Many years ago, when there were no garden paths or gardens of any kind surrounding my home, a friend gave me some walking iris plants to place beneath the oaks.
The lovely neomarica longifolia puts up a many bloomed spike of yellow flowers while neomarica gracilis bears single white blooms with a blue center. Over the years these plants have multiplied and been placed in many spots at My Garden Path. They have become hopelessly mixed together yellow and blue. Until they bloom each spring through summer I have no idea which is which. Many have been given to fellow gardeners but usually without knowing which color was being given.
There are still plenty of each color both in the front and back gardens. Each bloom only lasts one day, but there are constant replacements opening throughout the spring and summer seasons. When not blooming, the long slender spearlike foliage is still quite beautiful on its own. These lovely leaves are cold hardy and only had a few burned tips after this past winter's cold temperatures.
Last spring a new walking iris caught my eye. Neomarica caerulea 'Regina' has very large deep purple blooms with just a touch of yellow in the center. The long slender leaves are much darker green than the other walking iris in the garden so she really stands out from the crowd. I have also put this plant in an area all her own.
Another deep purple bloom is produced by the native blue flag iris, Iris virginica. The one clump purchased last year has become three.
I'm hoping these will multiply and bloom profusely filling up the space in the bog. This plant is not a "walker" but is a clumper and I have read that it can be spread by seed. The beautiful blooms last several days.
Another plant that goes by the name of iris is the African Iris, dietes iridioides, also known commonly as Fortnight Lily. These lovely white blooms with purple and yellow centers are suspended seemingly in mid-air and remind me of butterflies floating on the breeze when viewed from a distance. This plant's blooms don't seem to last more than a day or two but a flush of blooms is produced at one time and then a rest period of a "fortnight" occurs before another flush of blooms.
All of these plants with the common name of iris grow, multiply and bloom well here in dappled shade under the oaks. They have become a mainstay of my gardens and I love the way the blooms and slender leaves bend and sway with the wind.