What Is A Companion Plant For An Iridaceae Flower?
Companion plants are often used to create a harmonious environment in your garden. They add interest and beauty to the landscape. There are many different types of companion plants for flowers, but they all have one thing in common – they provide food or energy for other plants. You may think that these plants will only feed on certain kinds of flowers, but it’s not always true! Many species of flowering plants do feed on each other.
For example, some hostas (a genus of sedges) will eat dandelions, while others like the leaves of wildflowers. Some perennials like to grow near perennial rhododendrons and will even produce seeds from them. These are just a few examples! The point is that there are many different types of plants which benefit from being around each other.
Some plants need specific conditions to thrive. Others will tolerate any type of soil. And still others will thrive in almost any kind of climate. If you’re looking for a new companion plant for your garden, then look no further than the iris family!
Here are a few of the best companion plants for iris family flowers:
Trees: red maples (Acer rubrum), birches (Betula spp.)
Shrubs: lindens (Tilia spp.), currants (Ribes spp.)
Flowers and Herbs: Astilbe, lupine, lavender (Lavandula spp.), peonies (Paeonia spp.
These are just a few ideas for companion plants you can try in your garden. If you want to learn more, then start by searching the Internet or checking out a local gardening center!
How To Lay Out The Pattern For Your Iris Bed
As with most other things in life, design is important when laying out an iris bed. The pattern you use will be reflected in the landscape for all to see. You will want it to be pleasing to the eye and you may even want to incorporate it with other elements in the yard. It is important that you start off right so you don’t have to tear everything up and start again.
Of course at the beginning, you won’t know exactly how everything is going to look when it is finally done. This is where your design comes into play. You will need to decide on what pattern you would like to use. Here are a few tips to help you with that.
The Straight Line – This is perhaps the easiest pattern to lay out. All you need to do is mark off where you want the path to be then start planting. The downfall to this type of layout is that it can easily get boring because it is all just one flat line. You can offset this problem by varying the sizes of your flowers and foliage.
The Hourglass – This is a very popular layout because it not only looks nice, but it also provides plenty of space in the middle for sitting and enjoying the flowers. To lay this out, all you need to do is once again mark off a straight line then dig holes for your smallest plants on both ends. Then dig another row of holes further in between the two ends. Finally, fill in the holes on both sides leaving the holes in the middle empty. After the plants grow you will have a nice hourglass shape in the center.
The Maze – Now here is a pattern that not many people have the patience to lay out in their yards, but it provides great entertainment for the entire family. All you need to do is lightly draw a pencil line on the ground to where you want your path to be then start planting your smaller plants. Keep planting more and more flowers until you have a full grown maze.
There are literally hundreds of other patterns that you can use, these are just a few of the easier ones that work well.
You will also need to decide on what kind of look you want to go for in your yard.
Will it be formal or informal, modern or traditional, sunny or shady?
All of this should be taken into consideration before you start buying plants and laying out beds.
Once you have a good idea of what you want to do, then it is time to prepare the ground. This is probably the most important step in the process so don’t rush it.
How To Prepare The Ground
Before you can start laying out beds and planting anything in the ground, it must be prepared properly or it will never look good no matter how much time or money you put into it.
The first thing you will want to do is draw out what you want your beds to look like on paper then take a piece of string and tie it between two sticks to lay out the path. This will keep the beds all even and the edges straight.
Digging the Beds – Once you have everything laid out, its time to dig. Depending on how much ground you need to dig up, you can use a shovel or a tractor with a digging attachment. We are doing the whole backyard so we are using the tractor.
Planting The Beds – After the beds have been dug, they need to be refilled and raked smooth before you can plant anything in them. At this point it might be a good idea to go back and re-think your design because once the soil is in, it is pretty hard to move.
Add Compost Or Other Soil Amendments – Before you add the soil to the beds, it would be a good idea to have some compost or other soil amendments ready to be mixed in. This will help to add nutrients and act as a buffer between the roots and hard soil or rocks that may be buried underneath. You can obtain compost from your local nursery or get it free from local farms or landscapers. A good rule of thumb is that if you are getting it from a local farm, it should not smell bad and never get it from a meat factory as it could contain harmful bacteria.
Starting Plants From Seed – Now that your beds have been prepared, you can start planting. If you plan on starting most of your plants from seed, I suggest you get started right away. It takes most plants a good month before they are big enough to transplant without dying.
Transplanting – Whether you purchased your plants or started them from seed, they will need to be transplanted at least once before they reach their permanent home. It is always best to transplant in the morning as this is when the soil is coolest and the plant has the most energy.
When you transplant, dig a hole about twice the size of the pot your plant is growing in. If the root system is cramped in the pot, it will dry out fast and die. If there is no room for the roots to grow in the pot, it will have a hard time taking up water which will kill it as well.
