Thursday, May 31, 2012

Waiting for Fireworks

Much work in the garden in the last few days. It just got too dark to finish mowing so I have settled into my lawn chair waiting for the firework to begin. It's the first night of the Mendon Volunteer Fire Department Carnival and we have a pretty good view from the back yard. The iris are still blooming, in their erratic sequence and the EE daylilies have buds. The dahlias are sprouting and summer is here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Thunderstorm with wicked winds just swept through.  Here's hoping that some of my taller irises survived.  It will be a good test of stability.  How's that for a silver lining?

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Few More Orphaned Cultivars

Colors are so hard to capture.  My camera tends to add red.  In the picture of what might be Gypsy Romance, below, the colors is not bad, but it came up among many of the orphaned rhizomes from the great Borer Wars.  Research must be done.

Gypsy Romance?
This is a product of a large clump of rhizomes labeled "Master Plan."  It does not look like the AIS wiki photo... so it's off to last years pictures to try to ID.  Whatever it is, it has great form and substance.  The photo was taken late in the day. The setting sun has added a warmth.  Has anyone ever asked, "What color is the Grand Canyon?"  To be sure each layer of stone when isolated has a specific color.  Watching time lapse photography makes the above the unanswered question.  At any given moment in time any part of the the canyon could be almost any color.

Master Plan?

 Frisky Frolic was the first to bloom.  Well almost.  In any normal year it would be.  It's an IB and would only be upstaged by a SDB's and MDB's.  It still has a few buds.  I cannot believe that it was only one new rhizome last year! Thanks, David.

Frisky Frolic
 Here are two siblings, Exotic Isle and Exotic Star.

'Exotic Isle' (G. Plough, R. 1980). Sdlg. 74-38-13. TB, 33" (84 cm), EM.

'Exotic Star' (G. Plough, R. 1974). Sdlg. 69-17-6. TB, 36" (91 cm), EML
 2011 Intro from Paul Black is about to present itself.

Blushing (P.Black, 2011) Sdlg. O9YY, TB , 32" (81cm)

 One of my favorites, Gnu Blues, has opened its last bud of the season.

'Gnu Blues' (Brad Kasperek, R. 1993). Sdlg. 89-56B. TB, 36" (91 cm), M

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The blooms just keep on coming!

When I decided to take on this iris gardening thing a few years back, I never dreamed I would be spending $55 for a rhizome.  But when I saw what was available in 2011 introductions from Mid-America, I was temped beyond reason.  Frontline is the first picture below.  I expected that it would take two years before I would see some of these in my garden.  For a couple I will... but much of what I ordered has bloomed... and so here it is:

The first bloom Frontline is very compact on a single tall straight stem. The ruffles and lace on this perfectly formed bloom are a treat, but the blue violet veining in the falls is unique.  

Frontline. Black 2011 TB , 40" (102cm) , Midseason-Very L
'Poem of Ecstasy' (Ben Hager, registered 1995) TB, height 36" (91 cm), mid season

'Hot Gossip' (Barry Blyth, R. 1992). Sdlg. X85-A. TB, 34" (86 cm), Early to Medium Bloomer

Siberian "Pink Haze"

'Mexican Moth' (Chet Tompkins, R. 1993) Sdlg. 87-19-60. TB, 36" (91 cm), EML
The unknown pink is back.. but now that I know what to look form I see that it has deeper rose epaulettes!

Unknown Deep Pink 

'Lace Legacy' (Doris Greenwood by J. T. Aitken, registered 1992) TB, height 34" (86 cm), Medium bloom season
 I dug a clump of "Let's Boogie" at Borglum's last season.  The cultivar bloomed true to its name.  Then this similar cold combo bloomed, but it does not have the orange star on the fall and the colors are different.

Not "Let's Boogie", LB3

Unknown Rust brown/red



Vanity or Vision in Pink?  I think the latter
 Nothing in my garden is more striking or imposing than Conjuration!

The Royal "Conjuration" reigns over the garden.

Garden Party

And so it came to pass that about 30 folks gathered in my back yard to eat, chat and wander among the iris...

Chatting as the crowd grows
Folks indulging my iris jabber..

