There are always surprises for visitors to the park's gardens. Sometimes the surprise is a garden that is in full bloom after a slow start in the spring, a doe and her new-born fawn, a hawk perched in the tree with its mate scanning the open lawn below for their morning meal or a newly installed garden in what was once a blank pallet of soil nestled within the boundary of the taxus. For me, it was the discovery that there are late summer and fall blooming iris. Who knew?
How is it that I can be gardening for over 15 years and not know about this fall delight? Gardening always has something new to teach me; about the land, its plants and life. But, fall blooming iris? At first I thought the yellow iris blooming in the rock garden was a fluke but the discovery of a second iris in bloom in a nearby garden erased all doubt in my mind; the fall blooming iris is real!
After a quick review of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens' website I learned that remontant, or re-blooming iris, are primarily hybrids within the bearded iris group. There are hundreds of new varieties of re-blooming iris with blooms cycles that range from early spring to summer to all garden season long; depending on the plant and in some cases the summer (temps and water). If you are a purest, naturally late-blooming iris are also available within the bearded, Siberian, beardless southern flags and Bulbous iris.