New to Gardening in the Sun and Iris

nchostaqueen(z5 OH)June 27, 2013

Hello Folks -

I have been a shade/Hosta gardener for 15+ years and finally have a 7x5' sunny (7+ hrs) raised bed that has come about from taking out several trees.

My goal is to plant that area with sun loving perennials that would start in early spring into fall. Different varities would put on their show, finish and up comes the next grouping throughout the groing period.

I'm looking for help on when to plant Iris and what perennials would go well them leading into the next round of flowering plants.

I'm zone 5 (Cleveland OH).

Thanks for your help.


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Hi there!

I'm in your zone. I just got into daylilies and irises last year. I was and still am a vegetable gardener. Last year I created a bed for daylilies and irises. I tucked in a couple of candytuft plants. They bloomed as soon as the snow was gone. The irises bloomed first (earlier this month). The daylilies are just starting to put on their show. I also have some daisies and coneflowers in there. The daisies are going to bloom soon. The cone flowers will bloom later on in the summer.
So here's the bloom order:

Daylilies & daisies

I ordered the irises from Schreiners and they shipped them in July. I also received a bunch of freebies from someone who was separating her iris bulbs (tubers) here on the Gardenweb. Sometimes you get lucky. They won't bloom this first year. Sometimes they are fussy and don't bloom the following either (I'd say better than half of the ones I ordered last year bloomed this year. All the plants look good and healthy this year too.)

The daylilies I bought some from the Lily Auction and some from Valley of the Daylilies. Some of them did bloom last year after planting! All of them are up right now and most have scapes. Can't wait for the show.

The coneflowers, daisies and candytuft I got here, there and everywhere locally. They are pretty common and not to hard to find at greenhouses or even the big box stores.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 4:14PM
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I think of my gardens in terms of spaces. I try to think of how much room a mature plant of the variety I am thinking of planting needs, and then try to arrange those circles or ovals or whatever in terms of color, height in a way that each plants gets the sun, water and nutrients it needs and is pleasing to my eye, At least that is what I start out thinking. A 7 X 5 space can fill up fast, so I would make sure that the plants I chose I really liked. I grew up in Akron OH, and the daylilies around there can get huge! (Well, some hostas, too!) It might be hard to fit a grouping of plants in to bloom at each time you are thinking of. I would be walking around my neighborhood and looking at as many sunny gardens as I could and see what appeals at different times and take notes.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:00PM
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nchostaqueen(z5 OH)

Thank you both for your insight. Question to booberry85 - when you received your Iris order in July did you plant them right away?

I know how one could get carried away and end up with a tight mess aseedisapromise point well taken.

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:32AM
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Hi Deb,

Yes I did plant them right away. Schreiners will send you directions on how to plant. I think the daylilies I put in water for a day and then planted. All of the plants sent through the mail were sent bare root and not potted.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:34AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Choose irises that will do well in Zone 5. booberry might be of help in that respect.

I love irises with roses, daylilies, and lilies. If I had your bed, I would choose a color scheme, plant one rose in the back with tall bulb lilies, then plant irises and daylilies in front. My irises bloom first, then the roses, then the lilies, then the daylilies. By the time the daylilies are finishing, the second flush of roses is starting, and when they are done the second bloom of daylilies starts. Here in CA we can grow reblooming irises, and they begin blooming for a second show when the roses get their fall flush of blooms.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 2:09AM
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