Saturday, February 17, 2018

"Cherry Garden" - Portrait of an Iris

Iris pumila "Cherry garden" is a dwarf bearded iris.

I thought I would write a plant portrait of "Cherry Garden" because what I find in various references simply does not do it justice.

These references all neglect to mention what is most characteristic of it.

"Cherry Garden" a dwarf iris

I have had "Cherry Garden" iris for quite a few years, but having got it in a plant exchange, I did not know its name.

In 2016,  I mentioned this purple iris in a post and two readers, Linda B. and Angie, identified it as "Cherry Garden".

It is one of the major advantages of having a gardening blog that you learn a lot from other gardeners.

Close-up of "Cherry Garden"

It is not a modern variety. It was introduced in 1966.

It is not that dwarf either at 30 to 45 cm.

As for hardiness, depending on which reference you use, it runs the gamut from zone 3 to zone 7. My own experience is that zone 3 is not far from  the truth.

It is described as a mid-season bloomer. At Roche Fleurie all dwarf irises bloom at roughly the same time at the end of May.
Iris pumila
"Cherry Garden" is actually purple, not as red as it seems in this picture. As for the shorter white iris with a blue beard  in front, it is another of my "no name" irises - if you do know its name, please let me know

So what is most characteristic about it?

At Roche Fleurie, "Cherry Garden" is much more prolific than any other irises .

If you plant two tubers, you are likely to have six the next year.  This might be a blessing or a curse, depending on whether you need a lot of irises or whether you want the clump to stay the same size - although removing extra tubers is not a serious problem and it needs to be done only once a year.

Some northern European gardeners say it is not particularly prolific in their gardens, but I believe this is due to their climate.

Not only is it prolific, but it is also a generous bloomer.

Among the various irises in the garden, several varieties, especially old-fashioned ones, resent being transplanted and might take up to four years to bloom after being divided.

"Cherry Garden" blooms profusely the very next year after you divided it.

Iris pumila  "Cherry Garden"


  1. Funny how plants can be so varied even within the same group.
    When I started buying a few iris here and there I was surprised when they didn't all take off and grow care-free. I guess I should have known that the old ones which I had found along roadsides and in abandoned lots would be tough acts to follow.

  2. Hello Alain . I have never seen this iris before and I am very taken with it ! .. the colour is beautiful and i like the fact that it is a smaller variety .. I would love to have one, so I will keep an eye out for them .. it was another gardener that you got it from ? .. did they say where they originally got it from ?
    Your pictures are beautiful : ) you have made me love this iris!
    Joy : )

  3. That is a beauty! In addition to its beautiful color, I like the fact that it blooms and divides prolifically and quickly. I've divided Irises and found, too, that most often they take a couple of years to bloom after division. Thanks for sharing info about this beautiful plant!

  4. That is a lovely Iris. For some reason I have really neglected to plant many Irises. I did try Iris tectorum but it did not last for me.

  5. Hello Alain, I'm not usually a fan of the bearded irises with their fat leaves and frilly flowers, but this free-flowering dwarf variety seems to have some character. I like the flower colour and the contrast with the light green leaves.

  6. Last year when I did the rocky garden, Alain I had looked for any dwarf iris and couldn't find it. Now I decided to buy your variety "Cherry Garden" for my rocky garden as well. I hope it's enough hardy for my 5a zone.
    Thank you.

  7. Very cute! I could easily find a spot for that in my new garden.

  8. I love a colorful iris! We have many of them at OC Tree Services


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