March 19, 2014
How to get free iris plants, by helping a neighbor
So, while I have purchased iris bulbs (actually rhizomes) occasionally, the ones that I like best are the ones that have come from a neighbor's yard. And that's because, in addition to seeing beautiful blooms here, I know that my neighbor is seeing them, too. And the only cost is *sweat equity*.
The first time I did this was back in the '90s for my next-door neighbor. She was an elderly widow, and for some reason trusted me to dig up all of her iris plants and subdivide. Of course, the payment to me when I do this is a lot of free bulbs. I've since done this for a lot of people, but some people just look at me suspiciously. You want to do what?
The neighbor who supplied the bulbs for the plant in the photo knew exactly what I was doing. Her iris bed, although still blooming nicely, had become so badly congested it took me two days and I filled up two 5-gallon barrels with bulbs. I planted this one in August, and just found out a few days ago the color of the blooms. There are more planted around The Tropical Paradise, and one is a beautiful yellow, so I am anxious to see them.
No, I don't recommend letting strangers dig around in your garden beds. But if you know someone like me, who grows iris's, then don't be surprised if they will be happy to get all dirty digging around. It's a real win-win situation.
Posted by Brad Hall