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The Dutch iris (different from the German iris in that its standards grow outward rather that upward and its falls are shorter) is an elegant flower that comes in a breathtaking array of colors.

The process for growing irises is much the same as it is for tulips. The bulbs should be planted in the fall for blooming in early summer. They will grow best in a sunny location with good drainage. In many areas, irises will multiply from season to season. In colder climates, however, you may find that the growth is thinner the second year.

When arranging Dutch irises for display, choose one type and one color per container for the prettiest effect. An old-fashioned celery glass makes a nice vase for these flowers. Measure the stems according to the height of the glass before cutting them to a uniform length. After arranging the blooms, fill the glass to the top with very cold water -- Dutch irises require cold water to stay fresh. The result is a lovely arrangement that will brighten any table.

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