Iris and Rose planting ideas...?

aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)April 29, 2010

Hi everyone! I noticed a lot of you grow irises and roses... could you point me to towards some pretty pictures to inspire me? I have some irises along the edges of my garden from my grandmother and mother... and some bicolor morea... but I'm thinking of adding some reblooming bearded irises and some spuria iris.

How do you mix your irises in? Do you only have big areas of irises by themselves...? or do you scatter them among your roses and other plants? I'm quite new, so... please give me some ideas for my garden. :)

If it's needed at all, I live in zone 9-10, southwest 18, southern california. (dry summers)

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holleygarden Zone 8, East Texas

Iris and roses go very well together. The iris hides the bare legs that many roses have. And the contrast between the iris' spiky leaves and the soft roses is eye catching.

Here's a picture of a noid iris under some of my roses:

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 6:50PM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

do you plant like 2 or 3 in a little clump about a foot or two from a rose...? or scatter them all around...? I'm not really sure where to start.

I just planted my roses this January, too... so they aren't mature size yet.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 7:36PM
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holleygarden Zone 8, East Texas

Yes, 2 or 3 in a clump a foot or two from the rose is perfect. And, I just put them under whichever roses you think may need it. Some roses bloom to the bottom, some (especially climbers) need some 'cover'. I also use lamb's ear, salvia, coreopsis, etc. in front of my roses. Or another miniature rose. :) But iris and roses are a classic combination. You can't go wrong no matter how you plant them together, imho.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 8:35PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Don't worry about planting the irises too close to your roses. They are so easy to move, and as your roses grow, it will be time to divide your irises anyway.

I start out with one rhizome to see if I like the color and the height, then if I do, I divide and spread them out into a larger clump. Sometimes it takes two years to get enough to make a decent show, but it's cheap!


    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 12:23AM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

Thanks, this makes me feel a lot better about just having fun planting them. I ordered a bunch of reblooming bearded and some spuria iris last night. (hurray!) I'll add these in with the simpler oldfashioned irises from my mom and grandmother (which I also love....)

I'll look forward to being able to divide them and maybe give some to my mom, too. :)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 1:59PM
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remontant(z6B TN)

The only thing I wonder about is whether you could grow tall bearded irises in your zone. My parents live in zone 9 (but Florida, not CA) and they can only grow the Louisiana iris.

The yellow iris here is "Carolina Moon" and the pink rose is Monsieur Tillier. In the left background is Harison's rose:

The pink rose on the left is Mrs. B.R. Cant, and the yellow iris is "Summer Olympics."

I've forgotten the name of the iris, but the rose is Cramoisi Superieur, which I believe might just be my favorite old garden rose.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 2:19PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I honestly don't understand how people manage roses and bearded iris together. My roses are all HEAVELY mulched and the iris would rot. Maybe because we do usually get lots of rain, it doesn't work here? They do look fabulous together.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 3:36PM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

I'll try and keep some of the mulch directly away from the irises here... but it is pretty dry here!
Supposedly tall bearded are supposed to do ok in our zone. They have a bunch of them doing fabulously at two local big gardens near us.

LA iris and Japanese iris apparently need a lot of water...? so probably not good choices for me.

Pac Coast iris apparently dont do that well for my zone either... (maybe in the shade.?)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 7:55PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Remontant- your roses are so beautiful. I love the lavendar irises with the deep pinkish red. Your rose Mrs. BR Cant is really a charmer.

Yeah, Rita, we don't get any rain in SoCal, and so the irises can be mixed into the beds. Sometimes they rot anyway. I plant them on a mound, and plant the roses in a well.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 9:43PM
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remontant(z6B TN)

Aimeekitty, glad to hear tall beardeds will do well in your zone. You go, girl!

NYrita, the only mulch I have in my flower garden is my kitchen compost. The roses and the iris seem to like it. :-)

Thank you, Renee. One friend on the Antique Roses forum calls the rose "Mrs. B.R. CAN" because she's such a huge and fabulous bloomer. I'm sure she'd be stunning for you in CA. I'm attaching a picture of Mrs. B.R. from a slightly different angle--showing her left side instead of her right. She's probably 7-8 feet tall this year; she's five years old.

(P.S.--these photos were made after the terrible rain storm Tennessee had last weekend which produced record flooding in parts of the state. We were lucky in that we only had some beat-down flowers and a wet basement.)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 9:41PM
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could I buy some of your bearded iris from you? I love the faded lavander /pink

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 1:54PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I don't mulch roses "heavily" - I grow OGR's - and yes, my irises are lightly mulched too. I think it may depend on if you have borers in your soil. They don't seem to be a huge problem in my area, and a friend mulches all his irises heavily with pea gravel, and they are gorgeous, so I decided a little mulch won't be a problem. It's not. I'd say experiment if you think you can. I've also found that irises will "move" to a place they prefer. If they are too close to the roses, they will just multiply more on the father away side and die out close by. Those that look like they are dying out or struggling, I just move farther out and they seem to do fine! I love those pictures posted above! Thank-you for posting them. I have a line of roses that need some garden "filler" between them by the fence. I think I'll add a few irises!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 5:25PM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

I grow both deciduous and evergreen bearded iris. But none of them are that close to my roses. I usually just combine them in the vase. The deciduous have their leaves hang on till December, slowly yellowing. I yank them all off in mid- to late-January and they are growing again by the end of February.

I use the evergreen iris as a foliage accent. I concentrate our garden on foliage combinations because I want it to look good all year long. Flower colors are used as accents that come and go throughout the seasons (which in CA are wet and dry, LOL).

First, photos of the deciduous iris:

March: the iris in the RH bottom corner, planted in a clump of evergreen iberis, are the deciduous. The iris in the middle, in front of the yellow euryops bush, are evergreen:

April: the deciduous iris are in bloom. Pink spikes are heuchera, "Roseda" variety:

November: the deciduous iris leaves are yellowing. The evergreen iris are dark purple, unknown variety. They also rebloom if conditions are right:

All the next photos are the evergreen iris. I have 15 separate beds across our property and the evergreen iris are in every one. Their sword-like leaves and blue-green color make for great foliage contrast.

With wild arum leaves, at the foot of a Japanese maple in autumn:

In a shady north facing bed that lives on runoff. Back row is "Gold Dust" variegated aucuba. There's a hellebore stuffed in-between the iris and the aucuba:

Iris foliage with "Copper Sunset" oxalis siliquosa (do NOT confuse this with the weed oxalis pes-caprae! O. siliquosa is a very nicely behaved, pretty groundcover). In the rear a yellow variegated plectranthus battles with a variegated alstroemeria. What I like about this combo is that it all looks good even when there are no flowers:

Iris mixing nicely with a hellebore:

Iris leaves setting off an red "Emperor One" Japanese maple, grape vine, and fern:

Iris contrasts with "Full Moon" Japanese maple, scallop-leafed pelargonium, and fine-leafed euonymus:

Iris and "Occold Gold" pelargonium:

Iris foliage framing a brilliant fuchsia iresine, surrounded by yellow variegated plectranthus groundcover and a nearby hellebore:

Following are two photos of the same bed. One is as if you were standing at ground level. The other is looking 16' down from my kitchen window. This is the only bed where what it looks like from above, is just as important as what it looks like at ground level.

Iris clumps set off (L-R) dark-leaf pelargonium, coleonema, variegated euonymus, "Occold Gold" pelargonium, white-flowering pelargonium. Across the path, more iris sit in front of a young Meyer lemon standard, with a pink-flowering cestrum shrub in the far back:

Same bed, from above:

Hope the photos help!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 11:32PM
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