Caring for your bearded irises over the winter months

By Margie Habraken
on July 01, 2020

Caring for your bearded irises over the winter months

Generally speaking, bearded irises will look after themselves over the winter, unless of course there’s jobs you didn’t get done in the autumn.

Irises can be divided in the autumn.  If you didn’t get to them then, they can still be done now, but you may lessen the chances of a bloom this season.  If dividing now, trim your leaves back by about two thirds for tall irises.  Once split and replanted, the roots will die back and new roots will quickly form. 

During the winter months you may notice some of the leaves dying back, going brown or developing some ‘rust’ spots.  This is quite normal and it is not necessary to remove the spent leaves – the irises will discard them as they make new growth.  The leaves can of course be gently removed and discarded if you want to do a general tidy-up.  This may also reduce the spread of any fungal diseases.  If you are particularly concerned about the rust spots, you can purchase a fungal spray which contains Mancozeb.

Michael Barnes, from the NSW Iris Society, has some great tips regarding fertilizing your irises.  He suggests-

If you’re going to fertilize, remember it’s the months starting with A in which you do so.  In August, I’ll be spreading a custom blend with an NPK of 13-14-12.  …. Keep nitrogen levels down for your irises or you’ll end up with super foliage but less bloom spikes.

Happy gardening over the winter months – bring on spring and the blooms!

Bushfire relief donation

By Margie Habraken
on March 16, 2020

Bushfire relief donation

 

We have recently completed our February sales where we were donating $1.00 for every iris sold during the month.  Thanks to our enthusiastic customers we sold a total of 754 tall, median and dwarf irises for the month of February.  Consequently, $754.00 has been transferred to BlazeAid to help them continue the valuable work they undertake.

For those who have no knowledge of this organisation, BlazeAid are ‘a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods. Working alongside the rural families, our volunteers help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed.

Equally important, volunteers also help to lift the spirits of people who are often facing their second or third flood event after years of drought, or devastating losses through bushfires. BlazeAid volunteers work in a disaster-affected area for many months, not only helping individuals and families, but also helping rebuild the local communities.’

The money we have donated to BlazeAid will assist the volunteers through the purchase of materials and support items to enable them to continue providing assistance to farmers with minimal cost to themselves. 

BlazeAid generally organises approximately 10 camps each year, but due to the massive bushfire events experienced this summer, they are currently running 23 camps in NSW, eight in Victoria, three in SA and one in WA.  If you would like to help out, you can stay for a few days, a week or as long as you like.  Please visit their website, https://blazeaid.com.au/volunteering-information/  for more information.  If building fences is not your thing, there are lots of other ways you can help out, such as cleaning, catering, tool shed etc.

Thank you to all our customers who purchased during the month of February, allowing us to support this very worthwhile organisation.

Bushfire February

By Margie Habraken
on February 06, 2020

Bushfire February

Help us help those affected by the bushfires.  Although the closest fires to us were a little over 100km away, we all seem to know someone affected.  Being farmers, we really feel for those on the land and have therefore decided to donate $1 from every iris sold in February to BlazeAid.  

BlazeAid was started by two Victorian farmers after the Black Saturday Fires almost 11 years ago and now helps hundreds of farmers rebuild their fences following natural disaster. 

Read more about BlazeAid here

Flowering season 2019

By Margie Habraken
on September 09, 2019

Flowering season 2019

Sunshine Iris Nursery would like to invite everyone to our Open Days on the weekend of 12-13 October 2019.

The nursery will be open for viewing and sales from 9am until 4pm on the Saturday and Sunday.  Free tea and coffee will be available. We expect many of the tall irises to be blooming at this time and judging from previous years, it’s a spectacular show.  Below are some photos from other years.

Also available to visit on this weekend is the Spirit of the Land Festival in our local township, Lockhart just 9 km down the road.  This two day event showcases some amazing farm art from award winning artists and offers lots of street markets, farm tours and more.  It’s a great opportunity to get out into the country and take advantage of what’s to offer.  More information is available at www.spiritofthelandlockhart.com.au

If you can’t visit us on the 12-13 October, we will also be open on the first weekend in November, 2-3rd  from 9am until 4pm.  If this weekend is also unsuitable, we can open by appointment.  Just give Mandy a call on 0429 857 085.

 We look forward to putting faces to names from people who have purchased from us already and to meeting new gardeners.

Celebrating significant birthdays

By Margie Habraken
on June 23, 2019

Celebrating significant birthdays

We have some special tall bearded irises celebrating significant birthdays at Sunshine iris Nursery this year.

Flaming Banner

Flaming Banner turns 40!   Described as having rich orange standards with a violet flush and red falls edged orange, and sporting a tangerine beard, it grows to a height of 86cm making it a smaller ‘tall’.  This vintage iris was registered by Edgar Sellman in 1979.  It is a mid to late bloomer. 

Also celebrating is Vibrations who turns 30  – just making it into our exclusive ‘vintage’club..  It has a plicata pattern with burgundy rose standards and a lighter heart at the base.  Deep burgundy red falls have a large white area below the tannish coloured beard. Striking white lines radiate towards the edge. It grows to a height of 86cm and is a mid-season bloomer. Vibrations was registered in 1989 by Mary Dunn and has been awarded two medals – an Honorable Mention in 1992 and an Award of Merit in 1996. 

