This past week I took a few extra days off of work to try to knock out a few things around the house. One was a lofty goal, removing all of the irises that had taken over my garden.
This picture is from last year, but it gives you an idea of how huge the task was. This is only half of the side bed that was packed full of iris. By this year they had multiplied greatly and were horribly intertwined into everything else in the garden. Some of the roots where the size of small sweet potatoes!
After two full days of pulling and digging, I ended up with two full trash cans and a wheel barrow full of plants removed. Mind you I left a bunch because I felt I should since they had been growing on our property for probably more than 30 years. At one time I really would have felt bad about trashing this many plants, but at this point they have become so overgrown and invasive, I really didn't mind anymore.
I had terraced off the side bed a couple of years ago with some really old bricks that piled up in our garage. The bed is really wide so I wanted to keep a path through the center. The iris were all originally in the space between the house and the bricks but had began to spread beyond that. Now with it all de-irised, I have move a lot of my taller plants like coreopsis, coneflowers and shasta daisies to the space between the bricks and the house. They are all looking pretty rough after the move but I anticipate they will perk up soon, at least I hope so!
Next up I need to continue moving a couple of things between the brick and the sidewalk. I want to focus on low growing things in the front portion and keep taller plants to the rear. I have a peony to move still that has probably been in that spot for 30+ years. I suspect it will be a big job so I saved it for another day.
One really nice perk to removing all of the iris was that I discovered that hidden in them and being totally lost was some really lovely daylillies that I had completely forgotten I had. I am really looking forward to seeing them fill out and thrive now that they have a little space.