May 20, 2022

While native plants have become increasingly welcomed at Waukesha gardener Dee Selby’s yard over the past few years, her nonnative purple iris maintains its constant maternal presence.

Split from an iris plant originally grown about 100 years ago by her great-grandmother in Connecticut, the showy tall flower with pointed skinny leaves has accompanied her around the country as she and her family relocated. It’s graced Selby gardens in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Oklahoma and two separate yards in Wisconsin. It’s now growing in her daughter’s yard in Johnson Creek as well.

Many flower gardeners share similar stories. People move, and perennials move with them. Gardeners are also increasingly giving native plants a home alongside their faithful perennials. The result is a beautiful blend that’s more nature friendly.