Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Time to Catch Up! First the Medians.

Much has bloomed at Diamond Rise, and some has already faded.  Here are some of the highlights from the medians.  Many of these were acquired last year at our annual sale from Aitken's Rainbow Acres or from member contributions.

'Witchfire' IB (M.Smith, 2013)
 This was introduced last year by Marky Smith.  Really quite spectacular.

'Star In The Night' IB (Black, 2009)
 A striking contrast.  Added to my garden last year, it is blooming and growing well.

'Sangone' IB (Bianco, 1999)
 A beautifully marked little gem.  New to me in 2013.

'Jillaroo' SDB (Ensminger, 1993)
 I love 'Jillaroo!'  Very interesting color combination.

'Crystal Ruffles' MTB (Dunderman, 1986)
 A dainty MTB, 'Crystal Ruffles' demands close inspection.

'Little Paul' MTB (K.Fisher, 1983)
 Very violet.

'Concertina' IB (Sutton, 1999)
This was in my garden and never bloomed.  The rhizome rotted. I wanted to see it bloom so last year I ordered a replacement.  It was worth the wait.

'Ice And Indigo' SDB (Willott, 1990)
 New at our sale last year, it's growing well!

'Outer Edge' IB (Black, 2011)
Planted in 2012, the is blooming, and in profusion.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

First Open Garden at Diamond Rise

Open garden tomorrow (Sunday 18 May) at Diamond Rise.

There are only a 7 iris which may be blooming, but these medians are worth seeing.  In another week they will be gone.

The garden will be open when I am working outside.  At least between 2 and 5 pm.

Hope to see some of you!

3873 Rush Mendon Road
Mendon, NY 14506

If you don't make it Sunday, there are lots of buds which will certainly mean blooms later in the week and next weekend!

More Blooms to Salvage a Waterlogged Friday

Bloom of the Day! This IB is 'Line Drive' newly planted last year.  It's really impressive. The heavy lining on the falls and perfect form make me very sorry the iris show is still so far off

'Line Drive' (Michael Sutton, R. 2006) IB, 20" (51 cm), Early-mid bloom season and reblooming.

In one area (A-2) a great collection of SDB are growing very well.  These were all from a Mid-America order 2 years ago.a

L to R: 'Outspoken', 'Pulsator', 'All is Bright', 'Eye of the Tiger'

'Eye of the Tiger' is clearly the winner in increase and bloom.

'Eye of The Tiger' SDB (Black '08)
For pop-out color, 'All is Bright' lives up to it's name.  Deeply saturated yellow-orange with a bright orange bushy beard.
'All is Bright' SDB (Black 2011) 14" (36cm) Midseason-Late
Here is a low bloomer.  Supposed to be 12" tall it bloomed below leaf level at about half that height.
'Outspoken' SDB (Black 2011) Early-Midseason 12”
Weather damage tore this little beauty up.  It's rich deep purple royal tones are split by orange to white to violet-tipped beards that give the impression of a flash. 

'Pulsator' SDB (T.Johnson 2011) Midseason 13”
Showing the wide diversity of irises this gentle gem captures the jewel-like quality of it's name-sake, 'Star of India.'
'Star of India' SDB (T.Johnson 2011) Midseason 12"
Sometimes names seem so appropriate.  Sometimes less so.  'Cinnamon Candy' is still lovely.  It's form especially.  In reviewing the hybridizer's photo and description this is blooming much lighter in color in my garden. 
'Cinnamon Candy' SDB (Aitken 2013) Mid-Late Season 12"

Still Kyle's top pick. 'Lemon Pop' is not only beautiful, but sturdy.

'Lemon Pop' (Larry Lauer, 1990) IB, 16" (41 cm), Early

Friday, May 16, 2014

Flood Peaks and Retreats

Before we left for a movie at 3:00 PM the flood waters had risen higher.  One iris bed (D-0) was completely submerged.

The movie was Godzilla.  It was so awful that the day was salvaged by the retreat of the flood waters when we returned at about 7:30 PM.  Koda was glad to see that his baseball fields were returning.

We were lucky.  Flooding in other areas not too far away was far worse and destructive.  Flood warnings remain in affect until 3:30 PM tomorrow (Saturday).

March 15: Yesterday's Best Iris Shots

'Boom Boom Bunny' (Lynda Miller, Registered 1994).     

Boom Boom Bunny is identified as pink on the AIS Wiki.  In my garden it is beige.  Quite lovely, but three observers agree, not pink.

'Clear Blue Shy' SDB (T.Johnson '12)
Lovely blue.  Definitely blue.

'Inner Peace' (A. & D. Willott, R. 1990) SDB, 14" (35 cm), E.
 Even more blue.  The clear light blue is complimented by a beard of matching color. 

'Jennyanydots' SDB (Black 2011) Early-Midseason 15” (38cm)
 Paul Black's most recent addition to the Jellicle cat collection.

