The Exquisite Spuria Iris

Spuria Iris 'Hocka Hoona'

Last year, inspired by several visits to Chanticleer, I decided to give Spuria Iris a try.  The Spurias are the result of hybridizing a number of species, including Iris spuria, mostly found around the Mediterranean region.  They are strikingly tall (3-4′) with flowers that look a bit like Dutch Iris on steroids and they have graceful foliage that looks much nicer in a garden bed than the bearded types.  They also flower after the bearded types thereby extending the iris season.  They eventually form a fair sized clump which offers the opportunity to bring them inside where they make good cut flowers.  An excellent background and description on the Spurias can be found at Herbs.com.

For someone who has grown bearded Iris for years the tubers were not impressive when they arrived last September.  There was barely a patch of green showing on each.  The website for the Spuria Iris society says not to expect flowers the first year after transplanting (they don’t like to be moved).  But two of ours did bloom and we are very glad we made room for the Spurias.

Spuria Iris 'Cinnebar Red'

In fact, I think we will be ordering more…

Another new flower for us is Astrantia.

Astrantia 'Sunningdale variegated'

I ordered Astrantia after reading an enthusiastic post on Garden Shoots and I am not disappointed.  An interesting flower, in this case variegated, that plays well with the other plants in our Camellia garden.

We are otherwise looking at the lilies budding up like mad and in some cases already overflowing with flowers.  Especially the Blackout lilies that have dozens of blooms.

Blackout Lilies in quantity

There is a also a push for yellow flowers in other parts of the garden.  The St. John’s Wort is putting on an impressive show now that we have given it some sunlight.

St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

The Troillus ‘Golden Queen’ is ruling over a portion of the side yard.

Trollius chinensis ‘Golden Queen’

And finally a new one for us is the Horned Poppy with bright yellow flowers against gray-green foliage.

Horned Poppy (Glaucium flavum)

However, all is not just flowers on our hilly kingdom.  We have had a record crop of strawberries where the plants are so thick as to exclude most of the weeds.  We just had a wonderful memorial day weekend where we cooked up the rhubarb and strawberries into a luscious cobbler.

Strawberry & Rhubarb ingredients

Strawberry & Rhubarb cobbler

More strawberries and rhubarb have been planted for next year.  Can’t have too much of a really good thing…

2 comments on “The Exquisite Spuria Iris

  1. Melissa

    Wonderful photos, as always, John! Would have loved to try that cobbler (looks yummy). And how did you get an astrantia shot without tiny little bugs crawling over the flowers?

  2. Randy

    John,
    Never heard of these irises before, stunning.. That St John’s Wart we have a huge one 5-6 ft across, out of control.. Enjoyed this post.