Siberian Iris Make Great Flower Combinations

Siberian Iris 'So Van Gogh'
Peony 'Yellow Doodle Dandy'
Timing is everything when creating plant combinations. Like finding that perfect scarf or tie containing colors included in your existing wardrobe, choosing a new plant should be done with a garden's current lodgers in mind.

When those current closet denizens are classics—the little black dress or grey pinstripe, for instance—their quality must remain in evidence, while accessories should not overstep their accentual bounds.
Siberian iris can cross over from accent to classic and back again if it’s made up of one dominant color. But once it enters the bi-color arena, it becomes boisterous bling.
I fell in love with a Siberian called 'So Van Gogh', which I saw in full, beautiful bloom at Sebright Gardens in Oregon.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'
‘So Van Gogh’ has the presence to capture everyone’s first glance. Its two predominant colors—yellow gold and sky blue—fall into opposite sides of the color wheel, making them complementary as well as hard to ignore.
Nature isn’t nearly as strict a taskmaster as we are where color-matching is concerned. Picture ‘So Van Gogh’ with a yellow peony and a solid blue Baptisia. All are very long-lived in the garden, requiring division every five years or never in the case of the peony, and never on part of the Baptisia.

The Siberian iris can go longer than the bearded types, which cover the ground with chubby rhizomes. Siberians have fibrous roots that grow out from the center, forming new plants from the newest roots, leaving the center starved for moisture, light and nutrients. Siberians can go four years or more before they clamor for division, depending on how large the plant is originally.
Siberian iris 'Silver Edge' in its fourth year.

Siberian iris 'Sky Wings'
I purchased a good-sized pot of Iris s. ‘Sky Wings’ in the spring of 2009. It bloomed beautifully for the next three years, but in 2013 its center was completely bare, requiring me to cut it half and divide the half I dug up. This maneuver is best done in fall.

Siberian iris 'Roaring Jelly' in its fourth year.
That same year I received five more varieties of Siberians from Roots and Rhizomes. Each plant was tiny, so it took about four seasons before they began to make a show.

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