Mailbox Garden Idea #3: A Simple Iris Bed for Color and Height

img 0147 300x225 Mailbox Garden Idea #3: A Simple Iris Bed for Color and Height

You don’t have to spend a fortune, or branch into plants-unknown if you want to have reliable blooms, and healthy foliage around your mailbox.  For the gardener who wants to keep things simple, a large bed of Irises around the mailbox provides March through May color, and lasting green foliage!

Fall is the best time to plant Irises if you want to guarantee spring blooming, so get your trowel ready!  As a very hardy perennial, they can be transplanted almost year-round and survive, but they prefer cooler temperatures, which help them adapt to new environments quickly.

Irises are one of the easiest plants to grow, and can be great fillers for a low-lying mailbox area that may catch a lot of street water. Irises love having their “feet” wet, but they can be equally successful in raised garden beds, and will produce large amounts of blooms with moderate amounts of watering.  A spot prime for Irises ideally will be an area that has a little shade, and soil that has some organic material in it, with a little sand mixed in (play sand from Home Depot can be substituted).

To prepare an Iris bed for planting, loosen the soil in the designated area, mixing in organic material or a little sand as needed. Make small mounds approximtely 12 -20 inches apart where your Irises will be planted, and set the bare root Iris plants on these mounds. Irises are planted just at the soil level, with the rhizome root system showing. Leave the rhizome exposed, and above the soil, but separate the small root system on either sides of the mounds you have just placed the Irises on.  Lightly cover the root system, and water.

Irises will spread by themselves through rhizome growth, and will fill in your garden within a few years, providing you with extra plants that can be divided and used elsewhere, or given to neighbors. It’s up to you whether you will want to plant only one color, or mix in several colors for interest.

Tips To Create This Look:

  • Make sure that you do not mulch Irises, doing so will inhibit the plants growth, and can kill the plant.  For a neat edged look mulch can be dusted around the perimeter of the bed to keep down weeds.
  • I recommend a tall variety of Iris for mailbox plantings, to add height to the bed, and to bring the blooms up to mailbox height.  Favorites of mine are varieties of tall Bearded Irises, who have double the bloom of other varieties of Iris, and look great from a distance!

Good luck with this bed idea, and let me know if you try it!  I’d love to hear from you!

About Amy

Comments

  1. Tracy-Lynne says:

    I have alot of iris’s in my yard. Alot of them are pure white and look “dirty” when they bloom. what type of iris’s are they and should I try and salvage them.

  2. admin says:

    Tracy-Lynne,

    My rule of thumb is if you aren’t happy with the way a plant looks, discard it, or pass it to a friend! Trying to plan a garden around ornamental plants you aren’t even impressed with can take some of the fun out of gardening. Since I’m not sure exactly what type of white Iris you have without a picture(and maybe not even then) I recommend this website to help you identify your white Iris http://www.argyleacres.com, since they have a resource that lets you look up varieties by color. You can also look at the National and International Iris society’s main page for more infomation, or help identifying your plant.

    If you would want to replace the Irises you have with another variety or color, the resources I mentioned above also can either send you new varieties, or suggest a website that will sell what you are looking for. Good luck with your Iris dilemma, and happy gardening!

  3. ciao!, thank you for the information, this post was really cool ! oooops! now it’s time to go back to my garden ! :)

  4. MeiYue says:

    Two problems I have that I request help on please. First, my iris leaves have brown spots on them, otherwise they look healthy. What causes this? Second, how do you keep grass & weeds out of your iris beds without mulch? Can you use small stones like pea gravel? My beds are overrun with weeds & grass and we weed them every week. It is getting to be too much work. Thank you for your time.

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