Saturday, May 22, 2021

Rogue Iris

Hi friends...

Happy Saturday, May 22nd. Can you believe May is almost over already? This year has ramped up and is speeding by.  

Just a quick pop-in to show some pictures of my "rogue" Irises, and my stunning purple and gold Irises. I just LOVE Irises!

Some purple and golds that I planted a few years ago.

A few years ago, I think it was about 2015, I dug up a bunch of purple Irises from my ex-husband's yard up in Washougal, WA. He and his wife were moving from the "homestead" that he and I built in the 70's, and I wanted to dig up as many plants as I could, that I had planted way back then, or that they had planted. I also dug up some plants and flowers that I HAD PLANTED back in the 80's!! They have survived here and I have so happy about that. 

This vine maple, from Washougal, is finally doing well. It has taken  5 years for it to find its footing and grow!

The Irises that I dug up looked purple. It was early May and I don't think they had opened up yet, but the tops looked purple. So I brought them  home to Madras, and kept them in buckets of water until I could plant them. There were maybe 20 Irises and 10 other shrubs or flowers.  The Irises got planted in the corner of our front yard in a little flower bed, and then DID bloom and put on a gorgeous display for us! (see above photo).

By 2018, the flower bed of Irises had grown and multiplied! (see below)................

By 2019, they were so thick that I knew I'd have to dig up some and split the bulbs. Each May, they were putting on a wonderful show for us!

This one flower bed had mostly purple Iris, and a few gold with burgundy tops (see top photo). The gold ones popped up a couple of years after I planted the originals! They must have been dormant or something.  I decided, in 2019, to add a couple of yellow Iris to my garden, and planted those in our back yard, in the shade of our Lilac bush.

In 2020, I decided it was time to dig up the front flower bed of Irises, split up the bulbs and transplant them in more areas of our yard. Let me tell you! That was NOT an easy job. The bulbs were all hooked together just like blocks of cement. My husband  had to chop them apart with an axe......... and I had doubts that some of them would even survive that.  

Out of those original 20 or so plants, I must have had at least a hundred to transplant in our yard. I put them all in buckets of water, and tried to keep them separated as to color. I had the purples, gold and bungundys, and some smaller yellow Iris that my sister dug up from her house in La Pine, OR and gave to me. 

Here are the  yellow Iris by our Lilac bush that I planted in the ground. I even threw that last few I was trying to save, into our cedar tub. I had no idea if Iris would or could grow in a tub!

Replanting front bed with the plants spaced further apart.

Neat and tidy now!

I dug new flower beds in our front lower yard (in front of our 4 ft. rock wall), and along the side of our lower yard.  I planted probably 50 there, and 50 more in our back yard by our Lilac bush, and along our back raised rock wall flower bed.

I dug a new flower bed along our rock wall in our front yard.

Back yard raised flower bed. They love it there.. even though it's partially shady in the afternoons.

Back corner raised flower bed. I mulched everything and they love this area too. Front left bright green is a vine maple shrub that I brought from Washougal with the Irises. 

Some of the Irises stayed in the buckets of water for weeks. I was tired and exhausted from all the yard work, and planted the leftovers at the last minute, when I knew if I didn't get them in the ground, they wouldn't survive. I had no idea by then what colors I was planting, and even shoved the rest into some tubs and flower pots.

So now, in 2021, almost ALL of my Irises have bloomed and they have given us a wonderful show! I couldn't be happier. Front yard and back yard... they are amazing. My sister's little yellows are so pretty, the yellow ones by the back Lilac are gorgeous and big, and our purples and golds are taller than ever!

My sister's "baby" yellows.

Lower bed below our rock wall, and more at the far end.

My large yellows that I planted in 2019. They are two toned and have already multiplied.

And now.... I bet you are wondering about the "rogue"...... I had taken all of these wonderful pictures around May 6th.... then a few days later, my husband called me to come outside as he wanted to show me something.... and down to the lower yard we went, and to my surprise and amazement........... there was this!

We couldn't believe it! In all these years, we had never seen one like this! A purple with a delicate white top. It was amazing! Where did it come from? I had never planted one like it. All we can think is that it somehow was dormant for all these years and when I dug up the bulbs and replanted them, it came alive again! Who knows?

