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Dwarf Irises

Tall Bearded irises are gorgeous, but equally as beautiful and a less well known are Standard Dwarf Bearded irises, a title abbreviated to ‘SDB’. These short irises grow to between 21 cm and 40 cm high and usually flower in May, although in southern counties, and warm springs, they can start to bloom in April. The flowers are smaller than those of Tall Bearded varieties; sitting just above a low, clump of sword-like, grey-green leaves.

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Lifting, Dividing and Planting Irises

We tend to divide our bearded irises in September. However, they can be divided at any time from six weeks after they have finished flowering.

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How To Grow Irises

Irises are beautiful, often flamboyant plants that are easy to grow given the right place. There are three types of irises; ones with beards, ones without beards and ones that grow from bulbs.

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Siberian irises

Sibirica, or siberian irises as they are commonly known produce slender leaves that form a very upright clump. Some varieties have thicker leaves that might arch out slightly, but generally, like all irises, the foliage is well behaved.

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Intermediate Bearded Irises

This group of delightful irises fills the flowering period and size gap between Dwarf Bearded and Tall Bearded irises.

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Foliage First

Think of plants with lovely leaves and most gardeners imagine trees, shrubs and fabulous autumn colour. Perennials are rarely considered yet many have beautiful leaves and this very important attribute should certainly be given some thought when choosing what to grow especially for winter colour.

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Growing plants in dry soils

Rain is not a problem here in the Welsh Marches, can’t stop the stuff from coming down. But this has not been the case with all the places I have gardened on or grown nursery stock.

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Foiling Rabbits

Rabbits might be cute and cuddly, but for gardeners who live close to a rabbit population the sight of just one of these small creatures anywhere near our precious patch can send us into fits of rage. These, as we all know, are rapid reproducers, which means there are lots of mouths to feed. Rabbits are fearless munchers, nibbling leaves, flower stems and digging around the base of plants to get at young tender roots.

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Late Flowering Perennials

As summer drifts into autumn the garden starts to put itself to sleep preparing for the seemingly endless winter months. In the meantime this process is slow enough to allow us to appreciate the autumn garden. By late October my borders have become a wonderful tapestry of colours

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Bearded Irises Explained

Bearded irises are the irises with large glamorous flowers that have a caterpillar of hairs on the falls (lower petals), and a large rhizome at the base of the leaves. All types of bearded irises have broad, sword-like, greyish green leaves

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