Tuesday, May 10, 2016

TALL BEARDED IRISES and ITOH PEONIES -- Never-ending floral arrangement possibilities

After the tree peonies bloom, and before the herbaceous peonies bloom, another variety of peony, Itoh (e' toe) peonies, make their appearance in the garden. These stunning flowers combine the best of tree peonies and herbaceous ones, having magnificent big blooms, and an easy growth and care feature.  Pictured here is "Hawaiian Pink Coral" peony. Paired with it are Tall Bearded Iris 'Eagle's Flight," and three different purple globe alliums in various sizes. I like the coral pink color combined with the lavender of the alliums.

Alliums are best planted in the fall. They come in all sorts of shapes, colors and sizes, as you can see in the picture. They dry beautifully and add a nice interest in the fall garden.

The lupine is just starting to bloom, and it also comes in a myriad of colors and combination colors. An interesting thing about lupine is that they readily self sow, but are not true to the parent plant, so you don't know what you're getting until they bloom, They are easy to transplant when young seedlings, but have a 95% failure rate when transplanted when they're a young full plant or older plant. Lupine are great combination plants for tall bearded irises, peonies, and poppies. Their tall spikes withstand high winds and they do relatively well in both full sun and part shade.

When cutting for a floral arrangement, cut in the bud stage, Lupine start to bloom from the bottom up, so lower ones can be in bloom, but give the top a good measure of buds for long-lasting blooms in your arrangement. By the 2nd or 3rd day, the buds should be in bloom, as you can see by the photos below. I always use a floral preservative for maximum vase life.

Because peonies and irises come in so many colors, the composition of your arrangements can be endless!

Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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