Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mass Iris Varieties For A Most Striking Effect

By Marshall Clewis

Camellia sasanqua comes into bloom this month. It is the earliest of the family to flower and, in bloom from now until December while few other shrubs are showing color, it is very desirable as well as charming and beautiful. The soft pink of the variety Apple Blossom, with its delicate flower with golden centers, is a striking and lovely plant. The semi-double, white is most floriferous and the deep rose is also good. The foliage is not quite so heavy as that of the standard camellias and the plants grow wider than tall and make good hedges, accents and specimens.

Fragrance is the chief merit of the Russian olives, Eleagnus pungens and E. fruitlandi. They are heavy growers and need much trimming, but the tiny clusters of creamy flowers spread their aroma far and wide.

Much work must be done. All the daffodils, scillas, Roman and Dutch hyacinths, camassias, crocus and muscari must be planted as early as possible. Use the strong trumpet and clustered narcissus along with chalice and short-cupped types in groups of 12 or more wherever space permits, and be sure to include the miniatures to give distinction and character to the groups.

Iris kaempferi is rightly called the "orchid of the Orient." They grow well in a rich soil of leafmold and humus and wherever there is an abundant water supply which they can use during the blooming season. Almost any amateur can make an exotic iris garden with roots of the kaempferis. They multiply so rapidly that each season they must be divided and new plants set. The names are as fanciful as the colors and forms. Deep blues, mauves, purples, orchid, lavender, azure, rose and amethyst, with whites of spectacular brilliance, double and single, self-toned and marked with lines and blotches, make the choice almost unlimited masses of each variety make the most striking effect.

Iris of all kinds must be planted. If the old clumps are crowded, lift and replant at once. Then order ant plant as many of the fine new ones as the budget will allow. Give them a place apart in which to develop their wonderful grace and charm. Study the lists of advertisers and the reports from the iris experts. All the iris do well, and from mid-March to late May they add a veritable rainbow of color to the garden.

Roses need attention. Cut the dead flowers and wood, spray with a good insecticide and fungicide to remove rust rose species, and keep the mulches on. Feed now with a well balanced plant food and watch for the fall roses in their superlative radiance Tea roses need no spraying, but the plant; food will bring them into their lovely best.

Take rooted cuttings of evergreen candytuft, Phlox subulata, P. divaricata and P. canadensis, and fill in the edgings with these.

Remember the lilies which must be planted now. Lilium candidum, L. centifolium, the native white atamasco (Zephyranthes atamasco) and the soft pink Zephyranthes carinata will give you fine displays for a long season of bloom.

Seed your lawns now with recleaned Italian rye grass seed. Spread the seed with a lavish hand and do not cover. In about ten days the green shoots will appear and your green lawn for winter will be assured. Nothing adds more beauty to winter landscapes.

About the Author:

No comments: