Georgia Irises To Invade Yankee Bed

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 12, 2012

There will soon be a Georgia invasion in my iris bed. Confederate cousins are coming to stay with my Yankee irises. War of the Roots.
Scenes from “Gone With The Wind” have been playing in my mind.
As it turns out, yet again, I’ve been doing everything wrong in agriculture.
Atlanta native Beth Brown, now of Turkeyfoot, read of my struggles with irises and has come to my aid, bringing with her some genuine Georgia iris tubers handed down from her mother.
When Beth married Davie County boy Pat Brown, she literally brought her Georgia roots with her — her flowers. She transplanted a garden of irises, forsythia, hosta, mock orange and more.
“I brought half of my yard so I would still feel at home up here.”
The flowers have prospered.
Now that the iris show is over for the summer, she dug up some tubers of her mother’s beautiful deep purple variety — so dark they look black — and brought them to the old editor.
Iris lovers share their roots.
“Plant them on the west side of your house,” she told me. “Rake some dirt over them; don’t plant them deep. Then leave them alone. Don’t fuss over them.”
But there’s a concrete driveway on my west side, I protested.
“Then put them on the south side.”
There’s a problem there, too. Septic tank.
“How ‘bout I put them on my eastern neighbor’s west side?” I asked.
She must have been thinking the old editor had slipped a directional cog by then.
My iris bed is on the north side of the house — north by northwest. Yankee irises. Minnesotans, technically. Maybe that’s the reason they bloom so late and usually do so poorly. It’s too cold where I’ve planted them. Too near the Canadian tundra.
That may be why I’ve never won Yard of the Month …