Bloom­ing se­quence

Landscape (UK) - - Our Landscape -

Plant­ing a range of bearded iris brings a suc­ces­sion of colour to the gar­den, start­ing in April through to June. Minia­ture Dwarf Bearded iris (MDB) and Stan­dard Dwarf Bearded iris (SDB): The minia­tures are the ear­li­est type to bloom, fol­lowed by the Stan­dard Dwarf va­ri­eties. The first are less than 8in (20cm) high in flower, and have un­branched flower stems, with one or two flow­ers. The blooms are usu­ally less than 3in (8cm) wide. The SDB reach from 8-15in (21-40cm) high, with blooms less than 4in (10cm) across. They are usu­ally more showy and longer-bloom­ing than the ear­lier MDBs. This is be­cause the stems are branched and have up to four buds in to­tal, bloom­ing in suc­ces­sion.

In­ter­me­di­ate Bearded iris (IB): These are next to bring colour to the bor­ders and con­tain­ers. Reach­ing from 15-27in (41-70cm) in height, they have a greater va­ri­ety of flower types than the smaller va­ri­eties. The stems are branched, with four or five buds open­ing to flow­ers up to 5in (13cm) in di­am­e­ter.

Bor­der Bearded iris (BB): With six or more flow­ers per stem, these put on a later, bolder dis­play. They are same height as the IBs, with flow­ers of the same di­am­e­ter. Tall Bearded iris (TB) and Minia­ture Tall Bearded iris (MTB): The show ends with these va­ri­eties, which have seven or eight large flow­ers per tall stem. The MTBs grow only to 15-27in (41-70cm) high. Some­times called ta­ble iris, these make the best cut flow­ers. One lovely ex­am­ple is ‘Bum­ble­bee Deel­ite’, with red and yel­low flow­ers.

Stan­dard Dwarf Bearded iris ‘Bed­ford Lilac’.

In­ter­me­di­ate Bearded iris ‘Lang­port Pa­gan’.

‘Batik’, a Bor­der Bearded iris.

‘Bum­ble­bee Deel­ite’, a Minia­ture Tall Bearded iris.

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