Then a few days later, there were TWO on the same stalk!

Then a few days later, we looked at the little flower bed at the end of our lower area, and there was this!

And that's my story... and I'm stickin' to it...... maybe next year we'll get some more "rogues"!!!!  And also, I want to plant some pink ones as of course, I need more PINK in our yard!

Does anyone have ideas where the rogues came from?



  1. Your gardens/yard are gorgeous! I love iris and they are so hardy. I am so glad you were able to dig up and move so many plants from the old homestt! ead. What a blessing to be able to do that. xo Diana

    1. Yes I cherish these specific plants... and some other shrubs I got from the old homestead. I helped build the entire 9 acres, cleared, chopped, cut, mowed, chopped blackberries, planted gardens, built the house and barn and raised my kids there! I have precious memories of that place and so glad to have a few reminders in my flower beds! and I too do especially enjoy and love Irises.... my mom used to grow them and they have a special place in my heart!

  2. Flowers and plants are wonderful living memories. Each time they bloom you'll be reminded of days when you were a young woman and mother. Life is made up of memories of the past and dreams of our future.
    Wishing you the best of both sweet friend.

    1. Yes you are right Connie. So well is made up of memories of the past... and dreams of the future. Sometimes I let my memories take over and don't spend time in THIS life right now, and I don't plan and dream for future things. thank you for the reminder..... take care dear heart. Marilyn

  3. Your iris are beautiful. They must bring you so much joy. xo Laura

    1. Yes Laura, they really do bring me much joy! I love just walking around the yard and looking at them. Some are even fragrant! Marilyn

  4. Your iris are stunning Marilyn! What rich payment for all your labors last year! I remember well the struggles you went through to try and dig up all your iris and replant them. How exciting to have a new "rogue" iris in the midst! Maybe all the digging, like you said, allowed it to come back to life! The colors are all gorgeous, what a blessing to enjoy their beauty!!

    1. Hi Marilyn... that's what I thought. The "rogue" was just in there somewhere but never did bloom, until this year! I just LOVE Irises. Maybe because my mom had a front yard FULL of them! they were all pale yellow, and spread everywhere. I don't think she ever dividied them.. they just grew... and grew... and grew!!! I hope to keep mine under control somewhat! xoxo Marilyn

  5. Marilyn, all the iris are so gorgeous. Such beautiful colors. The "rogue" one is outstanding. As I have said we have two plants in one plastic pot. We moved them from the Secret Garden where they never bloomed, out to the front but in a corner where they get afternoon shade and they bloomed away. There was 3 to 4 flowers on each stem. I imagine we will have to separate them inorder to get more plants but I really am enjoying them and can see what magic they create..xxoJudy

    1. Judy, I'm so glad your Irises started to bloom. They do like lots of sun, but also some shade too. My front yard ones get full sun until about 3:00 in the afternoon, then are shaded. My back yard ones get some morning sun also, but dappled.. and then lots of afternoon shade. They don't do as well, but they DO bloom. Even the ones in our pots did great, so they definitely like pots.. and those were both full sun all day long. I think the Iris must be a very hardy plant! I hope to get some pink ones for next year! xoxo Marilyn

  6. Wow, Marilyn! ALL of the Irises are so incredibly gorgeous!!! That's definitely one plant I miss here in VA. We had many of them at our NC farm but it is too wet where we live now. The tubers rot.

    1. Anne.. you should try them again in the driest, sunniest spot you have! I dug these all up from my former house up in Washougal, WA and they get at least 80 inches of rain a year there! They did very well there, but were in the sunniest spot of the gardens. I think they ARE doing much better here though. I just love them. I did have glads planted too but they didn't winter over very well. Too cold for them, but the Irises don't seem to mind the super cold! Take care... Marilyn

    2. At some point, I may try again in a raised bed. I'm sure that would work much better. We're only 2' above sea level so the yard is 'moist' all the time. LOL

    3. Yes Anne.. that may work. I planted some in pots and they are doing great! they seem to love the pots. Wow.. 2 ft above sea level! We're at about 2,200 feet here! Marilyn


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