Add a sprinkle of grass seed or fertilizer before you back fill the hole. This will help to ensure that the plant has food available once it starts growing. Fill in the hole and lightly pack the soil. Water it well and then give it a good amount of time to soak it all in before getting sun on it again.
Caring For Your New Beds – After the first year your beds will be established enough that you can start adding other things to them. You can add mulch to the top surface to help retain moisture and keep weeds from growing as easily. Avoid using wood chips as they can attract termites and other pests.
As your flowers continue to grow and bloom, deadhead (remove spent blooms) to promote re-blooming and to keep the bed looking tidy.
The number one enemy to any plant is over watering and too much rain. It can cause rot and fungus to grow on your plants. Always remember to water the soil, not the foliage.
A Final Note – Be sure to enjoy your new flowers!
Your Brilliant Student
Your day starts at dawn with a knock on your door. Still half asleep you stumble over to it and grab your pistol from its place next to your bed before asking who it is. You get no answer, but the knocking continues. It is too early for any ordinary person to be up and about, which can only mean one thing. You sigh and put your weapon back before opening the door.
A young girl with long brown hair tied into a bun and brown eyes stands in from of your. Dressed in a yellow dress that is a couple sizes to big for her she smiles at you and gives a little curtsy. “Good morning Sir Kit,”
She waits there expectantly and after a moment it hits you. “Oh! Right, yes, good morning to you too Priscilla.” You look past her to the hallway outside your door. It is empty, but you know it won’t be for long.
She gives another little curtsy as she passes you and walks into your room. You watch the hallway for a few moments looking for any sign of the guards who are surely already on their way before closing the door and locking it.
Your room itself is quite barren. A small bed, a nightstand, a chest of drawers, and a chair are all you have to make this place yours. You sit down on the chair as Priscilla examines everything, even inspecting the seams of your mattress to see what is inside it. You sit there for a moment before speaking again.
So… Priscilla what brings you here?”
She looks at you and smiles again as she takes a seat on the bed. “I have come to give you your daily lessons.”
You blink in surprise, you were not expecting her to say that. After all the priest said she was to be your servant and do all your mundane tasks. “
“Yes, Father Tomas said that you wish to become a priest and have asked me to teach you, so I have.” She says this as if it is the most obvious thing in the world.
It takes you a moment for process this before remembering that the church does run a school. They have always been a more scholarly lot, but they do not normally instruct anyone outside of their own. Something about prayer and meditation. You can’t remember exactly.
But… why me?”
She laughs a bit at your question. “Because the Lord works in mysterious way and he has seen fit that you should be taught.” Crossing her arms she adds, “Though I am not to question the Lord’s ways.”
Great, so far this Lord of hers sounds like a real nice guy. You were raised by monks as a child before they kicked you out for being a “bad influence” on the rest of the students. They made quite the effort to instill their beliefs into you and it was one of the things that stuck. Religion of any kind makes you uneasy, and this Lord of hers sounds more like a god than the one back home.
Still, this may be your best chance at getting out of here so you may as well play along. “
Alright, so what are we going to be studying first?”
“Magic of course!” She sounds excited at the prospect and you are suddenly less sure of yourself.
You ask uncertainly.
She stands up and walks over to stand in front of you before placing her hand on your head. “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.” She says reassuringly.
You feel a surge of power coming from her as she closes her eyes. A moment later she pulls her hand back and steps back.
“There, now you know some basic magic, or at least the essentials. We can start practicing it tomorrow during our lesson. But for now you should get some rest, you look like you are about to pass out.”
You feel suddenly very tired and have a hard time keeping your eyes open. It has been a long night of surprises for you. “Alright, I will see you tomorrow then.”
She nods at your response and heads towards the door. Before she leaves she turns to give you one last warning. “But remember, if anyone other than me comes in here, you must not reveal that you can do magic or that you are under my spell. If anyone were to find out it could lead to serious consequences for us both.”
You nod to let her know you understand before she finally leaves the room. You are left all alone in your bed with more questions than you had when you woke up this morning. You really wish you hadn’t agreed to be kidnapped right now, but its done now and you can only hope things will start looking up from here.
You lapse into unconsciousness while pondering all the recent events.
The next day you wake up to find a tray of food has been left for you on a table nearby. You are a little hungry so you eat it. The food isn’t anything special, but it’ll keep you alive. You spend most of the day sleeping and eating as you build up your strength. You are pretty sure the girl, Rika, comes in at one point to drop off the food, but she never says anything to you so you don’t either.
You don’t see her on the third day though. You try to get out of bed to explore, but you are still very weak and find yourself nearly passing out just walking a few feet. It doesn’t matter though since your door is locked anyway. Apparently Rika needs the keys to let you out; which she does not come back to do.
On the fourth day you finally start to feel stronger and try to use some of the magic that has been instilled in you. You have to concentrate hard, but you are able to make a few small objects float in the air around you. You spend nearly the whole day trying to hone your new powers.
On the fifth day, you hear some people enter your room, but you can’t see who it is since you are still blindfolded.
