Friday, June 23, 2017

Spot Of Tea

There are only a few MTBs (Miniature Tall Bearded Iris) in my garden.   This one from Paul Black in 1988, won the the Caparne-Welch Medal, the top award for MTB, in 1995.  The flower his is just 6" high. The fleck of dusting on he falls are a part of flower. Seeing this bloom is like finding rare treasure easily overlooked.


I am fascinated by iris with distinct lines.  A few years ago I visited Mid-America near Salem Oregon and Thomas Johnson said that lines were one of his goals.  Here's one that's new to my garden from Larry Lauer.  "Lovesick Blues" has beautiful violet falls on a white ground.  It put on a fine show for 8 days peaking May 7 this year.

This bloom is the first year after planting.  It must be noted that a first year bloom and good increase is no guarantee that it will establish itself well.  The original rhizome was grown professionally and is packed with energy.  It's my job to pamper it for the following years.

'Lovesick Blues' (Lauer 2007 SDB)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Two SDBs Blooming in Their First Season

This wonderful SDB plicata has established itself nicely in its first year.  Introduced last summer by Thomas Johnson it likes upstate NY so far.  The flower is small but dramatic with a lush orange beard. This bloomed on May 9 in Mendon.

Parade Star (Thomas Johnson 2016 SDB)
Last year was my first order from Hugh Stout.  The quality of the order was impressive.  GRIS has placed our club order for our public sale July 22 and 23 at Pro-Moore Farms in Henrietta.  Here's 'Frankenberry,' Stout's 2016 introduction looks good and bloomed in its first year.  The dark cherry red is veined in black. The beards are purple with bronze tips.

'Frankenberry' (Hugh Stout 2016 SDB)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Purple Paws 2017

I'm a relative newby among irisians.  Please know that my lexicon is limited, but I won't let that stop me from sharing what I see and using the vocabulary that I have.

As the last tall bearded begins to fade it's time to review the year in iris bloom. This is one of the earlier bloomers to impress this year.

Paul Blacks 2014 introduction is 'Purple Paws.' It's lovely as single bloom.  Creamy yellow standards are peppered with a medium purple plicata.  The falls are whiter, edging in yellow. The purple lays on the shoulders and speckles to the edge.  laying on this a white beard is tipped with dark purple. 

'Purple Paws' (Paul Black, 2014 SDB)

The season's performance was excellent.  Planted in 2014, the clump has established itself well. The show began May 6 and continued for two weeks.  Less than a foot high the clump has a diameter of about 2 feet.  It's getting about time to divide...

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Meanwhile, Back in Mendon

After a week in Des Moines, a week getting ready for a party and the GRIS iris show, the aforementioned party, show AND Wonder Woman I am finally pulling it together to start catching up with photos of all the beautiful iris I have seen this year.

I'll start off with the most recent pics from Diamond Rise.  These are late bloomers and there are still a few that have not bloomed yet.

First my favorite, 'Action Packed.'  Every flower is unique, but this tempts me to modify that unmodifiable adjective.  There's nothing I have see that is a jammed packed with features than this creation by the Willy Wonka of hybridizers, Paul Black.  Look deep inside this stunning display of wine veined standards and velvety red-black falls. You will be rewarded with style arms that could inspire a chapeau for Dolly Levi.  It makes that year-long wait worth it.

'Action Packed' Black 2011 TB
Here's a pink that is not subtle. This is the first year in my garden. I hope it sticks around.

'Destination Fabulous' Schreiner 2015 TB

How could and MTB take the Dykes Medal?  Here's how!

'Dividing Line'  Bunnell 2015 MTB American Dykes Medal 2014
 Shades of royal violet purple provide a monochromatic stage for the dramatic ruffling to take center stage.
'Feast Of Kings' Black 2012 TB
Thomas Johnson's Wister Medal winning 'stitched' plicata grows on me every year it blooms.  And bloom it does! And grows vigorously.  Certainly I will divide this beauty this year.

'Ink Patterns' T.Johnson 2007 TB Wister Medal 2013
 Another Sister winner that has finally decided it likes my garden.  Great bloom this year. I am convinced that golden beard ties the bi-color together and makes a great iris exceptional.

'Kathy Chilton' Kerr 2006 TB Wister Medal 2012
 Not for everyone, I love Thornbird.  This Dykes medal winner grows very well for me.

'Thornbird' Byers 1987 TB American Dykes Medal 1997
Yield is. as it's name implies. an arresting school bus (Kodak?) yellow. The delicate brown rays under the beard can be missed, but add the perfect touch to break up this yellow self.

'Yield' Black 2012 TB

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Two by Lynda at #AIS2017

These two beauties from Lynda Miller captured my attention at the AIS Convention 2017 in Des Moines.

'Blushing Grapes' looks a bit different than on the TWiki.  It's a bit darker than this photo show. I describes as having falls banded in purple. I would say plicata. The ground of a creamy warm parchment set it apart.  Its full ruffled standards make it opulent.

'Blushing Grapes' L.Miller 2016 TB

'Serving Wench' might be a politically incorrect name from a male hybridizer these days, but Lynda Miller pulls it off.  This bi-color is a stand out. A medium pink bodice with a deep purple skirt make this wench clean up nicely!

'Serving Wench' L. Miller 2015 TB

Friday, May 26, 2017

Some of the Folks I Met In Des Moines

Here I am with Chad Harris. Chad's hybridizes at Mount Pleasant Iris From in Washougal, WA in the Columbia River gorge.  Although not blooming at the convention (their season is later), Chad's iris ensata (know more commonly as Japanese iris or JI) and his species cross (SPEC-X) called "psuedata' are amazing.

