The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Iris

Ahhhhhhh, the good, the bad and the ugly. Ugly places in our yards that are simply untouched by beauty and a shovel.

My absolute favorite part of gardening is creating something in the ugly.¬†Ugly spaces that become beautiful. Ugly spots that become gardens. Ugly moments that become peaceful. Ugly spaces secretly scream out “Plant some more Iris!” *if* you listen to your garden. The good, the bad, and the ugly…….

I have only one word for you.


My entire studio was once one big piece of ugly. In fact, even the owner told me nothing would grow in the sandy soil. (I just smiled to myself, knowing bulbs LOVE sandy soils.) When in doubt, just plant some Iris.

Iris, in particular, will kick any bad soil’s butt in a growing contest. Once, I actually left some Iris out of the ground for 6 months *in full Texas blazing hot sun* and the Iris survived. Now, granted…..the Iris weren’t thrilled, but they survived. The hardiness of the Iris is unmatched by other plants. The Iris stays green all year, and actually helps combat erosion.

Yesterday, I planted over 300 Iris in the ugliest parts of the studio yard. I had Tristan beside me, yanking Cow Pen Daisy debris as he talked on and on about Pokeman. We cleared the unsightly back part of the property and created a new Iris bed. I also put some Iris in front of  Martha Gonzales Antique Rose bush, to hold in the soil from run-off. The ducks had eaten the Iris I had originally planted, so it was nice to seem them in the garden again.

Have you ever noticed the placement of Iris in old homesteads? Around the house? Along the fenceline? By the old mailbox?

Old gardeners knew the hardiness of these super-hero bulbs. They knew the ugly spots in the yard could be made beautiful with a few heirloom Iris bulbs. What could be better than a flower that refuses to die, but instead strives to add beauty to the ugliest of places?

We all have a bit of ugly around us. It might even be in our neighbor’s yard, but ugly is still there. ……secretly wishing it could be a bed of Iris. I’ve actually offered free Iris to my neighbors before. Just to help out the ugly cause.

The good, the bad, the ugly….and the Iris.

Iris might not cure cancer, or it might not find you a new job…..but next time you look at that ugly part of your yard, and see a beautiful Iris smiling back at you, you will be hooked. Don’t forget to drop me an email if there is and Iris you’d like to have.


Happy Gardening, my friends!