Friday, November 29, 2013

Some Winter Sunshine

Dahlia by Dalan Wells
Soon to be in the Collection of
Neil Houghton and Kyle Crawford

My Thanksgiving present to my self was a painting by our friend, Dalan Wells.

This fall, during the peak of dahlia season, Kyle and I were privileged to witness the wedding of Dalan Wells and Brandon Morgan.  These great guys are planning a more formal event in the spring, but were in New York and decided to legally tie the knot .  They'll have legal benefits for Dalan who is now a military spouse.

Dalan and Morgan
How can you have a wedding without flowers!  I headed to the backyard an picked some dahlias and and re-blooming iris 'Immortality' for the altar.

Dahlias and Iris at Home
The day after the wedding Dalan and Brandon dropped over for a tailgate and a tour of the garden. Dalan took many photos and here are some of the other paintings that resulted.

These two are still available at Dalan's Blog which will link you to various places to view and purchase his work.  Hint:  My Birthday is December 10th!

I hope that we can get Dalan (and Brandon, of course) back next spring for the iris bloom!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Beardless Awards

Besides the bearded iris, beardless iris are well loved and these awards honor the hybridizers of these classes.  Most popular among these are the siberians.  Beyond their lovely flower the grassy foliage make them a great landscaping choice. My favorites are the Japanese (Ensata) iris.  Their large flat presentation recall the whirling dervish.  Lousiana iris are the only iris with a true red petal.

Here, again from the AIS Wiki are the beardless award winners:

THE FOUNDERS OF SIGNA MEDAL, SPEC irises (Total votes cast = 123)
42 ‘Woolong’, (James Waddick) Iris Tectorum

Runners Up: 
33 ‘Epic Poem’, (Marty Schafer/Jan Sacks); 28 ‘Jin Yu’, (Jill Copeland); 20 ‘Caitlin's Smile’, (James Waddick By Kevin Morley)

THE RANDOLPH PERRY MEDAL, SPEC-X irises (Total votes cast = 159)
45 ‘Roy's Repeater’, (J. T. Aitken)

Runners Up:
37 ‘Wooly Bully’, (Jill Copeland); 33 ‘Celia Welia’, (Jill Copeland); 30 ‘Kinshikou’, (Hiroshi Shimizu By Carol Warner) 14 ‘Everest Blue’ (O. D. Niswonger)
THE SYDNEY B. MITCHELL MEDAL, CA irises (Total votes cast = 33)
9 ‘Hidden Asset’, (Duane Meek)

9 ‘Lines That Rhyme’ (Joseph Ghio)

Runners Up:
6 ‘Rodeo Gulch’, (Joseph Ghio); 5 ‘Dot The Eyes’, (Joseph Ghio)

THE MARY SWORDS DEBAILLON MEDAL, LA irises (Total votes cast = 127)
34 ‘James Faith’, (M. D. Faith)

Runners Up:
27 ‘Frenchmen Street’, (Patrick O'Connor); 25 ‘RenĂ©e Fleming’, (Heather Pryor); 23 ‘Hail Mary’, (Mary Dunn By Joseph Ghio); 18 ‘Frederick Douglass’, (Dorman Haymon)

THE MORGAN-WOOD MEDAL, SIB irises (Total votes cast = 243)
81 ‘Swans In Flight’, (Robert Hollingworth)

Runners Up:
40 ‘Uncorked’, (Marty Schafer/Jan Sacks); 39 ‘Emily Anne’, (Robert Hollingworth); 28 ‘Charming Billy’, (Marty Schafer/Jan Sacks); 28 ‘Kaboom’, (Bob Bauer/John Coble); 27 ‘Haleakala’, (Marky Smith)
 THE ERIC NIES MEDAL, SPU irises (Total votes cast = 132)
38 ‘Missouri Orchid’, (O. D. Niswonger)

Runners Up:
34 ‘Golden Ducat’, (Anna & David Cadd); 27 ‘Hocka Hoona’, (Peter Desantis), 17 ‘Doris Irene’, (B. Charles Jenkins); 16 ‘Sunrise Surprise’, (O. D. Niswonger)

THE PAYNE MEDAL, JI irises (Total votes cast = 95)
26 ‘Bewitching Twilight’, (Chad Harris)

Runners Up:
25 ‘Lady In Pink’, (J. T. Aitken); 25 ‘Pink Puffer’, (Jill Copeland); 19 ‘Beyond Chance’, (Donald Delmez)

The Median Awards 2013

Very few people begin their interest in irises with anything but tall bearded cultivars.  They make up bulk of what I grow.  But as I became more aware of the medians I found that they are enchanting, more wind tolerant and extend the bloom season.

What follows is clipped from the AIS/Iris Wiki  awards page and enhanced with some pics.  The photos are from the AIS wiki.  Only 'Many Mahalos' is in my garden.  Planted last summer in bloomed for the first time this fall.

