Weekend Garden Notes: Tuteur, Iris, Allium

Voila, Le Tuteur!

Today is lovely, sunny and cool, which makes up partly for yesterday, which was cloudy and cold. It didn’t rain though, so at the conclusion of this weekend I feel almost caught up with staking, cutting back, weeding, etc. Close enough to caught up, anyhow, to prevent total panic.

Garden Tuteur
The new tuteur. Hmm, it’s leaning a bit, have to fix that. The Ostrich Ferns in the back are coming in nicely.

One accomplishment was putting together the 7′ tuteur I ordered from The Gardener’s Supply Company. It’s been sitting in the garage since February, where it has been reminding me of its presence by tripping me every couple of weeks. Anyhow, it only took about 20 minutes to construct, and I’m quite pleased with it.

My plan is to grow ‘Heavenly Blue’ Morning Glories on the tuteur. We had these the first year of our garden at this house and loved them, but for some reason haven’t grown them since then. It will be the new focal point for the driveway bed.

Roof Iris
Roof Iris

Roof Iris

One of the new perennials I planted last fall was Roof Iris (Iris tectorum). I am not an Iris enthusiast, but this was a plant I learned about in my groundcovers class at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It is a low-growing, low-maintenance Iris that spreads by rhizomes. It does well in sun or shade (though not deep shade). I planted it in my east bed, where I hope it will fill in around the Red Elderberries (Sambucus racemosa).

Well, my roof iris are blooming for their very first spring! The blue and lilac blooms are quite pretty, I think. I also appreciate the sword-like foliage.

Roof Iris, Wild Geranium
Roof Iris with Wild Geranium.

This plant was difficult to find; I ended up ordering it from Plant Delights Nursery. It is supposed to be enjoyed by slugs (not a problem here, but be warned) and avoided by deer. By the way, I had a much better title for this section, which was Raise The Roof (Iris), but Judy objected. Also, the common name comes from the practice in Japan and China of planting this iris in thatch roofs.

Alliums in Bloom

I have two kinds of Alliums, ‘Globemaster’, and ‘Purple Sensation’. Both have been naturalizing. ‘Purple Sensation’ has grown from a clump to a drift about 4′ long, with many immature plants sending up their oniony leaves but not yet blooming.

Allium 'Globemaster'
Allium ‘Globemaster’

‘Purple Sensation’ mixes well with Brunnera (Brunnera macropylla) and is nicely placed in front of a dwarf Black Chokeberry bush (Aronia melanocarpa ‘Iroquois Beauty’), which blooms at the same time.

Allium 'Sensation' in front of Black Chokeberry.
Allium ‘Sensation’ in front of Black Chokeberry.

The flowers on my ‘Globemaster’ are smaller than they used to be, which probably means I should be dividing the bulbs after the foliage fades. About four feet tall, they are a majestic Allium.

What kind of structures (tuteurs, arbors, pergolas, etc.) do you use in your garden, and what do you have growing on them?

46 Comments on “Weekend Garden Notes: Tuteur, Iris, Allium

  1. I’ve never heard of the roof iris. They sound interesting, but I need another iris like I need another lawn to mow. I grow a sweet autumn clematis (Clematis paniculata) on a trellis I made from maple and birch saplings.

    • For some reason I’ve stayed away from iris. I had some Siberian iris for a while but got rid of it. This is my first iris venture since then.

  2. The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire,
    We don’t need no water…. (Sorry, Judy)

    I have tuteur envy and it should be overwhelmed with morning glories soon enough.

  3. I’ve been growing roof iris for years after a friend passed them along, but only learned the name this spring. Yours are nice.

  4. Those alum flowers look very nice. I don’t use any of those though hope to use them one day.

  5. Your roof irises are lovely…I like the fact that they are low growers. And your tuteur is just awesome! My gardening pal just got me one last week so it is still empty!!! I am growing morning glories up and over my shed this year for some much needed green!!! Your front garden is wonderful!

  6. Well I don’t have a lot of structures currently in my garden, besides benches, fences (clematis, hardy kiwi), & trellis(a different clematis). However, the old bell I had on a 4X4 post with a Jackman clematis growing on it is the most repined picture I have ever taken.

