The Modern Southern Garden: Bearded Iris

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The Profile

Bearded Iris

The modern southern garden should include a variety of lovely Irises. Bearded Iris may be identified by a bushy portion located on the lower petals of flowers. There are six types of these lovely specimens organized according to when they bloom during the season. To better understand bearded irises, it’s good to know the typical composition of the blossoms in general. The flowers grow on stems via bracts or extensions, if you will, that form up the stalk as it grows. Many bracts may be found on one stem & once the flowers then begin to open, they stagger until all of them have bloomed. The top portion of iris petals are known as standard & once open, the tiny petals on the interior are known as crest while the bottom petals are referred to as fall. The fall is where the beard is located. Just below the soil surface, iris rhizomes spread horizontally. It’s important when planting them, they are not buried too deep. Expect the need to divide irises every 3 to 5 years if blooms begin to become sparse. Learn how to use these beautiful specimens when social occasions are in order.  

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How To Navigate Bearded Iris

Beautiful flower arrangements should change with the seasons so begin by choosing items currently in bloom. Savvy southerners know to have distinctive garden varieties planted around their outdoor space that can be used for a number of occasions. Creating arrangements from these flower picks are designed to be effortless & fast to prepare since entertaining involves many fine details as the event draws closer. Bearded Iris offer bountiful beauty. Several blooms make an elegant impact to entertaining spaces.

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The Technique

 The six classifications of bearded iris include: miniature dwarf bearded, standard dwarf bearded, intermediate bearded, border bearded, miniature tall bearded & tall bearded. Bearded irises are a relatively low maintenance spring blooming favorite among southerners as they may be relied on season after season. They make wonderful specimens to share with friends as the rhizomes do need to be thinned & divided when clumps get too thick. In general, irises thrive in well-drained locations with a good amount of sunlight. Many yellow bearded iris varieties include ‘chickee’, ‘Carolina gold’, ‘bold look’, Amarillo frills’ & ‘abbondanza’.

Bearded irises make lovely yard arrangements. Their blooms are quite large so choose vases to match their scale. Add complimentary garden greenery mainstays such as hosta or fern varieties to add beautiful impact. Because of their size, consider placing the crafted elements in highly visible locations throughout your home when entertaining. Several smaller bouquets look striking down the center of dining tables or use one larger centerpiece to greet guests in entryways. 

The Tune
“Pennies From Heaven” Billie Holiday 

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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