Monday, December 24, 2012


      It was just a few days ago that doomsday theorists said it was the end of the world! never happened! Another non event was the Green Party who tried to convince us this year that 'Jack Frost' was going to become 'Jack the puddle' and that also never happened! its been a year where so called major predictions have gone hopelessly askew.
My bloom season for 2012 was the same as many New Zealand growers reported, it came early and all at once making the garden very surreal. At home we had Siberian Irises flowering with Standard dwarfs, the reliable strong Nor-westerly winds came and went and about half the Irises did not bloom at all, so all and all a interesting bloom season. Now before the climate change wonks say this is proof of their dribble, they should read any Iris Journal from the past and they will find published within are a multitude of reports that show the weather has its own mind and most likely always will. Some have immediately attributed  'Climate Change' to recent statements 'No Blooms for the Iris Show this year', my thoughts are that it has very little to do with a change in the weather but more to do with a change with the show date. History shows us that show dates year on year can and have changed by as many as 10 days either side of the previous year's date which has a far bigger impact on the amount of blooms for the show bench but always seems to be overlooked.
   Oh and today, Bee Warburtons 'Reprise' has decided to start blooming again, Bob Hollingworth's 'Shall We Dance' has not stopped blooming since it started 2 months ago, and looks like it will be around for Christmas Day, Terry Aitken's 'Double your Fun' has started to bloom today for the first time this season, it's an intermediate that is registered a re-bloomer but I think it's just a straggler.

Change is so swift in the digital world that Smartphones and Tablets are changing the way we use the internet and web masters need to make it a priority to view the way their web site display's on the smaller screens as within a year these little power packed wonders will be the major player in the world of digital media, web masters who ignore this rapidly advancing change will be rewarded by decreased visitors to their website.
While I am on the subject of digital media let me say the AIS E-membership is not what it is cracked up to be. I am a E-member so I can access the iris register database (the real one). The fee last year jumped from $10.00 to $15.00 and for the 50% jump in fees I get access in advance of the printed Bulletin as a PDF file and help fund the Twiki thing. The bulletin in Portable Document Format (PDF) is a huge data file, takes for ever to download cannot be printed or saved so every time you visit cost more megabits which I have to pay to the phone company, adding to this, once the bulletin is released in the digital format it is then parroted via the AIS Book face thingy and AIS World of Iris blog, parts of the featured articles are discussed on various Iris forums, and all this before my printed copy (which I have to pay for as a separate membership) arrives in the mail. By the time I get to read the printed bulletin half the publication has articles that have already been part published on the AIS Book face thingy and includes some expanded articles that were originally posted on the AIS World Of Irises Blog.
  Hey some people may like this new way of doing things but for me it devalues the Bulletin which is after all the AIS premium publication and this repetitive media strategy is getting a lot like listening to a Wagner opera, you know, where the lead character first tells you what he’s going to say, and then he says it, and then he tells you what he just said.
Also it was a year with some people getting sniffy about this blog expressing my opinions on the inaccuracy of the Iris Encyclopedia.
Am I opposed to a web site undermining the considerable credibility that we associate with the Checklists? Yes I am, but why should I have to shut up about that? Who says any faction of a Society should be able to step over me and say 'shut up, you're not allowed to open your mouth on that'. I am been seen by some to be doing something wrong by pointing out mistakes that are been published on the internet as facts.........huh?
However this is the real point....... Censorship is undesirable and a threat to liberty. We should always think long and hard before bowing to the ever present wowser elements in our society who would wish to align the limits of our liberty to their own tastes. You either believe in freedom of speech, or you do not.

In 2012 my eyes particularly like these irises ... George Shoops, 'Spring Tidings', 'Deep Venture', and 'Private Treasure', Barry Blyth's 'Covet Me', Joe Ghio's 'Caption' Ron Busch's 'Irwell Wild Child' and 'Irwell Fancy',

BEST IRIS PUBLICATION Bulletin or Journal for 2012 (That I receive, and I receive a few) goes to The Historic Iris Society online magazine  'Flags'. It's well set out, can be downloaded, great photos, and its free to everyone who visits the web site. After a trying year for the editor with back problems and surgery the publication still came out for the Fall. If there is one small criticism from me its the need to publish other points of view in regards to various issues but I am sure it will go on to even better and brighter things in the future.

 I DON'T THINK SO AWARD 2012 goes to the Iris Encyclopedia now often referred to as 'Bob's Bloopers' . It wins the award for putting the wrong photos against a check list description and I think my post 'Tall bearded Iris Beaumonde' covered problem well, but from all reports these problems have not gone away.
Now, when I visit the site (which is not often) I am reminded of that old saying 'Trust is like a eraser. It gets smaller and smaller after every mistake.'

Anyway Merry Christmas to all 'Heirtage Irises' readers, thanks to the comment makers, thanks to all the Worlds Iris Hybridisers both past and present for whom I have the utmost respect, to the contributors of Photos, and also to the International commentators, thank you all for a really great year .

All the Very best for 2013 and may your New Year be full of family, Irises, laughter and love.
 See you mid January and thanks for 2012.

  An explanation, 'Heritage Irises'  is a record some of the irises growing at my Home, features photos of 'New Zealand Bred Irises' and also the blog at times  features new introductions of Irises from International Breeders. As opposed to a Bulletin, Journal,or Year Books, 'Heritage Irises' is more of a personal diary with a minimum amount of interactivity.

 Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Zealand Tall Bearded Iris 'ALISON PENNEY'

A breeding combination of Jean Stevens 'Brilliant Sunrise' and Schreiner's 'Taste of Honey'. This very impressive New Zealand bred iris by Jean Collins is one of the best ever of the classic variegata type, possessing an amazing glow which gives carrying power to the flower and on first viewing has the gardener's mind planning the special place in their garden where this iris will feature. Standards are a smooth rich gold contrasted by the bold red-brown falls bordered a rich gold which in turn has the faintest red-brown outline. The rich gold striations radiating from the hafts lead the eyes towards the deeper gold beards. Silky texture, outstanding form and substance. Slight fragrance.
A stunning have to have!!

Jean Collins Iris Garden, Cambridge Road, R.D.1 Tauranga.

