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Total beginner with questions

Posted by lisa33 Zone 6 PA (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 11, 09 at 17:02

Hi there!

My name is Lisa and I am pretty much brand new to gardening. I have, however, plunged in head first! I terraced my front yard and planted a cottage-type garden. Let's hope the carnage is not too severe in my first growing season.


Anyway, I purchased this house nearly a year ago and have been largely sitting back and watching what grows in the side and back yards. The previous owner was an avid gardener in her heyday, but wasn't well enough to tend to her gardens in her later years. So, discovering what's in the gardens has been a bit of an adventure.

Among other things, I was able to identify bearded iris foliage emerging in many places in the yard this past spring.


I only had 3 blooms though. I'm guessing they need to be divided.


Additionally, there was a section of garden that had thinner foliage that wasn't as obviously irises until they surprised me as they bloomed at the end of May.


Finally, there was a long stretch of fence in the backyard (50 plus feet) with an eastern exposure that was lined with more long "pokey" leaves that I thought might be daylilies (remember I'm a neophyte and was pretty proud that I actually identified the bearded iris before they bloomed!). I waited and waited for the "daylilies" to bloom. As we approached the middle of August, I started wondering what was up. So, I posted a question in the daylily forum:

As you can see, they were kind enough to point me to this forum. I don't know why it didn't originally occur to me that these were more irises except that there wasn't ONE single bloom along that fifty plus foot line of fence. I just figured it was something that bloomed later.

Here are some pictures of them dug up. Siberian irises?



Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Do they simply need to be dug up and divided or is it likely that they aren't getting enough sun where they are? The Daylily forum folks identified the other plant with the irises to be Bishop's Weed. How should I go about getting rid of that?

Thanks sooo much in advance for any help!

Lisa :)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Total beginner with questions

How are the long-leaves on the 50' fence different from the Siberians' foliage under the window? Taller? Does it seem quite different?

They could be Spuria iris.

Your terraced front looks terrific!

I'm not acquainted with Bishop's weed but if it's too hard to eradicate by hand there are products that will kill foliage and roots --- Round Up is one. But any drift onto iris leaves will distort next year's flowers.

RE: Total beginner with questions

Thanks for the follow up! The leaves along the fence do seem just like the Siberians' foliage, but in one section seems smaller/shorter. You can see some of the smaller ones in the "dug up" photos.

I might just resort to Round Up in one big patch of the Bishop's weed, although, like you said, I can't use it for the areas where it's interspersed with the iris.

Thanks so much for your help!

Lisa :)

RE: Total beginner with questions

You're welcome.

For someone new to the garden you did a remarkable job. I think there are artistic genes present.

My secret in using Round Up next to iris foliage is to make a 'cone' of stiff paper and squirt the bind weed thru the cone. I haven't used a paintbrush, yet.

RE: Total beginner with questions

Hi Lisa,
Sorry, I can't help you with your iris IDs, but your garden... the stone terracing is simply stunning. You really do have the eye! Love the coneflowers and the roses.

Thanks for sharing your garden with us.

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