Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Annual Iris Party

It was a perfect day!  Postponing was absolutely the right decision.  I am sorry that I lost some attendees and hope that the will stop over this week to wander through the iris like Allene and Peter did yesterday.

Allene and Party
The people of the hour were Jeffery and Anne Weaver. Jeffery is the tall guy and Anne is the expectant mother hydrating in warm weather.  The Weaver's ministries at St. John's have been wonderful even though their home worship community is a Mennonite church in Rochester.  Jeffery has been our impressive organist on many occasions. Anne serves as executive assistant when our own is on vacation.

Dave, Jeffery, Alan and Bev

Of course the real star of the Weaver family is Jamie.  He's been at every iris party I have held since he was born.  Kyle and I really hope he'll come back from Indiana for our next event.

Here is a mix of attendees and irises that bloomed just in time for the party.

Bev, Tara, Mary, Viginia and Brad

'Cheap' (TB Paul Black '08)

'Celebration Song' (TB Schreiner 1993)
American Dykes Medal 2003) 

Dawn, Al and Dick

Jamie, Jeffrey, Cara and Nathan

Jean, Chuck, Al and Bonnie

Jeffery, Bev and Peter

'Kevin's Theme' (TB Frederick Kerr 1993)
Montmartre has been a favorite since I first saw it.  This is its first bloom in my garden! Perfect timing.

'Montmartre' (TB Keith Keppel '03)
We are a dog friendly garden.  Here is the resident dog, Koda, and his guest, Nitra.


'Potomac Fireworks' (TB Donald Spoon '97)

'Wild' (BB Paul Black '12)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Kudos to Borglums Iris Farm

Just a short drive from Rochester, not to far from Geneva you'll find Borglum's Iris Farm. It's a dig your own clump deal and it's a great way to start a iris garden.

                                                                    Dana and Sylvia Borglum
2202 Austin Road
Geneva, New York 14456-9118

The Borglums sell and hybridize all sorts of iris, bearded and beardless as well as peonies.  I am waiting for Dana's peony 'Antique Ivory' to bloom.  Silvia's siberian 'Silvia's Love' is lovely!  Dana one the AIS national medal for his species cross 'Alley Oops.'  It's a sight to see.

One of my best purchases was a single clump of 'Crabapple' in 2013. I think a clump was $7 then (call for current pricing).  I divided it into 4 or five parts planted it in a row and here's what I have 4 years later.  What a bargain!

Below are some others that came from Borglum's.  Some are named others are bee crosses.  Dana says, "If you like it, call it what you want."

They're good people.  It's worth the trip.  They do not sell on Saturdays, but you can still visit.

'Cranapple' (BB Aitken 1995)

'Exotic Isle'  (TB Plough 1980)

Jurassic Park (TB Larry Lauer '85)

'Let's Boogie' (TB Schreiner 1997)


Post Storm Post

The damage was't too bad, but several TBs not staked took a dive.

A key component to modern hybrids is developing not only prettier iris but better growing iris.  Here's and example.

Golden Panther is an amazing golden bronze color but also has substance. This means that the petals have a certain thickness making them more stable in rain.  Notice that these erect falls are undaunted by the recent downpour. This was the American Dykes Medal winner in 2009.

'Golden Panther' (TB Richrd Tasco '00)
Compare that to the historic 'Gibson Girl' with its beautiful but flimsy falls taking a beating with the rain. Admittedly the bloom was two days old, but compare this to yestrday's post.

'Gibson Girl' (TB J.M.Gibson 1946)
 These two beauties are from Thomas Johnson.  Both have Queen's Circle as a parent and they are similar. 'Flash of Light' has more white in rays on the fall, 'But Dancing Star' has a purple fall base, while 'Flash of Light' is more blue.
'Dancing Star' (TB Thomas Johnson '09)

'Flash of Light' (TB Thomas Johnson '08)
I close this post with another unknown... I believe it is 'Total Recall' which I purchased in 2008 from Breck's.  This is before I understood that buying from am iris grower and even better a hybridizer is the way to make sure you get what you order.  Come over and I'll show how far off those shriveled rhizomes I bought from Lowes are.  And they were not even that cheap.