  7. Oh I want one…for now I will have to be content with orchard poles…and blue morning glories.

    Jen

  8. Raise the roof.. that seriously cracked me up 🙂 Things are looking gorgeous on your end. I have an archway leading to my side yard with Red Eden Climber & Sombreuil roses. I have Clematis Josephine & Viticella Venosa and growing on a tuteur. Good thing you told me it was called a tueur because I had absolutely no idea of its name 🙂

    • Im not familiar with those vines you mention, I’ll look them up. I have an arbor leading into my back garden with Darlows Enigma and Westerland roses.

  9. I like the look of those pretty little irises peeping out from the geranium foliage! Look forward to seeing the tuteur covered in flowers. We call such structures obelisks, and I have a new one this year for a clematis to grow up… unfortunately it’s making slow progress as the wet weather means the snails and slugs are out in their masses. 😦

  10. Hello Dear Jason!
    Every day, we admire the new plants that bloom.
    Oh how beautiful you posted on your blog pictures and flowers.
    For me it is very cold. Looking at your photos it gets better.
    I send you many greetings from distant Polish.
    Lucia

  11. Nice — I love those big purple lollipop alliums. I have about a dozen and clearly need more to mass them into something dramatic. I have exactly the same metal tuteur you have. There is a Jackmanii clematis growing on it, and already the vine has outstripped the height of the structure and is looking for something else to climb. Maybe I can get it to mound, going up one side, over the top and down the other side!

  12. Your tuteur is going to look fantastic covered in morning glories, and blue are my favourite.

  13. I use tuteurs, arbors, and pergolas…I adore allium and can’t get enough…I planted so many more last year and now they pop all over the gardens front, back and sides and there are many that will bloom later.

  14. First, I have to say that Roof Iris is something special. Not sure how to put it into words, but I like it! I’m embarrassed to say I wasn’t familiar with the term “tuteur” until I read this post. I think it’s the same thing as an obelisk, right? We added one this year, too. They add a lot of personality to the garden! Nice Alliums, too. They’re great cut flowers.

  15. This is the first time i’ve heard or read about tuteurs, i learned something today. Your garden is now very full of life, healthy-looking and contented. I love your blooms too. Re your question on my post, i replied there but here too, only the last photo is an orchid, the first one is a leguminous tree. I am sure you are familiar with the Casia fistula or golden shower where the tree is full of drooping golden inflorescence when in full bloom. I just took one bloom this time.

  16. I’m very keen to achieve height in various beds. I use small and large metal frames, some very decorative in their own right and thus giving pleasure in winter too. I had some specially made for me, 7 to 8 ft tall, for prolific clematis.

    I know what you mean about alliums, I grow both the ones you mention, and various others. They come up everywhere. But as they are beautiful and don’t last all that long anyway, I gladly give them garden room.

    • That’s great that you know someone who will do custom metalwork . Stuff I find at retailers tends to be too short.

  17. Jason,
    interestingly, the iris was planted on the roof! Lovely alliums, I have the same but they are in buds.
    Happy gardening!

  18. I have 2 arbors, one with clematis alpina, and one with Aristolochia macrophylla. I also have some metal fences with clematis. Alliums are just wonderful, and I buy a new supply each year.

  19. I like that thing you built. I hope the morning glories don’t produce too many babies next spring. We have a light post in the front yard, and a flag pole, that I dislike. It was Larry’s dad’s, and he has no plans on removing it. When I retired this spring, I was given a couple gift certificates to a local garden center. I was pleased to find a trellis that was made in the U. S. So far, I have it in a spot where some tall plants will grow, and it should help them not to fall down.

    I’ve never heard of roof iris. I like them, and your alliums. I’d like to try the native geranium, but I seem to have a number of non native ones. I like them, too.

  20. I just bought a Carolina Jessamine Vine. I think I will buy a tuteur like yours for it to grow on. Though I been looking at garden arches, too.
    I’ve never heard of Roof Iris before – lovely blooms!
    Have a great day!
    Lea
    Lea’s Menagerie

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