Divide native iris, bring friends together

There is nothing better than a gardening project to bring friends together for a good time!

A couple weeks ago, my dear co-blogger and her friend Lisa came up to help me rid my yard of Iris douglasiana — What?? Rid my yard of gorgeous Douglas iris?? —

Well, yes - but only because they hybridize easily and I'm still trying to establish a good population of Fernald's iris, our locally wild species. I started that project after I'd already planted quite a bit of douglas iris.

Iris fernaldii, locally native in my neighborhood

I hope for lots more than this!

So - no Iris douglasiana for me!

Now, as you may recall from a recent Town Mouse post, The Gift that keeps on giving, the three of us gathered on a beautiful sunny fall day at Lisa's home to help her come up with a garden plan for her home, with lots of gorgeous native plants, and later Lisa and Town Mouse had a great time in Ms T Mouse's garden finding plants to share.

Well, iris are definitely on Lisa's list and I had quite a few to contribute. I began watering my problem patch to be sure they would lift easily.

Our native iris species are tough and resilient, with year-round green strappy leaves, and spring flowers that are intensely blue and gorgeous. Some Douglas iris are yellow, but the ones I had to share are straight-up blue with yellow accents. They like sun but also do well - or better inland - with less than full sun.

We forked and dug them out pretty easily, and divided them into clumps.

For a detailed post on dividing native iris, see my 2010 post Late November is time to divide native iris.

Ms. Town Mouse trimmed the leaves up as we proceeded.

Luckily I had a lot of pots, claimed from a recycle bin (Yes, I dumpster-dive for garden pots!)

Bye-bye Iris douglasiana! Glad you're going to a good home!


James said…
I love the delicacy of your local native species, and it's definitely worth the effort to keep it a pure species. (Okay, the I. douglasiana is pretty lovely too, but in a more robust way...)
ryan said…
That's a generous gift, to give so much Doug Iris. Fernaldii can be more subtle but the veining is beautiful up close. Should be great if you can get them throughout your garden.