His presentation on the "Water Lovers of Asia" was engaging and informative. I have barely started to try to grow these and I learned so much! He'll be in Rochester at the Region 2 meeting, October 21 offering this same talk as well as Judges training.  Give me a shout at and I'll get you on the list for more info.

'Neil and Chad Harris
 David Cupps talked me into coming and I am glad he did. His friend Andi is from Los Angeles and post great photos to Iris Lovers on Facebook.

David Cupps and And Rivarola
 My idol, Paul Black, just happens to also be a really great guy!

Paul Black and me
Paul Black and David Cupps

AIS Convention 2017

There's just too much to wade through in the photo album!  We visited the Collins garden today and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens to see hundreds of guest iris.  We are past peak bloom here, but there were many mid-late blooming TBs putting on a show.

At Collins 'Bluebird Of Happiness' was putting on a wonderful show and getting well-deserved attention.  

At the Botanical Gardens eager to see what's blooming flocked on the Banks of the Des Moines River.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

New To Me Paul Black IB

The title rhymes!

Man's Best Friend is from Paul Black in 2008, but it didn't make it into my garden until 2016.  I sure hope it sticks around. Even my husband who general doesn't care for color mixes like this said. "That is stunning."

'Man's Best Friend' Black 2008 IB

'Man's Best Friend' Black 2008 IB

IB Stars in My Garden

No, it's not just another purple plicata.  Its wonderful substance hold up to the weather and the 23" height keeps it wind resistant. The 'purple' is a wide band of a rich red-purple (I would say mulberry).
Paul Black hit this one out of the park.

'Outer Edge' P. Black 2011 IB
Another Terry Aitken Hawaiian themed cultivar is 'Many Mahalos.' An orange self (meaning standard and falls are the same color) its beards are a deeper orange. The form is more traditional.  The falls while being held up do curve downward.  It really makes the color statement more complete and, as you can see the bloom is prolific. The iris geeks would say it is floriferous. I say: lots of color, easy to grow.  The complimentary color of the allium is a plus.

'Many Mahalos' Aitken 2003 IB 
'Many Mahalos' Aitken 2003 IB 

Friday, May 19, 2017

May 18 More SDBs and IBs

Here are the current blooms in the SDB and IB category!

Obviously named for its bloom time in Oregon:

'April Fanfare' Black 2014 SDB
 The next for blooms were newly planted on 2016:

'Breathtaking' Black 2016 SDB
I have a lot of moving to do!  Many of my SDBs were planted in August forgetting where the daffodils were.  'Fauviste' was overwhelmed and almost overlooked.
'Fauviste' Bersillon 2011 SDB
A stunning SDB! 'Frankenberry' from Hugh Stout has rich velvety black-red falls with a diamond dust, complemented by hyacinth beard.  The form is lovely.  I sure hope that this grows well here!

'Frankenberry' Stout 2016 SDB

'Gate to Paradise' Black 2014 SDB
This has been in my garden for years.  It has not bloomed since its first year. I move it last year and am so happy to see it likes where it is!

'Hot Spice' Aitken 1989 IB
 Newly planted last year 'intellect' is tiny SDB and 'Jump Start' is in the dark color range with bright beards that always appeals to me.

'Jump Start' Keppel 2002 SDB
 "Many Mahalos' is a beautiful IB which is makes a great presentation.

'Many Mahalos' Aitken 2003 IB
An older IB of similar Color in a simpler form:

'Obligato' Stahly 1998 IB
 Planted last year, this little fellow is trying.

'Sapphire Gem'
Here's what an SDB can do when it's happy and established!

'Sapphire Jewel' Hamblen 1977 SDB
Cook-Douglas Medal 1984
'Stop and Stare' T. Johnson 2014 SDB
Tessie the Tease is my absolute favorite from our club order from Winterberry in 2015.  The photo does not do just to the amazingly bright yellow and substance.  This is a winner!

'Tessie The Tease' Crump 2006 IB
 Here a beauty that I have had for a few years.  It's liking the weather this year!

'Eye Of The Tiger' Black 2008 SDB

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Some Oops

Sometime things don't go as planned.  I just added 'Open Your Eyes' to my collection last year.  It snagged the Cook-Douglas Medal for best SDB. And it is a beautiful crisp blue and white gem.  Supposed to bloom at 15" like many of my SDBs it bloomed a little on the short side this year.  Well, more than a little!  No I didn't drop it there that's where it bloomed.  I do have a TB call 'Land Down Under."

'Open Your Eyes' or 'Land Down Under'
I have a great clump of IBs called 'Lemon Drop.'  Early on I noticed one bud that wasn't very lemony.  Sure enough it turned out to be a plicata that looked suspiciously like 'Starwoman."  After a comparison I am sure!  It will get marked and returned home.  I wonder how it managed to wander 30 feet during the winter?

Lemon Drop Interloper
The Lost Starwoman

'Starwoman' in her place.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Medians of May 16, 2017

'Lemon Pop' is bloomer prolific and fast speaking.  Here ay a has an interloper in the clump.  Probably Rare Edition, a fellow Sass Medal Winner that wandered over to chat.

'Lemon Pop'  Lauer 1989 IB - Sass Medal
St. Francis has been waiting for his annual serving of peach pie.

'Peach Pie' T.Johnson 2011mSDB
'Avanelle' W.Jones 1976 IB
 Rare Treat (in the background above) is much more violet than the blue in this photo. The late afternoon light makes that more pronounced.
'Rare Edition' Gatty 1986 IB - SassMedal 1986