of Merit 1980; American Dykes Medal 1984. American Iris Society Here

Other Bearded Irises in My Yard

Iris 'Summer Olympics'

‘Summer Olympics’ (Raymond G. Smith, R. 1976). Seedling# 7603AF. TB, 30″ (76 cm). Early bloom and re-bloom. Standards brilliant greenish yellow (Nickerson 7.5Y 9/8); falls white, yellow (7.5Y 8/12) hafts; orange beard; heavily ruffled [From American Iris Society Here

In 2016, I bought and began growing the delicately yellow Summer Olympics iris, and on May 10, 2017, it had begun to bud.

It reaches a height of 30″ – 31″

How to Divide and Propagate Iris


  • Dig iris clumps after three or four years when rhizomes are crowded close together. Do this from late June through mid-October, or from 12 to 20 weeks after the spring bloom. Dig around the outside of the clump with a shovel to loosen the roots, then put the shovel under the center of the clump and leverage it out of the ground.
  • Shake all the soil off the rhizomes and roots. Separate the rhizomes by breaking them apart at the thinnest parts or by cutting them with a clean, sharp knife. Leave at least one fan of leaves on each rhizome. Discard the old center portion of the rhizome that lacks leaves.
  • Cut the leaves back to about 3 inches tall with scissors or pruning shears.
  • Put the iris divisions in the shade for about a week to give the cut surfaces time to heal.
  • Replant the larger rhizomes. Discard the smaller rhizomes or give them away.

See the Entire Article Here: 

Other Iris in My Garden

On March 11, I noticed that my miniature Siberian Irises were blooming by early morning, and by mid-day, a miniature daffodil had also joined the celebration. During the winter, I don’t rake my leaves away from my garden. I like for my leaves to blanket the ground and to protect if from our temperatures that are often brutally cold. Therefore, when the first flowers poke through the ground in my yard, there are always brown, wintry leaves all around them. In one way, I’d like for things to be a little less natural in my yard during early spring, but in another way, I like things just as they happen. Spring in my yard almost looks like the awakening of a woodland garden. With just a bit of imagination, I see tiny fairies fluttering around with wings of purple and gold. My Miniature Siberian Irises only grow to be about 4″ to 6″ tall, and they look like Dutch Irises. They bloom at about the same time as my crocuses bloom, but I don’t actually consider these little guys to be the type of irises that I learned to love as a child. The irises of my childhood are the bearded iris.

Bearded irises are not the earliest spring flower. They are not even the earliest of the fragrant, spring flowers, but unlike other spring bulbs, they do not bloom until winter has definitely disappeared for the year. When I smell irises blooming in my garden, I remember my grandmother and my childhood. Because I know that it is finally safe to begin planting things outside, the iris season is an exciting time for me.


Iris – Small Blue and White Bearded Iris

During the spring of 2016, I bought a small iris plant. It was simply labeled “Small Blue and White Bearded Iris.” It is a beautiful plant and it looks like my grandmother’s traditional German irises, but it only grows to a height of about 12.” My grandmother’s bearded German iris grow o be at least 36″ tall. My small Blue and White Bearded Irises began blooming on May 7, 2017.

I also have a solid, dark purple dwarf iris that is the same height as the blue and white. I noticed its first buds on May 8, 2017.


Image result for dark purple short bearded iris dwarf

My Dwarf Dark Purple Bearded Iris Began Blooming May 12, 2017

As my irises begin to bloom in 2017, I’ll add their photographs and the dates that they bloomed.

Irises for Ponds and Water Features

Louisiana Iris Red Velvet Elvis

On May 9, 2017, I bought a large container of Louisiana Iris Red Velvet Elvis. I have placed that pot into my pond and waterfall area.

Siberius Iris Caesar’s Brother

On May 9, 2017, I bought a small container of Siberius Iris Caesar’s Brother. I divided the plant and set it in the soil around my pond.

©Jacki Kellum May 8, 2017


3 Comments Add yours

  1. I love irises too. Yours sound wonderful. Mine aren’t doing well but I’m uncertain why.

    1. jackikellum says:

      It may be early. I live in Zone 7a, and the irises are just beginning to bud. The dwarfs are blooming but the taller German irises are only budding. The only other problem might have to do with the acidity of the soil. Whereas most flowers like alkalinity iris like acid. See this chart:

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