'Lemon Pop' (Larry Lauer, 1990) IB, 16 inches (41 cm), Early
 Favorite of the day.  Great substance and form.

'Ray of Light' SDB(T.Johnson, 2005)
 Stunning and splashy!

Unknown White
The first of the 'reblooming whites' has arrived.  The is the "not Immortality" because of the yellow hafts and the slightly smaller size of the flower.  It is also more in the IB size range.


I don't know what a "normal year" is anymore.  So much water in the soil this year has lead to lots of rot in rhizomes.  It seems to be the "mother rhizomes." For the most part, increase is in good shape, but not completely.

I was in the process of uploading yesterday's blooms, when I walked down the hall toward the window that overlooks the ball fields.  Looked like it was flooding.  Not unexpected as it's on the Irondequoit Creek.  Although it hasn't flooded in years, last year it did.  The difference is, this was nothing two hours ago and now is as high as it ever was. Thank goodness we are on a rise so our house and basement are safe.  Not so about 4 houses down the street.  The fire department will no doubt be pumping soon.

Near the fence at our property line there are some railroad ties.  Last year they stayed put.  This year the floated forward.

The last thing my irises needed was more water.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 14 Update: More Medians

What a difference two days make.  The medians are popping all over the yard!  Too bad these beauties won't be around for the iris show on June 1. In Cahoots is a favorite!

'Bedford Lilac' (Bennett Jones, Registered 1990).
Seedling 362-1., R. SDB, height 11" (28 cm), Mid bloom season.
'Eye of the Tiger' SDB (Black '08)
Midseason-Late 15.5”  
'Favorite Angel' (Bennett Jones, R. 1990). Sdlg. M405-1. SDB, 12" (30 cm), M. 
'Ice And Indigo' (A. & D. Willott, R. 1990). Sdlg. 88-2. SDB, 10" (25 cm), E.
'In Cahoots' SDB (T. Johnson  2011)
Midseason 12” (30cm). Sdlg. 
'Jennyanydots' SDB (Black 2011) Early-Midseason 15” (38cm) 
'Panda Paws' not in AIS database
'Pulsator' SDB (T.  Johnson 2011)
Midseason 13” (33cm) Sdlg. TA144B: Wish Upon a Star X Squeal sib
'Snowy River' 'Snowy River' (A. & D. Willott, R. 1984). Sdlg. 79-94. MDB, 6"

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

See it Bloom Now, Buy it Later

Iris bloom season has begun here at Diamond Rise. It's a chance to stop by and see some great blooms.  The time to buy and plant iris is later in the summer.  Specifically the time to buy is on July 27 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension on Highland Ave.  You'll get great prices.  But what you get won't be all that pretty.  It will look a lot like ginger root.  It may bloom next year, but you might have to wait until 2016. It's worth the wait.  But wouldn't it be nice to know exactly what you'll be waiting for?

Here's the idea.  Stop by Diamond Rise in the next weeks and see what's blooming.  Leave your name, contact information and a "wish list."  If, when the time comes to dig and divide rhizomes comes, I do have something on your wish list, I'll let you know and the price we set.  Then you can pick up your rhizomes here or at the GRIS sale.  The price you pay goes to the Greater Rochester Iris Society.  I'll also have information about how to join GRIS, our meeting and event schedule and how to join the American Iris Society.  New members get a discount at some great commercial growers.

Let me know if this sounds interesting to you in comments on my blog or on Facebook, call or text me at 585-301-8256 or send email at  Keep watching this site for a list of specific open garden days and times and a bloom update.

Right now there are 4 cultivars in bloom at Diamond Rise. These may stretch your perception of the what an iris is.  These are the smallest of the bearded iris, the miniature dwarf bearded class and the earliest of standard dwarf bearded.  Much easier to grow and less subject to the vagaries of weather, these gems will extend your iris bloom season.

Come by and share my passion for iris!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Snowy River MDB

This lovely pure white MDB is from the Garden of Wendy Roller. About 6" high and it will be a blanket of white within a week.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Irisians will yell you that a cultivar which is unidentified is called an orphan.  Three are blooming in my garden at present.  One I posted yesterday is an MDB which is reliably the first to bloom.

Here are two more that opened today:

This orphan (above) really was adopted.  Next door to our house is the Lehigh Valley Linear Trail. A garden club planted a plot by the entrance but it is rarely taken care of.  Buried in the midst of ornamental grasses was a clump of iris.  They needed dividing and so I did that and spread some clumps around my gardens.  Can anyone ID these for me?

This beautiful gem came into my garden last year.  It had a stick with the name weathered off.  Not like me not to make a formal label, but there it is.  The one is less than 5" tall. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

2014 Season Opener: First Bearded Iris

This unknown iris is the first to bloom in my garden every year.  I have learned enough about iris to narrow down it's identification. The early bloom and its 8 inch height let me know I have an MDB (miniature dwarf bearded) iris. Now I just need to find it's name.