Many other vintage irises can be found at Sunshine Iris Nursery.  Just search for ‘vintage’ at www.sunshineiris.com.au to see what is available at the moment.

Visitors to Sunshine Iris Nursery

By Margie Habraken
on May 19, 2019

Visitors to Sunshine Iris Nursery

Do you belong to a garden club? Have you considered visiting an iris nursery?

We were very excited to welcome Mooroopna Garden Club to Sunshine Iris
Nursery recently. They were on tour throughout the Riverina and south west
plains and decided to include us in their itinerary. 40 odd ladies and a few
gentlemen arrived in the afternoon and spent about an hour wondering
around the nursery. It’s a real thrill for us to meet some of our clients and
share our passion for irises. Noel was an excellent tour manager, and even
invited us to join the travelling gardeners for Happy Hour the following
evening.


Although Sunshine Iris Nursery is not showing her true colours at the moment,
I think the garden club still enjoyed the chance to see how we grow our many
varieties of irises, and the pride we take with our product. A sit in the
afternoon sunshine with a cuppa was also very welcome.


As well as the nursery, Mooroopna Garden Club also enjoyed the sights of the
local township, Lockhart, which boasts an excellent museum and fascinating
exhibition of wool ‘paintings’ created by local identity Doris Golder. There is
also much to enjoy in the surrounding region including but not limited to the
botanical gardens at Wagga Wagga, the breathtaking autumn colours of Tumut
and a trip to the Temora Air Show.


Sunshine Iris Nursery will be bursting with colour from October to mid
November, and open to the public on the second weekend in October in
conjunction with the Lockhart Spirit of the Land Festival. If you would like to
visit the nursery with a few friends, or a busload, at another date, just give
Mandy a call and we will endeavour to cater to your needs. All the contact
information you need is available on the website, www.sunshineiris.com.au .
There’s lots to see in our region at any time of the year – come and ramble
round the rhizomes and add a bit of ‘Sunshine’ to your trip.

Planting iris for impact

By Margie Habraken
on March 11, 2019

Planting iris for impact

I was fortunate enough to visit some open gardens last spring around the Tumut area, and was very impressed with the thought that went into the layout of the gardens and choices of plants. 

Read more »

Pick Pack Post - by Kerry Anderson

By Elissa Strong
on February 04, 2019

Pick Pack Post - by Kerry Anderson

Usually it is the children that are encouraged to take on the family business, but in the case of Sunshine Iris Nursery near Lockhart in New South Wales, it was the opposite. What started as a logical step into the business world for agronomist trained Elissa Strong became problematic when she went back to study in 2017 leaving her mother Mandy to pick pack and post.

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Stepping into spring - Preparing your irises for spring

By Margie Habraken
on August 26, 2018

Stepping into spring - Preparing your irises for spring

We are all undoubtably looking forward to our irises blooming, so with the warmer weather not too far away, we thought it might be a good time to offer some suggestions to maximise your spring flowering.
During this unseasonably drier weather many of us are experiencing, its important to keep the water up to your irises.  Be careful not to overwater as the rhizome will rot if it stays too wet.  It might be a good time to add a light mulch to your irises.  This will not only lessen evaporation, but will assist in weed control as the weather warms.  
Our irises are looking quite scraggy at the moment.  Gently pulling off the dead leaves and carefully trimming spent flowers will enhance their appearance, ready to show off their blooms in the coming months.  The old leaves can even be used to create other works of art if you're that way inclined!
It's good time to fertilise your irises now to get the best spring show.  We recommend using a fertiliser which is lower in nitrogen to make the most of the blooms.  Yates suggest one called Thrive Natural Roses and Flowers.  They advertise it as a special combination of organic ingredients boosted with fast-acting fertilisers, designed to enhance the growth and development of flowers. 
Follow the instructions on the pack and don't forget to water well after applying to get the maximum uptake.
Read more here;

Expansion at Sunshine Iris Nursery

By Margie Habraken
on July 01, 2018

Expansion at Sunshine Iris Nursery

We’ve recently ordered some new varieties of irises and needed to make some more beds.  We thought you may be interested in how we go about this if you haven’t had the chance to come and visit us yet. 

Read more »

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Tall bearded iris

  • Broome Sunset - Tall Bearded Iris
    Broome Sunset - Tall Bearded Iris
  • Burgundy Brown - Tall Bearded Iris
    Burgundy Brown - Tall Bearded Iris
  • Chestnut Avenue - Tall Bearded Iris
    Chestnut Avenue - Tall Bearded Iris
  • Classico - Tall Bearded Iris
    Classico - Tall Bearded Iris
  • Claudia Barton Blair - Tall Bearded Iris
    Claudia Barton Blair - Tall Bearded Iris
  • Dear Jean - Tall Bearded Iris
    Dear Jean - Tall Bearded Iris

Can we help you?

Looking for more information or a certain plant?  Want to buy wholesale?  Can't decide which iris?  Contact Margie on 0422 672 112 or Mandy on 0429 857 085 or email us

From the Blog

Caring for your bearded irises over the winter months

Caring for your bearded irises over the winter months

July 01, 2020

Generally speaking, bearded irises will look after themselves over the winter, unless of course there’s jobs you didn’t get done...

Read more →

Sunshine Iris, Gardening and COVID-19

Sunshine Iris, Gardening and COVID-19

April 07, 2020

Greetings from Sunshine Iris Nursery.  What a challenging time we are all experiencing at the moment.  But the good news...

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