Garden update – the irises are the main event

Sweet woodruff and lilies of the valley

Although Mark and I have been devoting nearly all of our gardening time to digging up the Chameleon Ivy, I spent a few hours the other day in the St. Francis garden. We had some monster weeds growing there and leaves to remove from the fall. In the very far shady corner of the bottom level of this garden we planted sweet woodruff and lilies of the valley last year. They seem to like their new location. Especially the sweet woodruff.

Lilies of the valley

I would like to thank the original owners of this property for the stone work they put in and around the gardens. I love the juxtaposition of stone with flowers.

Lilies of the valley

I have so many favorite flowers, but the lilies of the valley take a special place in my heart. They are so quietly unassuming, yet they carry a beautifully sweet fragrance. I think I may bring a couple of sprigs in for my desk.

Creeping phox

I couldn’t resist buying a couple of perennials for the gardens. I bought these two phox to replace some that we planted last year in the angel garden. I’m afraid those might have gone the way of the Chameleon Ivy.

Pincushion flowers

I also picked up three pincushion flowers. I hope they will attract butterflies. I enjoyed these at our last house. They require a bit of dead-heading, but that’s garden work I enjoy.

Garden ornaments

My little Vanna White shows off the new plantings.

Knockout roses

The knockout roses have just started with an early bloom or two. Although they are supposed to be completely care free, I don’t find that to be true. At our last house I had a few roses that I tried to spray, but I don’t care for that so much. I will probably just allow these to do what they have to do.

St. Francis garden

I’d also like to thank the original owners for having the foresight to create this garden space in view of the kitchen seating area. It’s nice to look out upon as we eat alone or share our meals.

St. Francis

When my son and daughter-in-law gave us this statue of St. Francis as a house-warming gift, I got the idea to name the gardens. St. Francis was known for his love of nature, and the birds and little animals that frequent our garden.

Iris in St. Francis garden

Of course, the irises are the main show in the gardens right now. And truthfully, are the main show period. These gardens are full of irises. They’ve just started to bloom, so we have a few weeks to enjoy their show.


I love this variety. I probably should look it up so I know its name. From a distance, they look pink.

Iris in woodland garden

These irises are planted at the top edge of the angel garden alongside the woodland garden.


Besides their beautiful flowers, I love the way the light plays along the stiff upright leaves of the iris plants.


I usually don’t cut the irises to bring them inside. They don’t last long and I prefer to enjoy them where they’re planted.

Dark purple iris

This is another nice variety of iris, for which I don’t know the name. We used to have a lot of the light lavender ones at our old houses, but irises come in all kinds of beautiful varieties. These dark purple ones make a particularly stunning show when they are all in bloom.


We have bunches of irises throughout the gardens. And although you can’t see them here, in the top wooded area, I planted some that I had divided last year. Some of them are blooming among the wildflowers this year. More on the wildflowers later.

Purple iris

When I have some free time, I’m going to look up the name of this variety.

Blooming creeping phlox

I can see this blooming creeping phlox from the window of the study where I sit and work on my computer. That garden ornament looks familiar. . .I’m beginning to wonder if he doesn’t thrive on being the center of attention.

Next up: the wildflowers, followed shortly after by the progress Mark and I have made on the chameleon ivy.

25 thoughts on “Garden update – the irises are the main event”

  1. Lovely, natural look to your garden. BTW- Lilies of the Valley are quite poisonous if consumed. Seems hard to believe since they are so dainty. Thought you should know for pet and kid safety. Thanks for this calming stroll through nature. Nice photos!!!

    1. I didn’t know that. I guess I’ll have to be careful with Arthur, although he is a picky eater and never touches his vegetables . . . 🙂

  2. Gosh, Christine, your garden is so gorgeous. And I love lilies of the valley. We had them in our yard when I was growing up in Pittsburgh. Looks like Arthur is enjoying the creeping phlox.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

  3. Your irises are so pretty. I really like the one you said looks pink from a distance. Your garden ornament looks a lot like Arthur! 🙂 The lilies of the valley ARE wonderful. Thanks for sharing your blossoms.

  4. Your garden looks beautiful! That white garden ornament (Arthur), is that one of a kind or where can I get one? 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by to see it. We can’t claim credit as most of it was here when we arrived 2-1/2 years ago. Although we have spent a lot of time and effort clearing things up that had been let go: honeysuckle plants and chameleon ivy, mostly.

  5. Your gardens are gorgeous, Christine . . . you could charge admission (like at the Selby Gardens) . . . and you could sell bags of food for people who want to feed the “lawn ornaments.” 😀

    1. When Mark put the grass in along about 3/4 of the garden, I started believing we’re going to make it. We still have a lot of work to do with the ivy.

  6. Your garden is lovely…well established. Your living garden ornament is especially sweet…I have two iris’ but only one has bloomed…I think it doesn’t get enough water. I have been thinking of moving it. Yours are lovely!

    1. Thanks, Jeanne. Sometimes irises stop blooming after a while, I think. Then you need to divide them and replant. (I think I’ve read that somewhere.) Also, I think some of them just don’t bloom. At least I’ve observed that to be true.

    1. I do too. If you put them in the right space, they usually do well. I don’t know how long these in front have been here. We didn’t plant them. Thanks for stopping by.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: