Old House Gardens
From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs

Order NOW for delivery in APRIL 2015.


ENDURING PERENNIALS — Tough, beautiful, and diverse, heirloom iris thrive without care in old gardens and graveyards across America.

TO BLOOM THIS YEAR — Though iris are usually sold bare-root in summer and don’t bloom till the next, we ship freshly dug plants in April that, with good care and a bit of luck, may well bloom their first summer.

HISTORY & TIPS — Grown here since colonial days, iris became one of the “it” flowers of the Arts and Crafts era. They like full sun and well-drained soil. Learn more here.

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IMMORTAL IRIS        Sampler
Icons of the late-spring/early-summer garden, bearded iris are easy to grow and richly diverse. Give them full sun and average to well-drained soil and they’ll reward you for close to forever. We’ll send you 3 of our favorite heirlooms (a few possibilities are pictured here), all different, labeled, freshly dug from our Ann Arbor micro-farms, and great for zones 4a-8a(9aWC).

For 2, 3, or more of each, order additional samplers.

COS33Add to basket:1/$232/$443/$634/$815/$99
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL        New & Sampler
We’re big fans of smaller iris. They’re graceful, charming, and — at about two feet tall — combine beautifully with other perennials near the front of a sunny border. We’ll send you 3 of our favorites (a few possibilities are pictured here), all different, labeled, freshly dug from our Ann Arbor micro-farms, and great for zones 3a-8a(10aWC).

For 2, 3, or more of each, order additional samplers.

COS37Add to basket:1/$232/$443/$634/$815/$99
BLUE RHYTHM, 1945
Born in Mapleton, Iowa, this handsome farmboy went on to win the iris world’s highest honors, including the Dykes Medal in 1950. A silvery blue-purple that’s usually described as “cornflower,” it looks especially good with silver-leaved perennials such as lavender and Russian sage. And it’s deliciously lemon scented! 38-40”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR04Add to basket:1/$93/$24.505/$3910/$7225/$162
CAPRICE, 1898
“‘I smell ripe grapes!’ cried a freckle-faced boy” in Ella McKinney’s 1927 Iris in the Little Garden — but it was actually this richly fragrant iris he smelled. It’s richly colored, too, a pure, deep, glowing rose that drew me like a beacon when I first saw it at our local Farmers Market many years ago. Just 24-26 inches tall, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Chart to compare.
IR18Add to basket:1/$93/$24.505/$3910/$7225/$162
COLONEL CANDELOT, 1907        New
With velvety falls of deep oxblood to burgundy, this small-flowered French iris was the “reddest” of its era, and it’s still impressive today. Strong-growing and floriferous with a light fragrance that’s been compared to honey locust, it’s an iris that, as Lee Bonnewitz wrote in his 1926 catalog, “I believe all American iris lovers will be glad to own.” 30-32”, zones 3-8a(10bWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR35Add to basket:1/$103/$27.505/$4310/$80Limit 10, please.
CORONATION, 1927        New
“Truly an iris classic,” says expert Mike Unser of this deep yellow, “very hardy and prolific” iris that blooms abundantly in older neighborhoods throughout the country, even with total neglect. Its color is much richer than pastel ‘Flavescens’ and — although far from the glaring intensity of modern yellows — it shines like a beacon in the garden. 36-40”, zones 3-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Chart to compare.
IR37Add to basket:1/$8.503/$23.505/$36.5010/$6825/$153
FLAVESCENS, 1813
Lauren Springer in Passionate Gardening tells of collecting a bit of this incredibly tough, moonlight yellow iris from “two shimmering clumps” at an abandoned homesite in Wyoming, way out in the middle of nowhere. “Perhaps someday,” she muses, “it will be all that remains of my house and garden.” (See a triumphant swath of it gone wild in Kansas.) Lemon fragrance, 30”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR06Add to basket:1/$73/$195/$3010/$5625/$126
FLORENTINA, 1500
If I could grow only one iris, this might be it. Its color is a pale, luminous pewter — unique and ravishing. Its falls are long, like the ears of a basset hound. Its blooms kick off iris season. And its history is deep. Although modern scholars say it’s not the I. florentina or “white iris” of ancient times — now I. albicans — since at least the 1500s its rhizomes have been dried and sold as orris-root, a prized ingredient in herbal medicines and perfumery. Learn more here. Zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from Ann Arbor. Chart to compare.
IR10Add to basket:1/$8.503/$23.505/$36.5010/$6825/$153
FRANCHEVILLE, 1927        New
By Ferdinand Cayeux, perhaps the greatest iris breeder of all time, this big, stately iris features pale, rippled standards of lilac and fawn over falls of deep, velvety maroon shading to violet. Our stock of this rarity is very limited, and it will be years before we can offer it again, so get it while you can! 38-46”, zones 3a-8a(10aWC), from our Ann Arbor micro-farms. Chart to compare.
IR36Add to basket:1/$103/$27.505/$4310/$80Limit 10, please.
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