THE KNOWLTON MEDAL, BB irises (Total votes cast = 261)
92 ‘Bundle Of Love’, (Paul Black)

Runners Up: 68 ‘Niche’, (Joseph Ghio); 60 ‘Zingerado’, (Lowell Baumunk); 41 ‘Border Guard’, (Joseph Ghio)

THE HANS AND JACOB SASS MEDAL, IB irises (Total votes cast = 278)
84 ‘Rimaround’ (J. T. Aitken)

Runners Up:
62 ‘Oblivion’, (Marky Smith); 53 ‘Many Mahalos’ (J. T. Aitken); 48 ‘Limonada’, (Keith Keppel); 31 ‘Dragonmaster’, (Marky Smith)

THE WILLIAMSON-WHITE MEDAL, MTB irises (Total votes cast = 251)
77 ‘Peebee And Jay’(Barbara & David Schmieder)

Runners Up: 70 ‘Redrock Princess’, (Jean Witt); 57 ‘Persona’, (Keith Keppel); 47 ‘Petit Louvois’, (Clarence Mahan)

THE COOK-DOUGLAS MEDAL, SDB irises (Total votes cast = 297)
29 ‘Wish Upon A Star’, (Paul Black)

Runners Up: 25 ‘Canadian Kisses’, (Paul Black); 23 ‘Big Blue Eyes’, (Paul Black); 22 ‘Pussycat Pink’, (Paul Black); 21 ‘Devil Baby’, (Keith Keppel); 21 ‘Spiderman’, (Donald Spoon)

THE CAPARNE-WELCH MEDAL, MDB irises (Total votes cast = 149)
39 ‘Trimmed Velvet’,(Donald Spoon)

Runners Up:
30 ‘Hobbit’, (Lynda Miller); 26 ‘Applet’, (Marky Smith); 25 ‘Wee Viking’, (A. & D. Willott); 17 ‘Spiderweb’, (Donald Spoon); 12 ‘Ruby Elf’, (A. & D. Willott)

THE CLARENCE G. WHITE MEDAL, AR & AB irises (Total votes cast = 112)
40 ‘Refiner's Fire’ (Peter McGrath)

Runners Up:
33 ‘Kalifa's Joy’, (Robert Annand); 25 ‘Persian Queen’, (Robert Annand); 14 ‘King Solomon's Mines’, (Elm Jensen)

THE WILLIAM MOHR MEDAL, AB irises (Total votes cast = 133)
47 ‘Egyptian Queen’, (Thomas Johnson)

Runners Up:
39 ‘Prince Of Egypt’, (Perry Dyer); 34 ‘Jallab’, (Keith Keppel); 13 ‘Nefret’, (Marky Smith)

Stinky Late Planting

Revealing to you all that I am a disorganized mess, I found a package of 1/2 price tulips bulbs in the car today.  Before the snow started flying and the temperature plummeted I dug a hole and tossed them in.

In an effort to stop them from being deer food, I doused the hole with Liquid Fence.  After spraying the arborvitae to the browse line I packed away the stinky stuff and headed inside for a warm evening.  I can still smell it, but Kyle says he can't and that's what counts.

DYKES! This year I have it!

Last year, when the awards were released I had a moment of excitement dashed.  OK, so Florentine Silk and Italian Velvet don't look alike but you can understand that they are both an Italian fabric, right?   Given 60,000 registered names it's a understandable mistake.

But this year 'That's All Folks' is in my garden!

'That's All Folks'  TB Maryott, 2004

Irises eligible for the Dykes medal are the best in class winners of the previous 3 years. I did hedge my bets by planting 2 of the 3 Wister Medal 2012 winners, bringing my total holdings of Dykes eligible TBs to 5 of 9.  Since the odds that a TB will win are great, I had about a 60% chance.  You can't get those odds in Vegas!

Here are this year's Wister Winners.  Will one walk away with Dykes Medal next year? Might a median grab the prize?  Only two medians have won the American Dykes Medal  since it was first awarded in 1927.

AIS Judges vote for this award.  There are many factors beyond the flower than enter into the choice. Growing habit, stalk strength, branching and bud placement are among these. It's not hard to see just based on the bloom why these are winners.

'Absolute Treasure' is all that says iris.  The delicate coloring and ruffling speak of grace and elegance.

'Absolute Treasure 'TB Tasco 2006
Often the combination of colors and markings can produce an over-the-top gaudy flower.  Here an era of flounce, lace and brocade is presented in a perfect package.  The beautiful colors, shades of purple and mauve, the striking markings and ruffles radiate from warm beards and style arms.

'Elizabethan Age' TB Baumunk 2005
"Another purple and white plicata?  Really?" I would have said this if I had not seen these in bloom at Mid-America. 'Ink Patterns' erect falls and dome shaped standards (much liked by AIS judges of late), make total package that is irresistible in blooming clump.

'Ink Patterns' TB T. Johnson 2007

'Ink Patterns' is in my garden and 'Elizabethan Age' will be number one on my list to plant in 2014.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dig, Dag, Dug - DAHLIAS!

The last thing that HAS to be done in the garden, has been done.  Dahlias are not hardy and in upstate NY must be dug and stored in a cool dry place.  I usually can manage to keep them with a 75% success rate.

Above are the first tubers I dug up along with elephant ears at the top of the picture.  Last year I had no success with the pachydermus foliata (just made that up), but with tips from my friend, David, this year will be different. 

Now I need to bag, pack with Jim's top notch sawdust and hope for the best.