ALISON PENNEY ML Gold standards, red brown falls, bordered gold

BayBloom Nurseries, Cambridge Road, R.D.1 Tauranga. Spring and Summer Catalogue, 1996.

ALISON PENNEY. What a bright show this variety creates. Gold standards, red brown falls, bordered gold. Does well in mild climates.

New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist 2011

ALISON PENNEY  Mrs Jean Collins, Reg., 1979.   Sdlg. 579/1. TB, 35″, (89 cm), M.   S. gold; F. red-brown, bordered gold; yellow beard. Brilliant Sunrise X Taste of Honey. J. Collins Iris Garden 1978/79. Begg Shield 1987 (NZ).

Only available in New Zealand from The Iris Boutique this season.

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version. 

Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Zealand Tall Bearded Iris 'CABBAGES AND KINGS'

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
 "To talk of many things:
 Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
 Of Cabbages--and Kings--"
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, Lewis Carroll, 1872.

Well yes indeed the time has come to talk of 'Cabbages and Kings'.Strong purple blush in the heart of the standards reminds me a lot of 'Freedom Road' (Gordon Plough,1976), colour placement, frills, ruffles and crimping all taking direction from the Keppel genes. Strangely elegant pastel colour's have that 'painted in watercolours' effect. 
Standards have a tendency to open uneven which is at odds with the Falls more "finished" form. Large blooms on strong stalks with good bud count giving the plant a good length of bloom (much longer for me than just the mid season as noted in it's registration). Good plant health and reasonable increase. Will transfer this iris among the darker black and purple toned irises to display in a different landscape to see if it 'grows' on me a little more than it's done to date. It's certainly an iris that grabs your interest!

Richmond Iris Garden Catalogue, 376 Hill Street, Nelson. Issue 56, 2006-2007
New Introductions.
CABBAGES AND KINGS TB ( A Nicoll 2005) $25.00
This lovely frilled and crimped lemon has an unusual purple blush in the heart of the standards. A sweet fragrance is a bonus.

New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist 2011
CABBAGES AND KINGS   Alison Nicoll, Reg., 2005 Sdlg A01T5: 3. TB, 32″, (82 cm), M. Standards purple blush in centre merging to lemon at edges; style arms lemon; Falls lemon edges merging to cream centre, more intense lemon at hafts; beards lemon tipped white, gold in throat; frilled and crimped; pronounced sweet fragrance. (Knock ‘em Dead x Keppel seed, LLFBKK: 2: (Lotus Land x Fogbound)). Richmond Iris Gardens 2006/07.

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.

Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

New Zealand Tall Bearded Iris 'IRWELL COURAGE'

      "Lines" have come more to the fore recently as a new (or revised) pattern option and 'Irwell Courage' is a great example of how Ron Busch had brilliantly come to grips with this intriguing style. Tall strong stems with good branching hold well proportioned blooms with gentle honey standards that show some darker erratic virus flecking, violet orchid midribs, falls are wide in a handsome mulberry plum colour broadly edged in a softer tone, coupled with strong white striations (lines) on the upper fall which is all set off nicely with the golden bronze beard. Great bud count resulting in a excellent amount of bloom that is paced well over a long season, bracts have a gentle purple tone. Clean foliage with the added purple-based touch, plant shows strong increase. People visiting the gardens just gravitate towards it, it's a very masculine flower.

New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist 2011
IRWELL COURAGE  Ron Busch Reg., 2007. Sdlg. 01587-2149. TB 40″, (102cm). M ; S. lemon, red purple midrib and blush at base: style arms yellow, purple centre; F. Red-purple, ¼″ paler edge, yellow shoulders; beards bronze. (Romantic Evening x Sky Hooks) X inv. Youthful Charm, Taholah, Rococo, Lady Friend, Latin Lover, Lula Marguerite,Velvet Robe, Laurie, Pipes of Pan, Radiant Apogee, Tea Apron, Snowline, Melodrama. Amazing Iris Garden 2011

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012


One of the good thing that happens when the Tall Bearded iris season nearly comes to the end, is the start of  the Spuria Irises season . This is one of my favourites spurias out of my very limited collection, it has amazing large blooms that have an incredibly long vase life that make the similar looking Dutch Irises look like poor little tryhards. Length of bloom stems are a florists delight. Spuria Iris bloom stalks range in height from 100cm to 150cm (3 to 5 feet) tall. They are usually planted at the back of the border or along the fence, however due to the tight-clumping, nature, they are ideal as vertical accents anywhere in your garden. First year plants will be much shorter than established ones. Since hot temperatures are required for good bloom, plant in full sun, being sure there is good drainage. Planting depth depends on type of soil- 2.5 cm (1 inch) and heavy soil and 5 cm (2 inches) in light sandy soils. Space far enough apart to grow in the same location for several years. You must keep them watered until they start to grow. Once established, Spuria's are drought resistant, however heavy irrigation in the spring will increase growth in bloom. 
Barry Blyth told me the other day in a communication regarding spuria irises "Spurias I could not sell, hence we no longer catalogue them, as lovely as they are. People just do not know what they are". (Now ain't that a real shame). 
I will post a couple more varieties that I grow in the next week or so.

Cordon Bleu Farms, San Marcos, California. 1984 Catalog.
BARBARA'S KISS (McCown, 1982) A unique colour combination with standards of light burgundy mauve and moderate orange yellow falls bordered light burgundy mauve.

AIS Checklist 1989
BARBARA'S KISS (E. McCown, R. 1981) Sdlg. 75-15. SPU, 54" (137 cm), M Standards violet (RHC 1 Opb 4/10) lightly streaked pale yellow; Fall strong violet bordering orange yellow signal, veined brownish purple; ruffled. Arbitrator X Imperial Beauty. Cordon Bleu 1982. HM 1984.

Note how different the colour tones are described in the Cordon Bleu Catalog when compared with the AIS checklist.

There are no commercial sellers of Spuria Irises in New Zealand but there should be!!
Clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Courtesy 'THE GARDEN', 30th June, 1900.

The Garden, New and Rare Plants, June 23, 1900.
This is certainly one of the most distinct of the german or Flag Irises. We welcome it heartily as a good variety for woodland and border. The flowers are large, fragrant, and handsome in colour, with light purple standards and deep velvety falls, the broad rich yellow marking running into the depth of the flower relieved the other shades. Shown by Mr. Amos Perry, Winchmore Hill, London. Award of Merit. Royal Horticultural Society, June 19.

