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companions for iris

Posted by terry94705 SF Bay (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 6, 04 at 17:13

I've just been bitten by the iris bug and have planted half of my tiny front yard in TBs. It looks pretty naked right now, with just the iris fans, and I'm wondering what kind of companion planting might work in my area in Northern CA. We usually have pretty cool summers.

My iris will get sun from about 11 am on. The soil is pretty much clay, with some serious hardpan about 10 inches down. I mixed in a good bit of gypsum and some humusy planting mix.

I've had california poppies here before the iris went in, and I'm thinking the lacy leaves would look nice against the flat out of bloom iris fans. But I've got way too much orange already.

Any other ideas for things that could provide color when the iris are not blooming, but won't overgrow the rhizomes--and won't require so much water that my iris rhizomes will be unhappy???

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: companions for iris

I'd reccomend something airy to contrast with the iris leaves...... maybe linum lewessi ...... lychnis blooms alot although its not lacy..... amm majus is nice though annual..... loves cool summers..... cerastium might be nice around the border...... also likes cool summers.... silver foliage and white flowers..... some of the coreopsises have beautiful airy foliage...... I don't know how they feel about cool sunners....... I don't know much about hardpan so don't know how russian sage would do there since I think it likes well drained soil..... but russian sage is drought tolerant and pretty...... blooms in fall... might look nice behind the irises...... sort of lacy foliage...... :)

RE: companions for iris

Thanks flowerandthings, These are great suggestions. I had to look them all up because I am still learning names. I 'm thinking the lychnis and cerastium would look great-- and I see them planted around here a good bit, so they should do well. And russian sage behind--that would be fabulous. I'm surprised I don't see more of that here. (I see it in the nursery, but not in peoples yards.)


RE: companions for iris

My Russian sage got much larger than I thought it would. It grew into a large shrub.

I just planted moonbean coreopsis with my iris. I think they'll look great together with moonbeam's pale yellow flowers and finely cut foliage. I've linked a pic below but you can't see the foliage, unfortunately. I think it's a nice contrast with the sharp iris leaves. Moonbeam has a long bloom time too.

Another plant that I've been using a lot and really love is rue. It's a herb with beautiful silvery blue foliage. The yellow flowers are insignifcant by comparison. The plant looks good all summer and will reseed but not overwhelm.

Here is a link that might be useful: Moonbeam coreopsis

RE: companions for iris

I use Artimisia powis castle with my iris. It has a silvery green foliage that is lacy and grows fairly low. The powis castle has a wonderful clean fragrance when you brush it. It is also drought tolerant.

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