Worms and Flowers

Looking Forward to Irises

Posted in Flowers, Public Gardens by Lzyjo on April 24, 2009

Irises are one of my favorite spring flowers. Despite their short bloom time, their many colors, shapes and artistic form make from a delight. Perhaps viewing the iris gardens at New York’s Bronx Botanical Gardens, as a child, made me have a deeper appreciation for the iris. I can still remember, with photographic exactness, a bright egg yolk-orange iris with tremendous ruffled edges and behind that a luscious velvety deep dark purple bloom and around those many others of equal beauty.


Here in my Tennessee garden the irises are covered with buds and the first flower popped open this morning.


Iris gardens, often operated by private homeowners, are an amazing spectacle at peak bloom time.


If you happen to live near Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ I recommend you check out Gray’s Iris Garden, one of the best-kept secrets in the area.

Gray’s Garden is located at 140 Upper Saddle River Road, Montvale, NJ 07645 (just across the border with NY State).  Upper Saddle River Rd is right off of Chestnut Ridge Rd, with easy access to many highways. It is in a very nondescript location. One could drive pass the road everyday and not notice it.  The road is a very quiet no outlet and there is plenty of parking on both sides of the street.  On a fine afternoon at peak season, May 27 – June 10,  you will find many visitors quietly wandering and numerous artists set up in the gardens. I true delight. I highly recommend it to any residents or visitors to the Tri-State Area. Even sulky teenagers, like I once was, will appreciate the special beauty this garden holds.

For more information on Iris Gardens check these links:

Nationwide Network of Iris Display Gardens sponsored by the Median Iris Society

Gray’s Iris Garden Directions and Information

Gray’s Garden Photos and Visitor Information

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8 Responses

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  1. ourfriendben said, on April 24, 2009 at 10:28 AM

    I love irises, too, lzyjo, and yours are real beauties! Irises were one of the few flowers my mama allowed in our Colonial home’s landscape (along with peonies and a few daylilies and roses), so both my brother and I try to tuck them in our landscapes wherever we can, especially the old-time cultivars. I love pretty much all irises except japanese iris, and try to have a good representation od Siberians and etc. here, too. Thanks for the tip about Gray’s Iris Garden! I’ll have to MapQuest it and see how far it is from here!

  2. Lzyjo said, on April 24, 2009 at 4:17 PM

    I think everyone has a place in their heart for the classics at least I do. If you do some research online you could probably find something in Pennsylvania, maybe even in your area. Botanical Gardens usually have iris display gardens. There may even be photos online so you know what to look forward to, or not.

  3. Gail said, on April 25, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    Izyjo…Nice photos…I love the intricate lines on the iris bud and took several photos myself…Those are the charming details that we often forget to appreciate! A sweet iris. Does the title mean we will get to see more? gail

  4. Lzyjo said, on April 26, 2009 at 7:25 AM

    Hi Gail, I love those lines too! My favorite part of the iris! The photos don’t do it justice, the light purple was very difficult to capture. Yes, there should be more. My Siberian iris is just putting out its leaves, it seems a little late, but my fingers are crossed. Have a lovely weekend.

  5. Jen said, on April 26, 2009 at 7:10 PM

    Ok, that place is only about 20 minutes from here! I’ll have to check it out – maybe even during that peak week and post some pictures. Now that I finally have a sunny patch in my yard, maybe I’ll try some iris, too. Your blooms are just beautiful but that first photo is my favorite.

  6. gururajr said, on April 27, 2009 at 12:07 AM

    Lovely irises! Can they be easily propagated? Never grown them yet.

  7. Lzyjo said, on April 27, 2009 at 7:31 AM

    Hi Jen, I thought of you when writing the post. My irises are in partial/mostly shade and they do fine, it seems like the might be a litter later than others I see when driving around. I love the bud too, the colors is so much more concentrated. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Lzyjo said, on April 27, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    Hi Gururaj, Yes, they are very easy! You can buy plants from the nursery, or rhizomes from specialty mail order catalogs. There are a TON of cultivars and species irises. Siberian, Japanese, and bearded irises, are broad categories that include many of the most popular cultivars. They spread easily by growing more rhizomes, every few years 3-5 they need to be divided, so if you know someone who grows irises they could surely give you some. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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