The Garden, June, 1900.
This is certainly one of the most distinct of the German Iris. We welcome it heartily as a good variety, the flowers are large and fragrant and handsome in colour.

Horticultural Advertiser, June, 1900.
One of the most handsome we have ever seen in this class, the falls being a rich purple almost black, with light purple standards. A profuse bloomer.

Quality Gardens, USA.
When we saw this wonderful dark blue we said, well------- dollars as a lot to pay for an Iris root. But this one is certainly a beauty. American public look out for this one at Bronx Park, New York.

Country Life, June, 1900.
Quite distinct, the flowers of sweet fragrance and boldly coloured.

The Dean lris Gardens, Moneta, California The Iris, Illustrated Catalog, 1914
The Standards in This Group Range from Lavender to Purple.
Black Prince. Standards intense deep violet-blue; Falls, velvety purple, edged lighter. Very beautiful. Stock rare.

The Gardeners Chronicle, May 28th, 1921. Irises of the Future, W. R. Dykes.
At the other end of the season something might be done towards prolonging it by using the late flowering 'Black Prince'. Seedlings of this tend to retain the late flowering habit, and there is a large dose of I.variegata blood in 'Black Prince', forms with yellow standards are sure to appear among them. It remains for the hybridiser to get rid of the stunted stem, the crowded inflorescence, and the ugly form of the flowers, with their erect, widely separated standards.

Kelways and Son, The Royal Nurseries, Langport, Somerset, England.  Catalogue of Hardy Perennials and Colour Borders  1929-30
Black Prince, one of the best, the latest to open and the deepest of all in colour; purple-blue, deep blackish purple with white markings at the throat. 2½ ft. 1/6 each.

AIS Bulletin No.6, 1922. Description of Varieties, Part I.
Bicolor, VR-V. (d). Perry, 1900
Brief. S. erect, lavender violet; F. velvety dark anthracene violet with narrow edge of pleroma violet;

stalk very short branched; growth weak; to 30 in.
Details. Beard short, yellow orange; haft white, closely reticulated.
Remarks. A. M. R. H.S.
Listed in America under the name of 'Black Knight', should not be confused with the form of germanica often listed under this name.

A H Burgess,Waikanae, Wellington. Irises 1927
Black Prince, A.M.R.H.S.- Deepest of all in colour. Standards purplish blue. Falls deep blackish purple with white markings at the throat. Not a good doer. Very Late - 2 ft.

AIS Checklist 1939
BLACK PRINCE IB-M-La-B3D (Perry 1900) Perry 1900; Farr 1912; Francis 1920; Wing 1920; Sheets 1928; Forbes 1938; Irisdale 1938; Wass 1938; Wild 1939; AAA 131; A.M.RHS. 1900. Shown by Perry; Horticultural Directory and Year Book, 42: 60. 1901; J.R.H.S. 25: xciii. 19 June 1900; The Garden. 57: 497. 30 June 1900, Illustrated;

 Above is the correct image of Amos Perry's 'Black Prince' published in 'The Garden' 30th June, 1900 and is referred to in the 1939 Checklist .This photo also clearly shows why W.R. Dykes described 'Black Prince' as an iris with crowded inflorescence, flowers of an ugly form, with erect, widely separated standards, he also mentioned that it was short, with stunted stem'Black Prince' was also reported by others as a slow grower, flowers with a  distinct contrast between the standards and the falls and a very distinct light margin on the falls which the photo shows the later two descriptions well. 

Phil Edinger stated in an recent email to me "everything circulating in the US as 'Black Prince' is 'Othello'."

I originally used photos on this post which with the help of some research I recently completed proved the iris used to be totally wrong. The images were of the variety 'Othello'.
This having to adjust ID's of Historic Irises I am sure will happen more and more as the coming deluge of old publications are digitized, which in turn will open up a treasure trove of history helping to confirm beyond doubt that we got it right, or in my case confirm that I got it wrong.

Clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Copyright Iris Hunter

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Friday, November 16, 2012

New Zealand Tall Bearded Iris 'IRWELL GOLD STRIKE'

I thought it was time for an update for the post 'Irwell Gold Strike' with a new photo and a few additional encouraging words.
 This iris just will not and has not stopped blooming this season and I think a note should be made to its registered bloom season to change from Mid to Mid to Late. Large blooms on solid as iron rod stalks that more than help make a bold and brilliant garden statement, plant habits that never fail to impress with good clean foliage and great increase. 'Irwell Gold Strike' was the stand out iris and the winner of the 'Begg Sheild' at the Lake Tekapo Iris Conference 2005. Described by Ron as "Cream standards faintly overlaid with yellow stippling, falls are amber gold. It has a gold beard with striations of cream and tan at the hafts. Standards are wide and flaring and shows good branching and bud count."

Will make a spectacle in anyone's garden, and being pollen fertile, makes it a more than interesting parent. Among the first irises that Ron purchased over 40 years ago were the white and yellow Amoena 'Pinnacle', and 'Summit', and its good to see a New Zealander continue with this colour line with such a high class Iris. This iris can be purchased this 2012 season from 'Kiwi Iris Delights' (Link above New Zealand Iris Growers) Buy it! you'll love it.
Another Brilliant New Zealand Bred Iris that Everyone gets to see!!!! Me, I'm just so glad to help.

Digital Image scanned from a regular 6 x 4 photo taken by Ron Busch.

New Zealand Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist 2011
IRWELL GOLD STRIKE Ron Busch Reg., 2007.Sdlg. X200. TB, 40″, (102cm) M. S. White flushed gold, deeper at midrib; style arms gold, white crest; F. Gold, brown veining on shoulders; beards yellow. Parentage; Infinite Grace X inv.Bang, Commentary, Coronation Gold, Latin Lover, Emma Cook, Pipes of Pan, Rich Melody, Imperial Crown, Melodrama, Gaylord, Pinnacle. Waimate Iris Garden 2007. Begg Shield 2005.(NZ)

This iris is listed in the printed 2009 Iris Check List, it also has a listing on the American Iris Society on-line iris registration database, but as at today's date the Iris Encyclopedia wiki 'Irwell Gold Strike' does not even rate a mention and never has. When I go for looking for accurate iris information where do you think I go, anyone care to guess?

