-When I see garden decor in the stores or online, I often see "snail decor". Planters, garden flags...many are adorned with pictures of a cute little snail. When I started growing irises and flowers about 16 years ago, I loved snails. Now...not so much. Snails are not a gardener's best friend. When it comes to snails, slugs, and iris borer, each can pose a threat to your iris garden.
Not long after I put in my garden beds, I noticed that some leaves started to look wet, particularly the middle leaves. When I pulled the leaves apart, they were a slimy mess. I had no idea what was causing the leaf damage, so I cut the leaves down and sprayed the leaves with my special bleach mix (which fixes everything). The spray seemed to fix the problem and the plants seemed fine. But last year, the damage was particularly bad in one of my favorite varieties - Fairy's Prom Dress. It looked like I was going to lose the plant completely. So after doing some research, I went to Lowe's and purchased some Corry's Slug and Snail Killer. After two applications, Fairy's Prom Dress was cured and this year bloomed very well. I highly recommend this, and will likely be purchasing some more this year. (I don't get a commission off any of the products I mention in my posts).
Iris borer is a completely different threat, and one that most iris growers fear. I've seen growers write online how their entire iris beds have been wiped out from iris borer. The key is too keep your beds clean. I'm including some links below on how to identify if you have borer/borer prevention, and how to treat if your beds have a borer infestation.
About five years ago, my family took me down to Winston-Salem, NC, to visit the Boose Family Farm. It's a city farm - a brick ranch home sitting on about a 2 acre lot. But it's what's on the 2 acres that has iris enthusiasts coming from all over the country to see.
In the 1940's Thelma Boose began collecting irises. When she died a few years ago in her late nineties, she had amassed an 1,800 variety iris garden that spanned decades. A stack of binders features torn (original) catalog pages featuring the name and description of each variety.
Last week, I traveled to the farm once again. Thelma's daughter Faye runs the garden now. At 73, she's been working out in the garden since she was seven. At the time of my trip, nothing was in bloom. However, I did pick up some historic varieties and Captain Jack, Dutch Chocolate, Christmas Angel, Red Rose, Dark Night, and Carved Cameo are now acclimating to their new home.
I've included a link to an article that has been written on the farm as well as a few pictures from my trip. Enjoy! :)