How to find the best Bearded Iris for your cutting garden

Perhaps more than any other flower, Bearded Iris have changed the way I look at nature. For my entire life, I thought of Bearded Iris as these sort of gaudy flowers in bright purple tones planted in municipal areas and gas station. They made me want to look away. Little did I know how breathtakingly beautiful these flowers could be. 

Bearded Iris are also an incredible cut flower. They have great staying power in a vase, and if you pick a stem with multiple blooms, the tight buds will slowly open as the older blooms begin to fade and shrivel.

And they start out in bright vibrant colours, but then they start to fade into the loveliest muted shades. Dreamy!

I've shifted my winter planning over the past couple of years so that most of my seeds and plants are ordered before Christmas, which leaves me free in the new year to study the Bearded Iris catalogues which usually come out between now and mid February. 

Many of the best varieties sell out early. So now's the time to oder. In the Northern Hemisphere, most Bearded Iris are shipped in the summer for early fall planting. 

Here are some of my favorites, some new ones that I'm adding to my garden this year, plus a few on my wishlist for future ordering. And below I've included a list of where to find the best varieties for your cutting garden. Some of the most beautiful (and most expensive - but hey, it's worth it) types come direct from those creating new hybrids each year. Keith Keppel, Barry Blyth and the Schreiner family have some incredible ones to choose from. 

Girl Gone Wild / Trails End Iris Garden, Canada


Earthborn / Schreiners, USA


Vintage Vibes / Suttons (USA)


French Lavender / Mid-American Gardens (USA)



Tuscan Glow / Keith Keppel (USA)


Dragon's Nest / Trails End (CANADA)

Enter the Dragon / Mid-American (USA)


Painted Words / Keith Keppel (USA)



The best places to buy Bearded Iris online: (UK) (Canada) (USA) (Australia) - get them fast as they're closing their doors in June of 2017! (USA) (USA) (USA)