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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wings Over Water

Twenty-four Siberian irises were planted yesterday, and twenty-four more have been ordered. We are working them into an area at the lower edge of the sloping wild flower meadow. I am trying to get them away from the limy areas of the Rockery and beds of German bearded iris. Siberian irises prefer a more acidic soil condition, and more moisture than they would get farther up the hill.

The first twenty-four comprise four colors, white, purple and two blues - light and dark. The other twenty-four will be different; each one will be both blue and white. Neal and I have an idea of how we want it to look, but it's a bit tricky. I would like for it to look similar to white gulls flying over blue water. If it isn't successful, we may have to move some around in a few years once they get settled in, established and bloom for us. I hope not, for digging up established Siberians can be back breaking. Of course by then, who knows where he will be. I wonder how many years it will take them to start blooming.

After watering-in the newly planted irises, he packed all our stuff uphill and put everything away, but forgot to turn off the garden hose. (He has a lot on his mind right now.) Later in the evening I heard water running in the pipes so I went down there to check and sure enough it was running. A large flock of robins was having a great party - more worms and lots of mud for making nests. Much activity.

Earlier, while we were working on the project, and I was standing at the lowest point looking up toward the rockery. I said, "Neal, when we stand right here and look 'up-stream' it leads the eye straight to those yellow irises." (Standard dwarf bearded irises blooming in the Rockery.) He said, "WHOA - that's lucky!!"

Once, as he stood next to the rockery looking 'downstream' of the way we had placed them, he said, "Looking down like this, the way we have them laid out, it looks like water flowing to that spot (pointed where) then it flows around it on both sides as if there is a large rock there."

In a short while as he dug yet another hole for another iris his trowel hit something. I asked if he had hit a large tree root. He said, no, he thought it was a rock - or gravel. He worked around and found the edge and worked and finally got it pried out. He said, "Well, here's your rock!" We laughed and I said, "I know where that one is going." He picked it up and placed it where the imaginary rock had been.

Flags Marking Baby Siberian Irises

Rock In Stream of Irises


Frances, said...

What a wonderful story. Your stream of iris is going to be so stunning in bloom. You have great vision to know what you want. I love the white wings over the water idea. Thanks for sharing it.

Frances at Faire Garden

patientgardener said...

You must have very good imaginations to envisage how it will all look. I inevitably end up moving things

Barbee' said...

Frances, thank you. The idea was not original to me. I think it was in White Flower Farm's catalog, either that one or Wayside Gardens. I forget which. It sounded lovely and as we would be seeing it from above as we walk downhill, I hoped/hope it will be pretty.

Patientgardener, I could envision how I wanted it to look, but keeping the little plants (labeled by color) straight and figuring out the way they should be arranged was a challenge. We probably made mistakes and in time (as I wrote), we may have to move some someday.

Now I am thinking about all that bare ground between the little plants. I know weeds will come up all in there. I'm toying with the idea of putting in seeds of easy flower plants to fill in the space until the irises get larger. I have a lot of Lunaria (money plant, honesty) seeds.

What do you think about that idea? I surely hate to have to weed that area. I'd rather have short lived flowers. What do you readers think??

J said...

I'm struggling with the same problem right now (just planted some small little creeping things that will EVENTUALLY fill in). I mulched, but I like your idea better. I guess, though, I'd want to be careful that the fillers I planted didn't shade the new plants too much (I've done that before). Keep the fillers low is my thought.

Wings over Water is going to be beautiful! What a great vision you have (adapted or not from WFF or WG). Can't wait to see how it develops.

Barbee' said...

J, thank you for your comments and ideas. Good luck with yours, too.