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version. Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Ron Busch, Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

New Zealand Tall Bearded Iris IRWELL TRIBUTE

IRWELL TRIBUTE is a very fine blending of old gold standards with very smart burgandy plicata on  creamy orange ground falls. Attractive sanded and dotted pattern much in the style of the great 'COLORTART' (Innerst 83). Magnificent form, substance and texture that is simply presented with only light waving, no lace or other clutter. In only one season it is already much admired in the garden for it's vigorous clean growth and the unusual color pattern. Registered as parentage unknown but I have filled in the parentage from Ron's breeding records for your information.

New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist 2011
IRWELL TRIBUTE  Ron Busch, Reg., 2007. Sdlg. 91-114-2. TB, 40″, (102 cm), M. S. and style arms yellow gold; F. white ground flushed gold, rose brown plicata markings; beards yellow.  (Easter Tide x Southern Potentate) X involved parentage that includes Porta Villa, Chinqupin, Majorette, Wild Apache, Youthful Charm, Radiant Apogee, Wild Ginger, Rococo, My Honeycomb. Waimate Iris Garden 2007. CM.2005 

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tall Bearded Iris BEAUMONDE

Tempo Two, Pearcedale, Victoria, Australia. Iris, Daylilies, Hosta Catalogue  1986-1987
BEAUMONDE  (Lorna Hodges '86 Aust)  M. 36"  This has been a favourite of ours since it was a seedling in the raisers garden. This popularity was increased when it started to win awards in the trial garden. It is a plicata with a ground colour of white.  Standards are muted blue violet with a cast of colour throughout; falls are heavily veined muted blue violet.  Beards are bright orange.  It is a super grower with lovely branching.  Has to be seen to be appreciated.  (Smoke Rings x (Cabaret Royale x Porta Villa))  HC 83, Merton Calvert Award 84, AM,85.....................................$25.00

AIS Checklist 1989
BEAUMONDE (Lorna Hodges, R. 1985) Sdlg. TG 83-43. TB, 36" (91 cm), M. S. greyed blue violet; F. white ground heavily lined greyed blue violet; bright orange beard. Smoke Rings X (Cabaret Royale x Porta Villa). Tempo Two 1986/87.
H.C. 1983, Merton Calvert Award 84, A.M.1985, Iris Society of Australia.
Now here's the rub. I did a search on the internet for 'Beaumonde' some time ago before I purchased this iris and found a limited amount of accurate information and I also viewed a page on the much vaunted by others for its accuracy the "Iris Encyclopedia". I did at the time as this site suggests email Bob Pries
(he's the ringmaster for the Iris Encyclopedia) about the obvious problem, as usual I did not receive a reply but for me thats not really a  surprise. For a considerable length of time (A good part of this year that I have noted) this is how the page has displayed on the wiki.

Mr Pries very recently stated in HIPS E magazine 'Flags'
"The Iris Register and the Iris Encyclopedia are often compared but have different missions. The Register presents the official registrations as printed in the checklists. One of its primary assets is it is immutable at least by viewers. It serves as an accurate archive of the official registration data. But much of this information may no longer be true, particularly because of definition drift.' he then goes on to state,'The Iris Encyclopedia is attempting to provide a complete up to date information resource on the Genus Iris. Although we attempt to provide the original official registration data, in the case of the 1939 checklist registrations, we are also seeking inclusion of the material from the references given. Also users can provide annotations. For the Iris historian this should prove to be an invaluable resource for the future.'
Really ?.................Tell me something, has the definition of the colour 'Greyed Blue Violet' drifted so far in twenty seven years that it has now become 'Vivid Reddish Orange'?? The wiki image is so far off the written registered colour description that just about anyone could have looked at the photo and said, "I don't think so." Just how many more pages like this are there on this site??
It's no good telling me this is a one off (I can guarantee this is not) or that this is just my expression of a dissenting opinion regarding the wiki, I look at this situation like this, the addition of information to the official registration data should be at least as accurate as the original data that was submitted by the hybridiser when he or she filled in the original registration form, the attaching of additional information needs to be vigorously reviewed before displaying on the web and if you don't have the resource to do this, don't start the journey. The objective of a checklist is most of all accuracy that can be relied on, what it is not is a free-for-all that is justified by a so called 'definition drift'.
Hope may not be warranted at this point!!!

 Currently Daves Garden, when it comes to accuracy regarding the 'Tall Bearded Iris 'Beaumonde'' beats this wiki thing hands down and that site is without a photo!!

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version. Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Tall Bearded Iris AURORA LIGHTS

'Aurora Lights' a great looking plicata that you see a lot growing in the more established gardens in the Wairarapa. Key point in identification is the purple base foliage inherited from the pod parent. Nice clean foliage and robust growth. This plant has often been mislabelled  as 'Harlequin' which it does not even remotely look like but the most telling fact that eliminates it as 'Harlequin' is that it does not have the PBF trait referred to above.

Stevens Bros, Bastia Hill, Wanganui.  Irises 1949-1950 catalogue

Novelties 1949-50
Even those of us who are nor enamoured of the new plicatas find this one lovely. The broad and beautiful textured falls have a slight flare and ruffling, cinnamon dotted on cream velvet. The standards are a rosy bronze flushed over cream. Falls are crimson dotted on cream velvet, broad and beautifully textured and have a slight flare and ruffling. A deep gold beard enriches the whole combination. Large flowers excellent branching and good height places this in the top rank. 4ft. ....................................................................42 shillings

New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist 2011
AURORA LIGHTS  Mrs J. Stevens, Reg., 1948.  Sdlg. 7/T147. TB, 48″, M, Y8M.S. rosy bronze over cream. F. cream and rosy bronze, good form, deep gold beard. 4ft.; Description J. Stevens Studbook notes,‘1946 flowering’;
Plicata.  Manchuria X Tiffany. Stevens Bros 1949-50

 This photo was taken last year in a country garden I visited.
As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tall Bearded Iris ROCOCO

