Austin is only 140 miles from my corner of Katy ... not so very far ... but when it comes to growing bearded iris, those 140 miles mean a lot. Oh, they grow just fine as far as foliage goes but it's blooms like these that I covet in vain.
I've always thought that it was our intense summer heat that prevented the plants from blooming but that theory went out the window yesterday when I saw how profusely the iris were blooming all over Austin, which set a new record for days over 100 degrees last year. So now I'm thinking that perhaps that limestone soil is a key component.
I've heard tell that some Houston area gardeners have been successful in growing these iris ... if you're one of them, I'd love to hear from you and know what you think the secrets of your success might be.
Sounds like your Austin nursery trips were fruitful and fun. I just love those two nurseries.
About your irises not blooming... that just seems weird to me. I grew them in Austin, where indeed I had a lot of lime in the soil. But I don't have that here and they're blooming here too. I get the biggest blooms from the ones that have the most friable soil but I'm not sure that's why. Do they get enough sun?? How frustrating.