Visit to an Iris Nursery

 I love this old-rose pink colour.
Japanese irises by the Pond

A visit to an Iris Nursery with the local Garden club - what a wonderful way to spend a day off from the garden. The big bearded irises in my garden are just flowering... An iris nursery! Hee hee - I could buy some more.

I Like Irises

I like irises. I'm learning more each year about them. I'm trying hard to shift any of mine that are wrongly positioned, and I understand not to cover the rhizomes with mulch. So this visit was to be a great chance to learn more about the ones with big beards. We were to have a 'talk' by the owner - I would listen hard to the expert and take notes.

We arrived, and I slunk off immediately, unobtrusively you understand, to take photographs. Pictures of the irises snug in their nursery beds, name labels gleaming?

Pond First

Not on your life! I mooched and clicked my way around a couple of ponds - true New Zealand ponds, with Mallard ducks and mature cabbage trees (Cordylines). I did note that the edge plantings of Japanese and Louisiana irises were pretty, though.

 With Cordylines and ducks.
A New Zealand Pond

Oops. I was called back into line by a Garden Club official, and sat down for my Devonshire Tea. And why was I not wearing my name badge? Oops again. There is etiquette to be observed on Garden Club trips. I slurped my tea, munched my scone (no cream, thank you), and our hostess started her talk. So far, so good.


Then one of the Garden Club ladies asked a question, there was general distraction, and I saw my chance. Off I slithered round the corner, this time to check out the roses and perennials. And the irises, of course, planted in amongst all the prettiness. There were so many blues, so many apricots (a very fashionable shade) and some subtle maroons. Everything seemed to have enough space. How do gardeners do that?

 There are some big bearded blue irises in this picture.
Display Gardens

The next piece of Garden Club etiquette concerned the making of a purchase from the nursery shop. What was I going to buy? I should look through the catalogue, make ticks, and hope that my lovelies weren't already sold out. Oh, but I must buy something! Hmm...


All those big beards were just too confusing (and a tiny bit too expensive), so I grabbed a lemony yellow Louisiana iris for the side of my pond instead.

 That's 'Evening Suit' on the right.
Iris Flower Colours

Did I see the nearest-to-black iris ever bred? I might have, and it's name (in New Zealand, at least) just might be 'Evening Suit'. Unusual colours (like flowers exactly the same colour as stalks) I can take or leave - probably leave. And so many beautiful blues and ravishing purples with names sillier than racehorses'. For example, why call an iris 'Wench'? What self-respecting wench would wear purple and brown frills and sport a big beard?

 Such a variety of colours.
The Iris Beds

The Motukarara Iris Nursery and Display Gardens is a really beautiful place to visit. Here's a good tip from the owner. When planting, lay a brick on the (uncovered) rhizome to keep things stable. In four to six weeks the roots will do this job. See - I did listen!