Which plicata is it? we had to ask?? I have always grown this Iris as 'Rococo' but......first of all there is that registration colour 'Blue' (just which of the hundreds of blues did they mean?) and as you can see just plain old 'Blue' wasn't in the mix on our plant growing at home.The Schreiner's Catalogue 'Artist enhanced' colour portraits on the cover of their 1960 catalog the blue is almost a Blue Black. Turns out we had it nailed after-all and I guess you could say with help from that 7 year old camera we have captured 'Rococo's' amazing violet-blue colour tones and it's obvious charms for all to see. Its one of the great things about the blog, it changes the need to continuously process identification issues and it's like labelling an iris with a digital indelible pencil.
This is a classic in the blue and white plicata's class and is one of the earliest so called modern plicata's to bloom. Tall (103cm) stems at times slightly ziggy zaggy with 3-4 beautifully spaced branches, 7-9 buds, this all helps to produce a powerful display that carries across the garden. Beards are described in the checklist entry as 'inconspicuous' but I like to think they are much more than that, they are a harmonious soft blue-violet colour, tipped orange deep in the heart adding a certain brilliance to the blooms. Terrific plant habits,with outstanding growth and an ability to resist adverse weather conditions. No collection of classic irises is complete without 'Rococo'!!!
Just the one bump in the road and that is I just can't seem to find a New Zealand commercial grower that lists 'Rococo' well at least not a 'Rococo' with the correct label but do not fret too much as it is sold on Trade Me occasionally by the odd reputable trader.

I remember reading in some 1960's journal a comment that Joe Ghio had made about how the blue plicata's owed so much of their rapid advancement to 'Rococo' and the AIS checklist indicates it was used heavily as a parent.

Schreiner's, Salem,Oregon, 1961 Iris Lovers catalog
ROCOCO (Schreiner 1960) E. 39"
What a thrilling concept for a hybridizer that beauty should possess an infinite frontier! When beauteous Belle Meade first swam into our ken, it seemed as if a more beautiful blue plicata could not be achieved. But in Rococo we have what is obviously a new ultimate in plicata beauty, never did an iris display such an intricate, saucy, petunia-like frilling. Indeed, in both color and form this is probably the fanciest iris in existence. The snowy ground of both standards and falls, the clean-cut margining of freshest, brightest blue, the classic grace - all suggest the exquisite perfection ascribed to Grecian art. For a new Queen of the iris garden we nominate Rococo. Its beauty will lend prestige to the finest iris collection. Plant patent pending.

Region 14 Northern California, Nevada, Regional Bulletin, Spring 1961.
Varietal Comment, Virginia Messick, Lafayette, California.
ROCOCO (Schreiner '60) was a standout wherever seen at the Portland Convention. It had opened at a perfect time and was strategically located throughout the Schreiner gardens,but I was very impressed with it and voted for it for the Presidents Cup (won by Violet Hills.) Rococo is a blue plicata, very ruffled, fluted and beautifully branched. It apparently can stand adverse weather conditions because it still looked fine in spite of "heavy dew" that was falling. As I remember it, Rococo was a bit more on the purple side than as pictured on the catalog.

Region 14 Northern California, Nevada, Regional Bulletin, Spring 1961.
Varietal Comment, Neva Sexton, Wasco, California.
ROCOCO (Schreiner) This is a very white ground plicata. Dark blue markings form a half inch border on the frilled falls. The standards are almost entirely colored with the same blue. This iris will be a challenge to all hybridizers to TOP.

The Iris Year Book,(BIS), 1962.
Varietal Comments by the Kent Group
ROCOCO (Schriener 1959) This is one of the best irises seen at "Sandilands". It has been described as "the plicata to end all plicatas" and certainly that is likely to be true for many years to come. The colour pattern is deep blue violet on white, for both standards and falls, and the whole flower is heavily ruffled. The branching on the tall spikes (3 feet 6 inches) is excellent with two buds on each of the four branches. Some spikes carried three open flowers others four. The standards were closed in the young flower but tended to opened later. The falls, varying from semi flaring to pendant, were large and spectacular. Whatever may be thought of the departures from classicism on the show bench, ROCOCO will bloom twice as long and will be much more exciting and decorative in the garden than many honoured varieties. (CAROLINE JANE X FLYING SAUCER) X BELLE MEADE.

Schreiner's, 1965 Iris Lovers catalog

I have included this second entry from the Schreiner's catalogues to show how the colour description changed from brightest blue in 1960 to violet blue in 1965. Another tidbit is that Schreiner's applied for a plant patent for 'ROCOCO' in 1960 and had the Patent #2077 awarded in 1965.

Schreiner's, Salem,Oregon, 1965 Iris Lovers catalog
ROCOCO (Schreiner 1960) E. 39"
In Rococo we have what is obvious a new ultimate in plicata beauty. Never did an iris display such an intricate, saucy,petunia-like frilling. Indeed, in both color and form this is probably the fanciest iris in existence. The snowy ground of both standards and falls, the clean cut margining of freshest violet blue, the classic grace - all suggest the exquisite perfection ascribed to Grecian art. Patent 2077

Cooleys Gardens, Silverton, Oregon. Iris Catalog 1963
ROCOCO (Schreiner '60)
Ruffled and fluted, giant plicata of bright blue on clean white, the blue pattern especially wide and heavy in the folds of the standards. The falls are pure white in the center, with a quite distinct band of blue encircling a full halve inch of the pleated and ruffled border. Beard is deep yellow. Much discussed and admired recent novelty. Early; 40 inches. Plant Patent 2077  HM, AIS 1960 AM, 1962.

Region 14 Northern California, Nevada, Regional Bulletin, Spring 1966.
1965 Parade of Favorites, Frank Scott.
I saw many more to brag about but will try to describe these few as I saw, evaluated and photographed them here and there. This year we did get to visit the Oregon gardens of Schreiner, Cooley and Shoop, and of course we enjoyed the new introductions and old favorites, but right in our own backyard in Region 14 we had a ball. We are so proud of the work of all of our California Hybidizers, and I urge you to see them, grow them and enjoy them as I intend to do........
ROCOCO (Schreiner '60) Still a top star in the blue and white plicata class. The flowers are so large and heavily ruffled, they just get you. Rococo has a long bloom period and growth habits seem excellent. 

AIS checklist 1959
ROCOCO (R. Schreiner, R. 1959). Sdlg. O-508-1. TB 39" E. W2B. S. white stitched blue; F. white bordered blue; inconspicuous beard. (Caroline Jane x Flying Saucer) x Belle Meade., Schreiner 1960. HM 1960.

