Iris as edging plants

I’m just in from tying little bits of string around some of the taller pale blue iris that are clumping merrily over the barn garden.

It’s not so much a walk along the path as a wade. A glorious wade through Iris.

I want to shift a lot after the flowering season. And if I tie bits of string around the actual mighty stalks, I might get a cohesive colour display. Because I will remember which are which.

This is something I plot every single year. But with all this absurd wet weather, I might even get a chance to lift and divide the iris in the same year I have this good intention. It is usually too dry to even contemplate shifting plants in summer.

I tend to get overwhelmed with jobs (paint brush, anyone? Bramble patch?) and only get around to shifting the iris in winter when it’s damper.

My plan is to have a succession of flowering colour on the edge of the main lawn. The first iris are over by now (the opening picture is a few weeks old) and I noticed that I have inadvertently planted some wonderful tall pale blue ones lurking down the end.

You might get a better shot of what I’m describing if I wasn’t wearing my Ugg boots and eschewing the damp. I’m already wet from the string tying adventure just after breakfast.

That’s the fabulous lottery of my transplanting irises in winter job. I never remember what colour they were.

But wouldn’t it be fab to have a second row of the taller pale blue irises to extend the delight?

I have plenty of room to do another row. And I have found a long forgotten edging tool which might come in handy to create a neat curving line.

So there’s a project.

This is the time of year where I get to gawp at the hilarious rogue colours in among my edging plants.

Always yellow.

Always floppy.

But this one really did make me laugh. Did Agnès give me this one? I certainly wouldn’t choose it!

But I do have Agnès to thank for the lovely bicolour ones that are now happily flowering in the Dry Garden.

It took them about three years to decide they were flowering iris rather than just good upright strappy leaves.

They are meant to be edging this curving path. But they choose more light than the dappled shade of the massive pine. So the clumps are on the move.

And last winter I decided to edge the hedges with iris too.

Only now am I finding out what colours are emerging from my design.

Crimson? Result!

It gives a bit more interest to this hornbeam hedge (the carbon footprint planted up hedge of shame for all my flights to Australia).

I am sure to be heading out with the pocket full of string to tie in the annoying yellow ones which are bound to leap out at me in the horticultural version of ‘surprise!’.

But I’ll wait for a dry day…