Friday, October 10, 2014



May 27 ,1876.

Among hardy perennial plants there are certain kinds which, on account of their showy character in general, or of their striking forms and habits, rank among the aristocracy of flowers, rendering them well worthy of very special and general culture. Among such are, for instance, the Phlox, the Peony, the Larkspur, and most decidedly the many most strikingly interesting varieties of Iris, which, to be more appreciated, only require to be more generally known. Their sword-like leaves, and large beautifully formed flowers, produced in great profusion, embracing such a variety of colour and rich pencillings, give them very much the same position among hardy perennials that Orchids occupy among indoor tender plants. Besides, they are of the easiest culture, thriving in almost any soil, and equally at home in comparatively swampy grounds by the lake or pond side, and in the ordinary mixed border. Small portions of their fleshy prostrate rhizomes, if once planted and left to take care of themselves in a great measure, soon increase into large stools, yielding hundreds of interesting blossoms. They are, more, over, so perfectly hardy, that the severest weather of this country does not injure them. Naturally, they do best in a rather heavy moist soil, but they also succeed in any soil well worked and manured when planted.

There is now an almost endless variety of Irises, and for the information of these persons who may desire to form a select collection of them, the following list may be found useful : —

 amabilia, pale blue, lower petals velvety. purple, reticulated with white— very abundant bloomer ;

Antiope, metallic blue, lower petals violet, pencilled with pale straw;

Arlequin Maliarias, white, feathered and edged with violet, lower petals purple, reticulated with white;

Arnols, violet, suffused with bronze, lower petals rich velvety-purple, reticulated with orange and white;

Augustus, azure, blue, lower petals pure violet, reticulated with white ;

aurea, chrome yellow, lower petals paler yellow, reticulated with sulphur ;

Bocage, pale lavender, lower petals purple, feathered with white ;

Bridesmaid, white, suffused with lavender, lower petals pencilled with reddish lilac ;

Chameleon, indigo blue, flaked with purple, lower petals pale violet, reticulated with white ;

Comte de St. Clair, pure white, tipped with violet, lower petals beautiful purple, reticulated with white;

Cordelia, rosy lilac, lower petals rich rosy purple, margined with white ;

Cytheree, lavender blue, lower petals light purple, veined with white;

Darius, chrome yellow, lower petals purplish-lilac, reticulated with white ;

Dr. Berenice, coppery-brown, lower petals ruby. purple, reticulated with orange and white ;

Exquisite, bronzy-sulphur, lower petals rich purple, veined and margined with sulphur, bearded with golden yellow ;

Fairy Queen, white, feathered and grained with purple;

Gideon, yellow, lower petals crimson. purple, heavily veined, and reticulated with sulphur and white ;

Hericart de Thury, chrome yellow, lower petals brownish-crimson, veined and reticulated with sulphur and white;

Imogene, bright lavender, lower petals soft azuro blue, centre white ;

Jacquesiana, reddish-bronze, lower petals crimson, reticulated with yellow and white ;

La Fristosse, primrose, lower petals crimson, heavily reticulated with yellow and white ;

Leopoldine, yellow, lower petals purple, margined with sulphur yellow, heavily striped with white ;

Madame Chereau, white, all the petals beautifully edged and barred with violet;

Pacquit, purple, with light centre, lower petals reticulated with while;

Poiteau, white, suffused with lavender, lower petals rich purple, reticulated with white ;

Racine, primrose, suffused with lilac, lower petals rosy-purple, reticulated with orange and white ;

spectabilis,velvety-purple, shaded with black ;

Unique, white, lower petals purple, heavily veined and margined with white ;

Victorine, satiny, white, blotched with purple, lower petals violet, purple-veined, and reticulated with white;

Walner,, lower petals light purple, veined with white;

The thirty kinds named above are really splendid varieties; and, being hardy plants that can be purchased for about 18 shillings per dozen, any one who adds them to his mixed borders of hardy plants cannot fail to derive much pleasure and interest from them.

D. THOMSON, in "The Gardener." 

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