Total recall has been moved so many times that I THINK it is blooming in several spots my yard.  As its name implies it reblooms again in the fall, but not here!  There are only a few, particularly 'Immortality,' that I can rely on to rebloom in our climate.

'Total Recall' (TB Ben Hager '92) questionable

Friday, May 27, 2016

Two Days to Party: Good News and Bad

First the bad news.  I am concerned that a number of my blooms are misshapen. It may be weather. I hope that's it and not my fault for misusing Preen or other methods to get weeds under control.  

The good news is that more and more tall bearded iris are opening.  Blooming for the first time in my garden is Richard Tasco's 'Celestial Explosion.'  I believe this is one of last year's Wister medal winners.
'Celestial Explosion' (TB Tasco '04)
 One of the later IBs is 'Concertina.'  It's so pretty and I lost it several years back. The replacement bloomed this year. This 'space age' iris has very interesting horns at the tip of its wispy rust to lavender beards.
'Concertina' (IB George Sutton, R. 1999)
 Hard to capture the color even with some post photographic manipulation. but it is copper.

'Copper Classic' (TB E.Roderick'77)
 The evening light compliments this classic border bearded iris.

'Crabapple' (BB J. Terry Aitken '95)
 As I complete these blog entries, I realize they are all my favorites.  This on is too!  Monochromatic except for the throat of the beard, the being in the standards and the bleeding of lavender blue on the falls is quite dramatic.  The bloom is not large.

'Electric Shock' (Virginia Messick '95)
 To be an historic iris it must be more than 30 year since its introduction.  This on sure qualifies, but it foreshadows the modern iris with peppering on the falls.  But the falls are the traditional teardrop shape. Evening light makes it glow.

'Gibson Girl' (TB J.M.Gibson 1946)
'Gibson Girl' (TB J.M.Gibson 1946)
 I have a thing for peach. Jaime Lynn is an elegant iris.  In iris terms this is "ruffled coral peach self."  "Self" refers to a solid color on standards an falls.

'Jaime Lynn' (TB Hammer '84)
 For 75+ years, Schreiber's has dominated the hybridization and retailing of irises. A breathtaking sight, their display gardens and hundreds of acres of stock fields makes a trip to Salem, OR well worth the trip during bloom season.

'Let's Boogie' (TB Schreiner 1997)

Introduced almost 40 years ago, 'Sultan's Palace' remains great example of the pursuit of the elusive red iris.
'Sultan's Palace' (TB Schreiner 1977)

The joke about 'Victoria Falls' is that with a little rain and wind it surely will. At a stately 40 inches it must be staked. But it's worth it.  Introduced in the same year as Sultan's Palace it shows the pursuit of ruffling.
'Victoria Falls' (TB Schreiner 1977)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Just Too Tired to Label

I am exhausted. Here are some new blooms.  This weekend will be great! Night.... zzzz.

OK, Update!

Here is a misshapen bloom.  Not the only one.  Frost, pesticide or herbicide... Oh-oh.

'Backlit Beauty' (IB Tasco '10)

'Candy Rock' (IB George Sutton '00)

THERE IS a reason that these two pictures are here.  A visitor told me that I did not have the correct name on this. I ordered it again.  Clearly the first one was correct.  Sometimes even seasoned experts get it wrong. With 60K+ cultivars of bearded iris who could know them all!

'Clarence' (TB Lloyd Zurbrigg '90 Bed C-1)

'Clarence' (TB Lloyd Zurbrigg '90 Bed D-1n)
No show bench for this bloom.  It's a twin.  The bloom stalk splits in a Y about half way up.

'Frisky Frolic' (IB Paul Black '08)

Unknown Historic

'I'm On Fire' (IB Thomas Johnson '11)

'Lyrique' (BB Blyth '86)

'Magic Bubbles' (IB A.&D. Willow 1994)

'Victoria Falls' dropped a bloom... :-(