A major hat tip to Phil Edinger for his succinct observations.

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Book Review 'A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts'

I was approach by a Bookseller to review the book 'A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts' (2012) by Kelly Norris, this was before the books publication and it was an offer I turned down, the reason, Mr Norris recently became the Editor of the American Iris Society Bulletin so I had become reluctantly used to his media style, this understandably tempered my expectations for substance and possibly not the attitude required for writing a review for a bookseller who expects all the bells and whistles to sell books. However several months ago the same Bookseller offered me this book for a massively discounted price with no strings attached which I accepted. I have held off posting a review of this book but with the 'New Zealand Gardener' magazine coming out in their November 2012 publication with its so called book review is time to have a word.

With a listed ticket price of $79.99 I'm not even sure if this is a reasonable price for a 'A great coffee table addition' as one Amazon reviewer suggested, and as I have no idea what coffee table book aficionados require to fill a vacant space on a coffee table I can not say if the book fits this criteria, but I can say fairly and squarely I do not think this is a book of good value or importance to New Zealand Iris growers no matter what their status.
The style of writing is pretentious in a elitist witticism style which the publisher in their blurb consider humorous but after a couple of pages becomes tiresome, includes more than a few puzzling and unsubstantiated statements and with 300 or so colour photos that vary in quality the book could hardly be called comprehensive and to be frank there is just as much if not more information in a Schreiner's Iris catalogue ($5.00) . The book has all the appearances of being rushed into print. In the 'Red' colour section the author goes on to reference Louisians and I.fulva which is a surprise as the Book title states the scope of the book is limited to the bearded irises so this has the reader scrambling for another more authoritative book on Irises to try and understand what the writer is on about.
For New Zealand gardeners starting to find their feet in Iris growing this would be the one purchase not to buy, a good proportion of Bearded Irises listed are not available here, its gardening advise is written for North American gardeners and the books selective criteria covers only bearded iris varieties, also listing only commercial sources in North America. All of this would only lead to the reader especially if they are new to the iris world thinking that there is only a limited selection available in New Zealand.
If you have $80.00 to spend on a iris hobby my advise is send away for an Iris catalogue from a New Zealand commercial iris grower which will cost you anywhere between the price of a few postage stamps to $6.00. These catalogues normally contain good but brief growing information that suit the New Zealand growing conditions and for the $74.00 balance use the money to purchase your Iris plant selections from the catalogues.
If you want a real Iris book for the same approximate monetary value buy Clarie Austins 'Irises, A Gardeners Encyclopedia' reads well, without doubt much more comprehensive and covers the majority of the all popular Iris species and hybrids.
After reading the above and you still think you really need this book and you have half an hour to spare check out 'A Guide to Bearded Irises' first at a library if they have it, a quick flick through this book could save you a lot of money.

This Norris chap has been referred to in some reviews of this book as the poster boy of the Iris world...... Hello! I am not sure who has propagated this silly idea perhaps it could have been the same person who told Katy Perry she could sing but what makes this even more suspect is Mr Norris then twirps about about how great the review was on the twit network thing ...............unbelievable! I would think the poster boys would be the likes of Barry Blyth, Keith Keppel, Joe Ghio, Terry Aitken, George Sutton, Paul Black, Rick Tasco, Tom Johnson, Anton Mego, and Richard Cayeux. (sorry if I missed someone)
To the publisher Timber Press,'What were you thinking'?? if you are going to build a publication on the cult of the personality, you run the risk of irritating everybody outside the smallish targeted so called Hip gardeners demographic and why is your recommended retail price in New Zealand so high when this book only months after its release is already been flogged off with the price heavily discounted internationally??

The glowing review of this book in the 'New Zealand Gardener' magazine is just a cut and paste job from the publishers blurb and has all the appearance of reviewing the book without actually reading it. So brilliantly researched the reviewer couldn't even get the gender of the author correct. 'New Books' then goes on to review the book 'Garden Tours. A Visitor’s Guide to 50 Top New Zealand Gardens' by Michele Hickman' which it is said the author never visited the gardens but implied she did. Visit The 'New Zealand Gardener' magazine has three of these books as a "Garden Giveaway" and after reading Abbie Jury's review, giving the book away is most likely the only way the publisher is going to shift this book out of his warehouse.
'New Zealand Gardeners' and for that matter 'All Gardeners' definitely deserve better!

'New Zealand Gardener' magazine

'A Guide to Bearded Irises:  Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts' (2012) by Kelly Norris.

Reproduction in whole or in part of this article without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited.
Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris SMOKEY BABE

Another pleasant surprise this bloom season!
This iris colouration reminds me of the Intermediate Iris 'Confederate Soldier' both are an odd concoction of colours, but find the right place in the the garden for them to grow and they turn out to be winners.
'Smokey Babe' is a good grower but does have a little trouble getting all its bloom stalks above the foliage in its first year, although I have been informed that it sets itself right in its second year of growing. As you can see it's a smoky lavender plicata,with upright and open standards, moderately ruffled falls and a mysterious but sweet fragrance. Beards are white tipped blue lavender and are certainly a stand-out feature.
'Smokey Babe' has been bred by the late Mrs. Lynette Black who also registered two other Standard Dwarf Irises, 'Plum's & Custard' (registered at the same time as 'Smokey Babe') and 'Kiwi Lass'. Mrs. Black who lived in Heriot a small settlement in West Otago was a Test Garden Director for the NZIS from 1992 until 2000. Now I know where I can purchase 'Kiwi Lass' but as for 'Plum's & Custard' who knows? anyone reading this that does know, drop me a line.

New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist 2011

SMOKEY BABE Mrs L. Black, Reg., 1996. Sdlg. 89-54-H. SDB, 10″, (26cm), ML ; Smokey lavender plicata markings on cream white ground; beards blue lavender; ruffled; pronounced sweet fragrance. Muchacha X Court Magician. Netherby Gardens, 1996/97.

