Saturday, February 7, 2009

Signature Plant(s)

Last month Tina (In the Garden) started a meme asking, What is the signature plant in your garden?

I'd say in my garden that bearded iris comes first, followed by assorted natives, then roses. This post will be dedicated to my first plant love, iris.

My most prolific iris are the relatively modern Jesse's Song and a noid white from my husband's grandmother's garden, which I have named Eva's White. Eva's White has the most wonderful fragrance; if I could bottle it as perfume I would be rich. It's not at all like I. pallida, but is just as wonderful. (Yes I know, I just used the word wonderful twice. :))

Jesse's Song with Baptisia 'Purple Smoke', Baptisia alba and Rose 'Climbing Old Blush'.

Jesse's Song and Eva's White in big perennial bed, looking up toward the house and neighbor's pasture.

I love the old historic iris. This is I. germanica 'Crimson King', which
doesn't have the best substance but whose color and fragrance are outstanding.

Here it is with the Italian I. kochii ('Crimson
King' is on the top and I. kochii on the bottom).

I. kochii. This iris doesn't have any fragrance, but it's
a very reliable iris in the South and has picture perfect form.

'Great Lakes'

With Black Swallowtail


'Helen Collingwood'

Noid pink

Noid iris from Eva's garden

Iris along the front sidewalk: yellow noid from Eva, Eva's White,
Jesse's Song, Great Lakes and Conquistador (the very tall blue),
Helen Collingswood, the noid pink, and what is probably Indian Chief.

'Indian Chief' or lookalike

One of the loveliest of the historic iris, or any iris, 'Quaker Lady'.

Another blue-violet noid from Eva's Garden. This one starts out dark and lightens as it ages.

With yellow noid, also from Eva's Garden

Showing its variation in color.

Iris pallida with Stipa in background.

Noid from my grandfather's garden.

Lovely bicolor noid from Eva's garden.

Noid peach with Eva's White


  1. I love irises too. I will now forever think Sweetbay when I see the irises. I wish I could smell Eva's white, sounds wonderful! Your gardens are beautiful and the irises positively shine. I added in your signature plant post and thanks for the link.

  2. Hi Tina, and thank you for your kind words. I wish I could describe the fragrance of Eva's White, or knew its identity.. I was expecting to get albicans from Eva's garden, and as much as I love and admire albicans, Eva's White is superior in many ways.

  3. WOW!!! How lovely!
    Imagin having a path with Iris like that !!! It´s to beautiful!

  4. Your iris are lovely. I have some old varieties but try to add one or two new ones per year. Most of my older varieties are so tall they lean or fall during heavy spring rain storms.

  5. Hi Linda! Thank you for your kind comments.

    Hi Marnie. I tend to get equal opportunity leaning with my iris, whether modern or historic. :) Conquistador is very very tall, but mainly leaning in my garden depends on the bloom count and the amount of rainfall we get.

  6. Dear Sweetbay, your irises are fantastic...there is one that looked like it was in the room with me it was so beautifully photographed. I only have a few early German Iris that I have never seen butterflies on...too early in the season I guess. I know where I shall be all summer...over here looking at your garden!


  7. Wow, Gail, that is so kind of you to say so... thank you.

  8. Hi Sweetbay,
    I'm reading my blogs on my blogroll tonight instead of the picks page of blotanical, because I have gotten behind and it takes more clicks to read the older posts there.

    I love all your iris, and can't pick a favorite. That butterfly is beautiful, too.

  9. Great Site and Historic Irises are a favorite of mine


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