Glory's Garden

All the world's a garden, you know, and we are mere flowers within it. Come, I'll show you!

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My Peeps!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Japanese Iris Bed Makeover

Japanese Iris grow in a bed along the left side of my herb garden up against the house and it needs a bit of a makeover or at least I thought it did. I thought I'd tell you about it.

Mass of spent foliage

On my first day out in the garden, Saturday last, I planned on only doing the herb garden, but as the iris bed is right along side and its spent foliage was hanging over onto the herb garden, it barely made any difference which I did first. So, I did it all at once.
Funny stuff going on

But I did find something odd going on with this spot. My iris patch was dying...sort of.
Not sprouting yet

I knew this might happen--everyone who knows anything about perennials could tell you--but I wanted to see what Mother Nature had in store for my Irises. What am I talking about? Well, perennials are supposed to be divided when they get too big and --Horrors!-- I never did. Everyone knows the center of a large clump of a perennial is likely to stop producing flowers and even die if not divided. Well, as Mother Nature doesn't do this, I thought I'd follow her example and see what happens. Well, now I know. The centers of each of my Japanese Iris plants died... right smack-dab in the center, but don't cry for me, Argentina...or Winslow, Arizona or Marrakesh. The plants are fine.

I had an excuse for not dividing them. When I first planted these Japanese Irises, transplanted actually, they were dug out of the cutting garden by the driveway. These clumps were HUGE! I couldn't move them to the backyard without my little red wagon--the one I confiscated from my kids when they no longer played with it. They may have been too big and grown up for it, but it was perfect for me in the garden.
Full bed
Anyway. Back to my irises. Each plant weighed about a ton...okay, 50-60 pounds... too much for me anyway! They were huge clumps because of  the tightly packed roots and all the mostly clay, unyielding soil. Man, the roots on these babies were killer! By that I mean even with my sharp digging shovel, which could slice through any other roots I took it to, it couldn't do much of anything with these roots. I suppose I could have tried an axe or called Tommy to help me, but I do try to do things on my own in the garden. Tom's got enough to do without having to rescue me every time I prove a weakling--which unfortunately is quite often!

So, not being able to divide the blasted huge clumps, I planted them whole. It only took three and the bed was full with not a square to spare--don't suppose you recognize that from Seinfeld, huh? No matter!--I figured it was fine because it would disallow weeds from getting into the bed--a major advantage to me, I'll tell you. Well, I was right about that. A missile couldn't get through those roots so how in the world could a stray weed?

Well, now that the centers are dead, I may get the weeds growing, but no worries. I shall mulch and try to keep on top of it. The iris bed seems to have rejuvenated itself with no help from me or Mother Nature. I love that! In the meantime, I collected a slew of Japanese Iris seeds last year and I do believe I shall plant a whole new bed of these lovely plants. I kind like these easy growing perennials.


  1. I love Iris flowers! Yours are beautiful, Glory!

  2. Wow, those are big old clumps of Iris roots. We "try" to separate ours, I just chop'em, and divide, no problem. They grow anyway...":)

  3. Hi Glory, your Japanese Iris pictures. Japanese Iris make me happy, they are so beautiful.

    I only grow a couple of them, this is their second year and they have alot of blooms! check out my cuople of pictures.



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