What is a bearded iris? The flower that my Mother and my Granny grew every spring was an Iris. Beautiful tall and purple it grows in full sun. We had a long driveway in the front of the farm-house that had a long narrow bed of peonies and iris. Each spring in May I would walk to the mail box past these flowers. They have huge flower heads with 3 petals that turn upward and 3 petals that turn down and the scent is unmistakable. Homestead Orchard where my parents and I lived not only sold apples it sold flowers too. Each year I look forward to spring and can’t wait for the arrival of flowers like the bearded iris because it reminds me of a special time in my life.
Bearded iris have a fuzzy line that runs down the middle of the petal. That’s how the ” bearded ” got their name. Other types of iris are Siberian and Japanese, which bloom later through June and July. Iris grow from rhizomes that store food for the next years growth. They grow slightly below the surface of the ground and are visible to the eye. Most nursery’s carry these easy to grow perennials and as an extra bonus they multiply and should be divided every 3 to 5 years. Where do I get my iris? I buy from a local grower in Chillicothe Illinois. Every year I stop and buy a new color or variety. The plus to buying from a local grower is they usually have a demo garden with samples of all of their flowers. These businesses are disappearing so whenever I find someone who sells some of their own nursery stock I feel like I have won the lottery. Iris only bloom for a short time but with a little care will last for years.