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Day Before the Party

Lookin' Good!

English Charm has a delicate elegance.

'English Charm' (B. Blyth, registered 1989)
 The Pastels of Celebration Song...

'Celebration Song' (Schreiners, R. 1993
 Conjuring Cat has a bit of everything!

'Conjuring Cat' (Paul Black, registered 2005) 
This shows the rich golden self of this Dykes winner.

'Golden Panther' (Richard Tasco, R. 2000)
Not quite the dramatic reverse amoena I was expecting,  Winter adventures is from Nola's.

'Winter Adventure' ( Paul Black, R. 1991
 Conjuration is a great show flower.  Look at that branching and separation of buds...

'Conjuration' (Monty Byers, registered 1988)
Lace Legacy is ready to pop!

'Lace Legacy' (Doris Greenwood by J. T. Aitken, registered 1992)
Mariposa Skies performs well in upstate NY...

'Mariposa Skies' (Richard Tasco, R. 1995)

 Stairway to Heaven has a smaller flower and slightly darker fall.

Stairway to Heaven (Lauer '93)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Great Blooms From My Garden

This is not a year for a crowded garden, but there are some gems popping up!

From the Bluegrass Iris sale last year, David forwarded Frisky Frolic.  One healthy IB rhizome for Mid-America last year produced three scopes and this electric display!

'Frisky Frolic' (Paul Black, R. 2008)
This shot of Dykes medal winner, Golden Panther, softens the the bright rust colors with backlight. It would not be a great catalog picture, but I love the way it emphasizes the cultivar's excellent form.

'Golden Panther' (Richard Tasco, R. 2000)
 From Mid-America comes this carnival of color.  Conjuring Cat presented itself this morning.

'Conjuring Cat' (Paul Black, registered 2005)

First Trip to Borglums

This year's first trip to Borglum's

My choices this year...

Art Form
Exotic Isle
Seneca Snowdrift
Staiway to Heaven
Stepping Out
... and something else (or I miscounted and paid for 7.)

Dana Borglum in the Garden

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Back Home to a Bloomin' Garden

Kyle and Koda make being home great,  But at this time of year it's especially nice to be home to my own iris blooms!

While splashy stitches, ruffles and dramatic veining and plicate are there's a comfort in a subtle composition of gentle colors that let the form of a beautiful iris speak for itself.  This one is coming home on two levels. Besides being a favorite, it was hybridized right down the road by Dana Borglum.  Tomorrow morning I will head off to Borglum's to see what's bloomin' there.

Rachel Rose (Borglum, 1995)

1995, Borglum
'Rachel Rose' (Dana Borglum, R. 1992) Sdlg. C-2-20-A. TB, 33" (84 cm), M S. red purple with yellowish cast (near RHS 64B); F. slightly darker; beards light tangerine; lightly ruffled; slight sweet fragrance. 'Strawberry Sensation' X 'Lady Friend'. Borglum's Iris 1995.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Schreiner's Iris Gardens

The largest iris hybridizer and retailer in the United States is Schreiner's. Located in Salem Oregon, hundreds of acres are dedicated to growing iris. The display gardens are huge and showcase many of their own cultivars as well as those of others.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

More at Mid-america

More Iris at Mid-America

And here's Paul Black!

Paul Black, Iris Hybridizer
David and Matt and rows of Iris

With Tom Johnson!

We are here in iris heaven... Matt, David and Neil.  We met two of our heroes.  Thomas Johnson, hybridizer extraordinaire.  Winner of many medals, including one of the most honored of all time "Paul Black."

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson With Matt and David

On our way to Salem, OR

The weather tomorrow and Monday is iffy, so we moved our visit to iris heaven up two days.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Stunted Creamsicle

There are many irises in the garden which are showing the effects of our late frost. The unknown purple in bed F has some blooms with "burned" looking edges. Yesterday I discovered that "Seneca Creamsicle" had bloomed and I did not even notice. The tall bearded bloom was hiding in the tall leaves imitating an SDB effectively. much soft rot to be found. Some of that is due to my carelessness, but the weather kept the beds over-wet as well.

First Siberian

First Siberian iris and Nora Narlow, double columbine, ready to bloom.