Iris at Fall Meeting

September 10, 2009: Iris was the topic for Carol Warner, the proprietor of Draycott Gardens in Upperco, MD. While Warner sells beardless iris and the new Pseudata iris, her informative talk covered all varieties of iris from the Iris reticulata, bearded iris, beardless iris, Siberian iris, species iris, Japanese iris and the varieties of iris that rebloom in the fall.

Warner explained the mechanics of bee pollinization of iris and the process of hybridizing iris. She gave tips on the planting and dividing of iris, on how to treat the iris borer that eats out the rhizome, and discussed how to winter over water iris. She said beared iris should not be mulched and beardless iris should only be lightly mulched after planting to conserve moisture.

Warner also discussed the display of iris in landscapes and in beds and how to combine them with other plants so as to show them at their best. She said this region was home to two native iris--Iris versicolor which grows from here north and Iris virginica which grows from here south through the Carolinas.

Coffee, tea and pastries were served before the meeting while waiting for those delayed by traffic. Maggie Lippert of Paint Branch Garden Club provided a seasonal floral basket arrangement for the buffet table and Anne Gardenhour shared freshly picked Gala apples from the orchards of central Maryland.