This was one of a few Irises I was more than just a wee bit dubious about purchasing and then having to grow this iris at home, the reason for my apprehension, well you would have needed to see the photo used to sell this iris on Trade me was pretty bloody awful, OK lets not beat about the bush the photo was appalling and frankly if the Iris bloomed at home looking like the trade me photo it would of been on the compost heap already. I made the decision to purchase knowing that most New Zealand hybridisers have a good eye, also very few people I assume would register an iris that looked as bad as the Trade Me photo and as you can see my good faith paid dividends! Can someone inform me why does anyone want to make a Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris look like an out of focus Three Prong Frizbee on acid??
As 'Smokey Babe' and several other irises from the same supplier showed once they started growing that they where shipped with fungal infections (I assume as a bonus for no extra cost) they where all subjected to a rigorous spray programme with a systemic fungicide (Taratek 5F) and this also could have had an affect on the bloom height.

Its sad that some clueless commercial growers of irises in New Zealand can't be bothered having a robust spray programme for fungal infections like leaf spot and think it is OK to send you infected plants, but they also want to charge a premium price for doing so. If you do nothing its rapidly becomes like a leaf spot chain letter. The solution? just don't purchase irises from these growers again but make sure you write to them and let them know your displeasure. I do! And they sure as hell don't make it to the New Zealand Iris Growers link list above.

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo Credit and Copyright Iris Hunter
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Border Bearded Iris SOUNDZ OF COUNTIES

If you know 'Cherry Garden' the SDB then you will be familiar with the colour of 'Soundz of Counties' but that's where the familiarities finish. This Border Bearded Iris has branching (if you can call it that) far to close to the stalk, the flowers open touching the stalk and the blooms have crowded each other which never is a good look, and this is exactly what the photo shows one flower on top of the other. We all have the right to ask more of a new iris than just "new and introducing this season".
Let me quote a respected opinion on breeding irises ;
"Branching sufficient to display adequately the blooms according to their size, and height of stem to give balance to the flower, are also essential virtues. Beauty of form, substance, and colour are lost, if the branching is not sufficiently wide to display each flower separately. I have seen lovely seedlings, the first flowers of which looked perfect, but the branching was so poor that the succeeding flowers ruined the whole effect. Very short branching will mean that individual flowers will crowd each other out on the main stem until form and balance are lost in overlapping petals and a splash of colour". Jean Stevens, Iris and its Culture, Part One, 'On Breeding Bearded Irises'.

I will give this iris the benefit of the doubt and grow it on for another season to see if this poor branching trait decides to grow itself out via maturity, I'll keep you updated. In the meantime should you need a Border Bearded Iris of this colour tone and you don't want to compromise on good form and lets face it you shouldn't have to, go looking for a supplier who has Duane Meek's 'Honky Tonk Hussy'(1991) or Terry Aitken's  'Cranapple' (1995) both are award winning irises with good branching and are available in New Zealand for very reasonable prices.

New Zealand Hybridisers Checklist 2011
SOUNDZ OF COUNTIES Peter Berry, Reg., 2010. Sdlg. SA 98-6. BB 26" (65 cm), E. S. and style arms maroon; F. same, white lines at haft; beards white base, hairs tipped ginger in throat and middle, white base tipped maroon at end; slight fragrance. Cascade Pass X Cherry Garden. Limavady Irises 2011.

As usual, clicking the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Zealand Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris FOREST GLADE

'Forest Glade' has been blooming its socks off at home and shows no signs of stopping just yet. It produces beautiful two buds per stalk with consistency no matter what the weather conditions throw at it. Strong vigorous growth with hearty clean foliage, all of the great plant habits that we have come to expect from a Jean Stevens introduction.
As an aside, the pollen parent of 'Forest Glade's' is an iris named 'Sulina' and has its own interesting history. It's a 3 inch deep violet seedling pumila, one of two (Carpathia was the other) grown and selected from a collection of seeds Robert Schreiner obtained from the University of Cluj in the Provence of Transylvania. Considered by Robert Schreiner to be a lower Danubian form of the pumila species, 'Sulina' and 'Carpathia' are named after one of the three channels that carry the river Danube to the Black Sea. Another of Robert Schreiners famous dwarf breeding irises was named 'Nana' this variety is a collected form of pumila, grown from seed sent from the Crimea. All three of these irises were never registered but were introduced by Schreiners and all were used extensively by many hybridisers and are noted in the parentage of more than just a few MDB, SDB, and Intermediate Irises.

Waterson Iris Garden, Wanganui, Irises 1960-61
One of the new class of irises called "Lilliputs", raised by the crossing of the tiny pumilas with the Tall Bearded Irises. This little iris is very exotic in colouring, charming in effect. The standards are palest citron yellow - almost cream - while the falls are a clean soft olive brown with green overlay and with a wide margin around them of the same citron yellow as the standards. Free flowering and vigorous. 9 inches..........................17/6

THE IRIS (Australia) 1962, 'Comments from Tasmania', Page 70, Marion Calvert.
Forest Glade. One of the lilliputs (raised by Stevens of N.Z.). Standards palest citron yellow, while the falls are a clean olive brown with a wide margin of the same citron cream as the standards. It is very attractive in the garden and much admired by all who have seen it. 

A.I.S. Bulletin #184, January,1967, 'Varietal Comments, Region 3', Page 61,Charlotte Ganz.
A very striking flower with lemon standards and olive reddish falls edged lemon. It achieved more height here than it had "Down Under" but still was not in proportion, a failing of which Mrs Stevens is aware. It is a pity because the colors are so lovely.

New Zealand Hybridisers Checklist 2011
FOREST GLADE Mrs J. Stevens, Reg., 1960. Sdlg.1/f361. SDB 10″, E, Y3. S. pale citron yellow; F. green-toned olive-brown, edged citron yellow; yellow-cream beard. D127 X Sulina. Waterson Iris Garden 1960-61

Waterson Iris Gardens were the first to introduce 'Forest Glade' in 1960 the same year of its registration not Sunnyside Gardens, 1969/70, as shown in the official AIS Checklist description .
I think 'Forest Glade' is still commercially grown in New Zealand somewhere, but I purchased mine on Trade Me from hctnz (Lyn Nell) a Mid-Canterbury gardener who sends generous plants that have great plant health and who I have no hesitation to recommend highly.

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.

Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

New Zealand Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris HENHAM

'Henham' Noel tells me is a good growing iris. Named after grandson Henry & used part of surname.