“Hello, I’ve brought you a change of clothes and something to read until Rika is ready for you.” A female voice says to you.
“I am ready now.” You confidently reply.
“Well, if you don’t mind, I would prefer to have Rika do it since she has been working hard to set all this up.” The woman says.
“Then go get Rika, I am not going to undress in front of a stranger.” You say firmly, but politely.
You hear the woman sigh before she speaks again. “Very well…”
There is a short period of silence followed by the sound of foot steps and the closing of your door. You take off your blindfold and look around. You are definitely not in your room anymore; you are in some sort of dressing room just off the main entrance hall. You look at the clothes that have been laid out for you and shake your head. There is a pair of loose pants, a long overcoat, and a long sleeve shirt.
The pants are red, the overcoat blue, and the shirt black. You can’t believe Rika would want you to wear such stereotypical ‘magical’ clothing.
You get dressed and head out only to find that evening has fallen. You must have slept longer than you thought. You didn’t think that was possible with all the energy you have been expending since your kidnapping. You exit the building and find that it is a mansion. You didn’t expect that either.
You decide that you no longer care; you just want to explore your newfound freedom.
You walk down the path away from the mansion and take in the sights and sounds of the night. The crickets are chirping, the grass is cool and soft beneath your feet, and the moon is bright above you. It is so peaceful out here, unlike the city you got sucked into that never sleeps.
You walk down the path until it forks. The road ahead is dark and you can’t see where it leads, but there is a house off to the side and the lights are on so you head towards it.
You knock on the door and wait, but nobody comes out to greet you… or attack you for that matter. You try the door and find that it is unlocked, so you go in.
you call out.
Your calls are answered by silence. You search the house top to bottom, but find nobody home. Though it looks like somebody has been living here not too long ago. Maybe they just stepped out, or maybe they were abducted as well and you just missed them at Rika’s mansion. That last thought makes you shudder, but you decide to wait since there isn’t anywhere else to go right now.
You end up waiting the whole night and well into the next day, but no one comes back. You are about ready to leave when you hear someone approaching.
“I can’t believe that I am finally free of that place…” a voice says just outside.
You sigh in relief upon hearing this familiar voice. You head to the front door and see Talia walking up the path towards the house.
“Took you long enough.” You say as the two of you embrace.
“You can blame Rika for that. She refused to let me go until I promised to go back home with you and serve Dendrin.” Talia says.
“Yeah, apparently she had her mind warped by that shadow that was with her. I swear that thing was like a puppet master pulling strings. It was gone by the time I woke up, but it had already done a number on Rika. It claimed that Dendrin no longer wanted Roldan and the rest dead for betraying him, but instead wanted them to serve him in the afterlife or something. It took me forever to explain that there is no such thing and that if he really did forgive them then he would want them to enjoy the afterlife… well… whatever it is that doesn’t include serving a god.
I mean if he didn’t want them to serve him then why did he have them killed in the first place?
Anyways, once I explained it like that to Rika she eventually saw the logic in it and let us go.”
You nod at her story. You can’t imagine what it was like for Talia dealing with that shadow, but you are just glad that the both of you are away from there.
So what now?”
“We head back to Gloom where I report what happened.” You say.
“And then… we wait and see what happens I guess.”
Talia nods at your answer and the pair of you leave the house, locking the door behind you. The pair of you begin the walk back to Gloom, holding hands the whole way. You can’t help but think though that this is just the calm before the storm.
Sources & references used in this article:
Herbaceous companion plants for Iris in Cluj county by I Crișan, R Vidican, O Borsai, A Stoie… – ProEnvironment …, 2017 – journals.usamvcluj.ro
Taxonomy of wild tomatoes and their relatives (Solanum sect. Lycopersicoides, sect. Juglandifolia, sect. Lycopersicon; Solanaceae). by IE Peralta, DM Spooner, S Knapp – Systematic botany monographs, 2008 – cabdirect.org
Changed host plant volatile emissions induced by chemical interaction between unattacked plants reduce aphid plant acceptance with intermorph variation by I Dahlin, A Vucetic, V Ninkovic – Journal of Pest Science, 2015 – Springer
Biological control of weeds: a handbook for practitioners and students. by KLS Harley, IW Forno – 1992 – cabdirect.org
Restoring monarch butterfly habitat in the Midwestern US:’all hands on deck’ by LF Randolph – 1959 – American Iris Society
A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts by WE Thogmartin, L López-Hoffman… – Environmental …, 2017 – iopscience.iop.org
Volatile exchange between undamaged plants-a new mechanism affecting insect orientation in intercropping by K Norris – 2012 – books.google.com
Morphological characterization and relationships of wild tomatoes (Solanum L. Sect. Lycopersicon) by V Ninkovic, I Dahlin, A Vucetic, O Petrovic-Obradovic… – PLoS …, 2013 – journals.plos.org