After surveying our yard we walked down the street to watch fireman pumping out basements. This is horrid for our neighbors. We luckily are just far enough away and high enough (if only) to have a perfectly dry basement.
Then we headed around the block. This is under the bridge on Route 64.
All the way around on the other side of the ballfields there is a footbridge. The banks of the creek are usually 2 or 3 feet. Not today. And is anyone missing a port-a-potty?
It rained about 2" today in a spot with us at the center. That would not have been tragic, except that the ground was already saturated thanks to rain 10 of 13 days of June. It's been about 10 years since the Irondequoit Creek flooded the little fields behind us. We thought the redesigned fields rearranged the flooding patterns. They did. But this was just too muck for them.
This is about where things were 10 years ago. But the creek wasn't done rising.
While Koda went for a swim in our backyard we were lucky.
Neighbors had the help of Mendon's finest to pump out basements.
If there was any parking in the rear of this place it was for boats.
It was a great season in the iris garden, but it has come to a screeching halt. Wet spent flowers are toppled all over the place an the moisture has riddled the foliage with leaf spot and worse. There's a whole lot of rot and I suspect more than a few borers.
I need a dry day or better yet a dry week to get out there and start cleaning up the mess.
My friend Sharon has a secret garden. If I told you where it was it wouldn't be a secret... but you would want to go there.
On a shady road I turned into a driveway and dropped into heaven. My only regret is that I did not take enough pictures. I was too busy being enchanted and like every natural thing, a photograph does not capture it. The magnificence of this secret garden is that it deceives. It looks like it belongs there and does not reveal the incredible work that went into its being. It just is.
An Owl greets you...
... and ferns surround you.
Until you enter the yard... and no matter where you look it just is.
Thank you Sharon for being and for sharing and for inviting me to be a part of this beautiful secret.
Kyle and I were looking forward to a trip to the Schnellinger's today. But Koda work up with painful shoulder and Betty was kind enough to understand that we needed to stay home with him. He still is not using one leg, but he seems to be OK. He's eating and drinking water.
It has given me an unexpected day at home. I finished clearing out the area in front by Karyn's yard where I will be planting a new white lilac, 'Betsy Ross.'
Then this evening I took a few general shots around the garden and now I am updating this blog!
Here's a general shot of bed A-1. The bi-color 'poem of ecstasy' dominates and a clump of 'night owl' provides a black hole.
Two "black" iris compete each other as blue siberians look on. There is no true black iris but these two show how the color is approached. On the right the older cultivar 'night owl' relies on a deep blue-purple. On the left, Dykes winner, 'Before the Storm.' is deep violet hued toward red. The form of 'night owl' is also more traditional with a simple rounded fall.
'I'm on Fire' surely is! This IB has bloomed nicely for more than two weeks.
I just like the combination of 'Silverado' and 'Honky Tonk Blues.
Several years ago I bought a bargain bag of 20 unnamed iris rhizomes from Pleasant Valley Iris Farms. About 5 of them were obviously not true to name. They are beautiful, but I'd like to know their names.
This was sold as Master Plan but it matches no picture or description of an iris that is "purple rose."
The buff-copper-rose falls and standards blend to a light buff at the base. The bright yellow haft is the most clearly distinguishing feature. Flowers are large, full and heavily ruffled.
It's a favorite! Can't enter it in a show however without a name.
First thanks to all who worked so hard to make this show happen! Wendy Roller, the chair, used her incredible expertise as an AIS judge to know what needed to be done. To Betty Schnellinger for coordinating venue arrangements and to Cara Hutchings, our local president ( and Nate for iris expertise and leg work) and to Judy Rossi committee member and fellow iris enthusiast. It was great working with them all. Also a shout out to local master gardener and AIS Region 2 President, Donna Lowry. (More on her contribution to my personal success in a bit.)
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
During the judging and even the placement I keep focused on the hospitality/information table where I was working. As best in class was decided the blooms were moved to the winners table for consideration as best in show. I saw a pink iris being placed from the corner of my eye. It looked like one I brought in. It bloomed about 5 days ago and Kyle told me about it. He doesn't keep close track, but he loves pink and this was a beauty. I knew I had two pinks, 'Beverly Sills' and 'Vanity' that were moved during the great borer attack of 2011. Donna Lowry was over Friday for the annual open garden. I asked here which this was. "Definitely Vanity," she said. And Vanity it was. She wandered over to tell me I was going to be glad she stopped over. With perfect blooms perfectly placed it won Best in Section.
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...
Each entry is judged as a first, second or third place entry and awarded a blue, red or white ribbon. Then, at the judges' discretion, a rosette may be awarded in each section. These are then ellegible for Best of Show, First Runner-up and any other show award. Each of the above also recieved a blue ribbon.
'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.'