It was a few years ago that I saw my first AIS judged show with my friend David Cupps. I was visiting him in Lexington when the Bluegrass Iris Society was holding their show. Shortly after, I became involved with my local affiliate. Since I joined this is our first AIS sanctioned judged show. Because a show must be scheduled well in advance and iris bloom season is subject to unpredictable factors, they sometimes must be cancelled or don't have enough participants or entries to award ribbons. Everything fell into place this year.
First I learned that the difficulties of transferring stems that can be 40" long with easily damaged blooms cannot be exaggerated.
Several beautiful blooms did not make it at all, I just left them in the box. Most notably Gypsy Romance and Bold Look.
Some blooms were damaged but I entered them anyway. I just wanted to put these new and stunning intros in the mix. 'Sharp Dressed Man' was perfect when it left the house. But a the wrong touch with a neighboring bloom and the top of three flowers lost a standard. It still received a white ribbon and was one of three that tied for the public favorite poll.
|'Sharp Dressed Man' Johnson 2012|
When I went to the table to see what, if any, other awards I had won. I was awarded another 'best in section' rosette for 'Action Packed.' This Black 2011 introduction went directly to my garden and bloomed for the first time yesterday. The bloom was smaller than I expected. I really took it in on a lark. With only one bloom and lots of unopened buds, it seemed an unlikely winner. However the unique coloration and exceptional branching wowed the judges...
'Paul Black' and 'Orange Harvest' also received blue ribbons.
Red Ribbons were awarded for my entries of 'Queen's Circle' (the 3 bloom faded and I removed it), 'Bumblebee Delight' (a thinly branched specimen), 'Frontline' (the third bloom was showing much wear) and 'Art Form' (a two bloomed stalk which was not quite straight).
White ribbons went to 'Night Owl', 'Harvest of Memories', 'America's Cup,' 'Daring Deception' (a crowd favorite, but well shorter than it's 35" registered height), 'Sharp Dressed Man' (for the above mentioned damage),'Supreme Sultan,' and 'Sultan's Palace.'