Mrs. Horace Darwin

I divided irises yesterday, which was incredibly satisfying. I planted one of this 1888 heirloom, “Mrs. Horace Darwin” back in 2013. (My house is from 1885, and it amuses me, planting flowers that might have been planted back when it was built.)

I meant to divide it last year, because I’d noticed that the rhizomes were pushing their way out of the ground (see second pic), and it was blooming less (the two signs to watch out for, that your iris wants dividing), but never got around to it.

About 15 minutes of light work, and I’d pulled it all out. The bigger chunks, I broke apart (it snaps easily at the joins), making sure to have a good piece of rhizome + some green leaves on each piece. I ended up with about 30 pieces all together.

I planted 3 back in that same spot, saved 3 for the back garden, and gave away all the rest on the garden club FB group yesterday (in about 15 minutes). If planted now, it probably won’t bloom next year (it might!), but should bloom the year after.

I love that my iris, that I probably paid $10 for, is now spreading to several different gardens around Oak Park. And in 3-5 years, all of those will be ready for division again, and hopefully their new plant parents will continue to spread the iris love.

I need to go check my other irises this week and see if any more are ready for division. It was super-fun giving so many away. Want to do it again! 🙂

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