Bare rooted - Iris foetidissima - $8
Iris foetidissima is one of only two iris species native to Britain, The poor plant must suffer from an identity crisis. When researching it, it was described as smelly and having boring flowers. I however, I love the fact that it is evergreen and is very tough. The botanical name refers to the fact that the crushed leaves are smelly which I have never noticed. The flowers are actually very nice. It is the perfect iris for a shady spot, particularly beneath trees, where other plants struggle. In autumn its large seedpods split open to reveal rows of orange-red seeds that remain well into winter.
How to Harvest Iris Flowers
Harvest your flowers early in the day. Choose buds that are just beginning to open rather than flowers that are fully open. These buds will open within a few hours with the rest of the buds on the stem opening over the next couple of days. Place your flowers in a bucket of tepid water until you are ready to create your arrangement. When you are ready to arrange the iris flowers, re-cut the stems about 2cm above the original cut at an angle under water. Remove spent flowers immediately. Take care as some irises colours will bled and can stain. Check the water level of your vase often and top up as required. Replace water and recut stems every second or third day. Place your vase in an area that is cool and away from direct sunlight and drafts.