I wanted Iris in my front yard. I'm from Holland, Michigan, and tulips
are big here - there's an annual Tulip festival in May. EVERYONE
plants nothing but tulips in their front yards. In all my 14 years
living here, I've seen ONE house with Iris in front of it. Being the
person that I am, I wanted to do something unusual for here.
I tried it last year. I found some really nice pictures on
Michiganbulb.com. I knew that they have a really bad history on
selling crap bulbs, but I learned that they were recently taken over
and under new management, so I decided to gamble. The rhizomes they
advertised were "top size, grade a."
First of all, I am in Zone 5, and Iris Rhizome planting time is the
first week of July. I didn't know that last year, and michiganbulb
claimed that the "ideal time" to plant the rhizomes was in the fall.
They arrived at the end of September.
The rhizomes were pretty decent sized. The leaves were all brown. I
planted them, watered them, and of course next year, out of 20 Iris,
one survived, the rest turned to mush.
Additionally, the picture that I liked so much to begin with - a
yellow and purple flower they called "painted cloud" - turned out to
be the wrong picture! Painted Cloud is pink!
I asked in the group here to recommend a good nursery, and I got some
replies for Schreiners.
I ordered 30 rhizomes. They arrived the first week of July. These
rhizomes were VERY large, ALL with bright green foliage! They looked
like they had *just*
been dug up, divided, and washed.
I planted these and they immediately started growing.
Now, nearly two months later at the end of August, the leaves are all
FULL sized. At least HALF of these rhizomes are multiplying, some of
them have even multiplied into 4-5 rhizomes! AND - get this - these
are reblooming Iris, and at least half of them are sending up STEMS!
With BUDS! This in the FIRST YEAR planting! Today I checked and some
of the flowers are JUST starting to emerge!
I was at Lowe's earlier today and I see they put out their fall bulbs.
They had tall bearded Iris, and I can't BELIEVE the difference - the
ones they sell are dried husks, and they must be at least only 20% of
the size of the rhizomes I got from Schreiners.
The selection from Schreiners is also pretty huge. I ended up with 35
rhizomes - they sent me 5 bonus ones, including one that sells for $50
each on their site! (I think it was a price increase due to the late
ordering period and dwindling supply, but that's just my guess.)
This is in no way an advertisement - I really am that amazed.
Now, only trick now is to get them to survive the winter! I got a bale
of straw to mulch over them, I just have to figure out a way to keep
the straw from blowing away. I'm looking at some pond netting to do