Late November is time to divide native iris - unless someone's building a fence where they are growing...

In which case you divide them now and hope for the best!

Here are some pretty healthy divided clumps from my earlier post on dividing iris - which is worth reading if you are new to this task.

Super healthy iris ready to divide. Probably Iris douglasiana or maybe a hybrid iris.

And here are my poor specimens!

Clump of Iris fernaldii - plucked out before its time

Iris fernaldii is not so plump, even at the best of times. Which this is not. But there are some white roots, which is a good sign

Ready to plant or pot - for better or for worse!

I hope they will do OK. I want to start clumps going in the North valley garden I'm going to be working on in the next couple of years (and more!).

I've put the divisions into pots till I'm ready to plant - and hopefully to give them a bit of a boost

Here's why I bother… Some neighbors don't like these locally wild iris. I just don't understand!

The usual advice is to divide native iris - when you want to give them more room to grow or when your iris clump is getting congested - in November, after a good rain, and when you start to see them coming out of dormancy. But - along with the new stairs which are coming along, and looking really wonderful…

Duncan likes the new stairs
… we are upgrading the fence along the pool from a black chain link one that I always have to avoid including in photographs, to a bamboo one to match the rest of the new fencing Wood Rat installed a couple years ago. We are moving the fence line back too and it now curves nicely.

(The iris were growing right in the way of the work. Wait! Wait! I cried, and lifted my precious plants before the construction crew trampled all over the place in their tackety boots!)

Unfortunately, Mr Rat thought it would be OK to run the posts behind the bamboo, which was more convenient from the building POV. But when we looked at the result,

Looks OK but would be better if it showed the framework like the rest of the fencing (see left)

Looks nice from the north valley path, though!

… we realized that it would be so much better if the fence styles matched. So Rat and Snow Leopard, his snowboard filming son (forgive me my hokey family pseudonyms, please!), are going to redo it. Good on them for taking the time to make it right.

As you can see from the pool-side photo above, I also am cutting back to nubbins most of the plants in the north side pool garden bed - some still to do. The Encelia californica, coast sunflower, will for sure come back, near the door in the corner. I won't cut Winifred Gilman sage back so hard though. She might not survive.

And then what? - What to plant in the new and expanded bed?

I asked Ms Town Mouse to come up for a design consultation - she is ever so much better at that sort of thing than I am, being a sophisticated Townie and all, whilst I am just a country bumpkin in the design department. So I hope to post about that in the next few weeks.

But the north slope there - I have all sorts of plants growing to stuff in there - and I'm also going to put in erosion control netting first, and more rocks and - I'm tired just thinking about it - maybe I'll have a little sit on my new little seat...

A little seat for my granddaughter - and me (work in progress)


Brent Morgan said…
Your stairs look magnificent!
Anonymous said…
Snow Leapord, eh? Cute!