New Zealand Hybridisers Checklist 2011
HENHAM Noel Lapham, Reg. 2011 Sdlg. 05-79/2. SDB, 11" (28 cm), E
Standards light yellow, lighter towards center; style arms white, slight lemon midrib; Falls, yellow-brown, light yellow rim; beards white, orange tips,paler at end. Zero X Yippy Skippy.

A 'Huge Hat tip' to Bev and Noel for the use of their photo. Send them an email and get their catalogue, you will be surprised the selection available.
Photo Copyright and Credit Mossburn Iris Gardens.

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New Zealand Standard Dwarf Bearded SAY SO

      More of the New Zealand Bred Standard Dwarf Bearded Irises hybridised by Noel Lapham as promised and available for sale this year from Mossburn Iris Gardens.
Noel has explained '
This iris lucky to be registered after growing it for eleven years, "SAY SO" is an interesting colour, with striking white beards'.
I am sure that an Iris that has been grown at Mossburn Gardens for eleven years has considerable merit

New Zealand Hybridisers Checklist 2011
SAY SO Noel Lapham, Reg. 2011 Sdlg. 01-F. SDB, 9" (23 cm), M
Standards dark blue violet; Falls dark blue violet, cream at hafts; beards white, tipped yellow in throat. Parentage unknown. Mossburn Iris Garden 2011.

Once again a 'Huge Hat tip' to Bev and Noel for the use of their photo.
Photo Copyright and Credit Mossburn Iris Gardens

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Intermediate Bearded Iris IN BETWEEN

'IN BETWEEN' is out of a cross of Shirley Spicer's 1996 SDB 'Little Bridget' and Gordon Plough's 1976 Blue TB 'Glacier Magic'. Robust growth with nice clean foliage, blooms have good form with strong fluted standards, flaring and lightly ruffled falls and the colouration that reminds me of a indecisive modern version of the great Intermediate Bearded classic, 'June Prom', A. Brown 1966.
Standards are solid icy pale blue with no markings, the falls are one shade lighter, smartly deepening to a medium blue towards the falls centre, this is overlaid with deeper toned subtle violet blue striations that change to a heavier concentration of Olive coloured markings at the shoulders, just like 'June Prom' did. A pleasant but not overpowering fragrance and soft violet beard tipped light orange yellow darkening down the throat. Blooms are the ideal size for an intermediate and on rather strong , well-branched stalks. Works for me!

New Zealand Hybridisers Checklist 2011
IN BETWEEN  Shirley Spicer, R. 2009. Sdlg. SS/17/90. IB, 38-42" (97-107 cm), E ; S. pale blue; F. pale blue flushed deeper blue,  greenish striations on hafts; beards pale violet hairs tipped yellow; slight sweet fragrance. Little Bridget X Glacier Magic.

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pacific Coast Irises at Queen Elizabeth Park

Tucked away in Masterton’s Queen Elizabeth Park is a little iris garden, originally established by money donated by the Wallis family and named in their honour. Bert and Nance Wallis were keen irisarians and founder members of the New Zealand Iris Society (NZIS) in the late 1940s. Bert loved Tall Beardeds – the taller and brighter the better – while Nance preferred smaller bearded and species irises.

They passed their love of irises onto their family – son-in-law Ron Isles was President of the NZIS and grandson Gareth Winter is the current editor of the Almanac of the Society for Pacific Coast Native Iris. Gareth, who breeds PCIs in Masterton, has donated some of his seedlings to his grandparents’ garden, and I recently went down to have a look and see what was flowering. This exceptional blue variety took my eye, and I couldn’t help but think of 'The Mamas & the Papas' song, “Californian Dreamin”, partly because the next line is ‘on such a Winter’s day’!

I sent Gareth a copy of the photograph and he went over to the park to see the flowers himself, but before he got there a thief in the night had beaten him, and all the flowers had been picked and taken away. While we admire their extreme good taste in stealing the iris flowers we think they should have been left there for the rest of the public to enjoy.

Gareth's blog 'IRISES & ARCHIVES' is an very good read and a link can be found above in 'MUST READ BLOGS'
As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Zealand Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris KIM MAREE

I am quite partial to Blue and White coloured plicata's in the Lilliput's as they add a special carrying power to the emerging spring garden. Noel Lapham thinks that there are a lot of iris with this colouring but this one is a brighter colour. Obviously a Lapham family favourite as 'Kim Maree' was selected by their daughter, and has been named after her.

New Zealand Hybridisers Checklist 2011
KIM MAREE Noel Lapham, Reg. 2011 Sdlg. 04-7/2. SDB, 11" (28 cm), M
Standards white ground, dark violet rim; style arms violet, lighter edge; Falls, white ground, violet rim and hafts; beards white, yellow tips in throat. Chubby Cheeks X Crispin Babe. 

A 'Huge Hat tip' to Bev and Noel for the use of their photo.
 Photo Copyright and Credit Mossburn Iris Gardens

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

New Zealand Bred Aril Median Iris HAIDEE

New Zealand Bred and classified as a Arilbred Median (AB-MED), it also has the classification from the Aril Society as OGB- which is a  a hybrid containing any combination of oncocyclus and regelia and other eupogon irises. To simplify things this iris at 14 inches has the same height requirements as a Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris to give you an idea of size, it just has different mix of iris genetics. 'Haidee' blooms have striking and vibrant rose lavender standards and falls of a darker rose lavender tone. Small lighter violet highlights around a deeper violet beard. Growth is less than average but I am sure this is one of those irises that I will have to find the right spot to grow in order for it to be a success. Difficult to bred with because of its varied chromosome count derived from its parentage.

Richmond Iris Garden, 376 Hill Street, Richmond, Nelson. Catalogue 2006-2007 Issue 56
HAIDEE (Catton 1979) Lavender standards, falls flushed rose. Brown hafts, purple beards......................$6.00

Aril Society International Checklist 2010
HAIDEE  OGB-  (Hilmary Catton, R. 1979).  Sdlg. C731-10.  AB-MED (1/4), 14” (36 cm).  S. lavender; F. lavender, washed rose; light brown hafts; deep violet beard.  Myra X Saracen Warrior.  Wyuna, 1979-80.  [APTT]  

I purchased this iris last year from Richmond Iris Gardens but it has not been listed this season, so maybe next year.
As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version. 

Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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