Today we’re in Jacksonville, North Carolina, visiting with Dora Compton.
Here are a few pictures of my backyard oasis. Several years ago, I took an area that always stayed wet and plugged it with irises dug up from another location. There were times I was up to my knees in muck! Boots on, of course. I did this in the middle of the winter so as not to run into any snakes, mosquitoes, or the occasional alligator—not that I’ve seen one yet (alligator, that is; we do see an occasional snake and plenty of mosquitoes after May). My neighbor tells me that one lived back there when he was a child (about 40 years ago). I also had to rework my pathway after Hurricane Florence. The entire area flooded and left muck and mud everywhere!
This spring, I had the pleasure of being home for the month of April due to COVID-19, and Mother Nature did not disappoint! The irises I planted gave me the most spectacular show ever! Pictures don’t really capture how beautiful it was. My trail also has filled in nicely with moss, and hostas and ferns are making their way back.
A Japanese-style gate welcomes you into the garden.
Happy purple irises in a mass behind a bench.
Clouds of irises thriving in the rich, wet soil. These are Lousiana irises, a group of hybrids of species native to the wetlands of the southeastern United States, and clearly they are very happy here. They’ll thrive in drier soils as well, but they are a perfect choice for wet spots.
Wide view of the patch of irises, looking as if nature had planted them.
A Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) in a pot brings color and an Asian flavor to the garden.
A tall cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea, Zones 4–9) is a native species that is usually found in wet, boggy ground in the wild. It will adapt to a wide range of conditions in the garden, but it reaches the most dramatic height in wet spots.
Garden sculpture with irises behind it.
Another view of the gorgeous mass of irises. The red tones of the flowers in the front are a giveaway that these are Louisiana irises, as they have the closest to true-red blooms of any of the irises.
Mossy paths and ample seating areas invite you to explore and enjoy.
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