Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Zealand Tall Bearded Iris EARLY EMBERS

Back home for the weekend from my work in Christchurch, and this morning I walked the garden at first light one of the most enjoyable times of the day for me. Still a few weeks away yet for peak bloom which I will not be here for so it was a delight to see a New Zealand bred Iris shinning like a beacon in the garden. It's David Nicoll's 'Early Embers' which I have always had a lot of time for but only get to see it at it's best when the Nor-Westerly winds stay away in the early season.

Plant has good healthy foliage with average rhizome increase, medium size but proportional blooms, with bloom stalks height in our garden is around the 77cm (30") . Can't say I agree with the hybidisers description of the beard colour as just red its more of an orange-red. 
In cold weather standards can sometimes show some subtle signs of a rose purple colour that some 'iris experts' call virus flecking.  Most likely will never win an award as it is past its peak bloom by time the 'Iris Shows' come around, but it is a stand-out award winning Iris in our garden. Comes with a pedigree of Bill Maryott's stunning velvety maroon 'Cherry Glen' a great garden Tall Bearded crossed with Barry Blyths 1995 amoena  'Yes', a very early blooming TB that has long bloom season.
 'Early Embers' is  listed this year in the Nicolls 'Richmond Iris Garden 2014-2015 Catalogue' and I think it is still traded elsewhere so if you want a early blooming Tall Bearded that puts on a great show with the intermediates make sure it's on this season's Buy-It List!!.

Richmond Iris Garden, 376 Hill Street, Nelson. Issue #64, 2013-2014 Catalogue.
EARLY EMBERS E. Peachy apricot rose colours with a red beard.

2013 New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist
EARLY EMBERS D.B. Nicoll, Reg. 2004. Sdlg. D00T6-l. TB,36" (91 cm,), E. Standards, medium peach-apricot lightly infused with rose; style arms medium apricot; Falls, medium light, apricot-tan with a rose blush merging from the centre to light tan-apricot edges; beards red. Cherry Glen X Yes. Richmond Iris Gardens 2005/06.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

French Dykes Medal winner JEAN CAYEUX

Don't you just love the blends, they are the chameleons of the tall bearded irises and when viewed in the early morning sun they become the custodians of the changing light. Jean Cayeux is a stand-out example of this colour class;

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1930,"New Irises in France", R.G. Walter.
At Messr. Cayeux et Le Clerc's Nurseries.
This is a very distinct Iris of unusual colour. Good size flowers of neat shape with flaring falls. Very much the colour of wet sand ; cafe-au-lait is also a close description. The spike is too crowded. An outstanding colour from an exhibition point of view, but not sufficiently effective in the landscape. 

The Iris Yearbook (BIS), 1930,"Notes on French Irises", Olive and Percy Murrell.
At Messr. Cayeux et Le Clerc's Nurseries.
4368 (Jean Cayeux )
A most distictive Iris with perfectly formed flowers. The color is most unusual, and may be described as a pale Havana brown. The falls are semi-flaring and have a slight blue flush at the tip of the beard. The spikes are not particularly well branched. This is hardly a garden iris as the colour is too subdued, but for all that is a beautiful thing as an individual plant.

Cayeux et Le Clerc, Quai de la Mègisserie, 8, Paris. Catalog 1931.
Jean Cayeux. Cayeux 1931. A most distinct and unusual coloured Iris of an uniform self tone effect "café au laité or clear havane tone with a golden shine enlighting this strange new colours. Flowers of good size and fine form with flaring falls. Strong brached spike. Certificate of Merit of the SOCIETE NATIONALE D HORTICULTURE DE FRANCE and W. R.  DYKES Memorial Medal for the finest new Iris of the year 1931.

Courtesy BIS Yearbook 1931

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1932, Number 45.
Comments on Varieties, Sherman R. Duffy.
The judging seemed to center about Mrs. Douglas Pattison's Quality Gardens at Freeport and at Mrs. Kellogg's Over the Garden Wall in Hartford. A number of judges took advantage of the fine collections in both places to rate the newer irises. In both gardens the irises were as well grown as it seems humanly possible for them to be, some old timers under the best of culture being almost unrecognizably good.
Mrs~ Pattison had, as usual, a comprehensive collection of the cream of foreign novelties and a carefully selected list of American originations. Of the foreign importations, the outstanding' ones were Jean Cayeux and Marquita, both Cayeux irises. Jean Cayeux, a French Dyke's medalist, was the most unusual color note seen this year, a clear brown self of good height, size and stem, with no trace of purple apparent in its bloom and a golden undertone. It should be a very popular iris when well distributed as there is at present none that I know of quite like it. It is a worthy Dyke's award iris.

Mrs. Douglas Pattison, Quality Gardens, Iris, Freeport, Illinois. Iris 1933.

JEAN CAYEUX (Zhan Ka-yuh') (Cayeux 1931), M, 38"
Without doubt the most outstanding foreign introduction of recent years. The flowers are of fine form, well distributed on good stalk. The color is a self tone of pale Havana brown, shot with a golden glint and a little touch of blue at the end of the beard brings out the delicate beauty of the flaring falls. An enchanting new color...........................$35.00
Dykes Medal S.N.H.F. 1931
Certificate of Merit S.N.H.F. 1931

Cooleys Gardens, Silverton, Oregon. Iris Catalog 1933.
TWO years ago American iris enthusiasts visiting in France brought home glowing accounts of three new seedlings produced by that master hybridist, M. Cayeux, of Paris. Of course he exhibited thousands of seedlings in his gardens, but three of them were especially fine and excited comment from every English and American visitor. As soon as we heard about them we promptly ordered a few rhizomes of each, and despite their long journey over the Atlantic and thence across the United States, they reached us in splendid condition and flowered beautifully the following May. These new irises, which will be released from Federal Quarantine about July 1st, are herewith offered for the first time in America.....
Jean Cayeux
This is the most beautiful iris we have ever flowered in our gardens. Likewise, it is one of the most unusual in color—a soft, smooth light buff, described by some as "coffee colored" and hy others as Havana-brown. The form is perfect, as the accompanying illustration shows, and the size is larger than average. In our garden it was splendidly branched, over three feet tall, and flowered over a long season. Jean Cayeux has been awarded a Certificate of Merit by the French Horticultural Society and won the Dykes Medal in 1931 for the finest iris introduced that year. Very limited stock this year.
Each $20.00

BIS Yearbook frontispiece 1934 & Quality Gardens 1933 Catalog.
Thanks to both publications.

Williamson, The Longfield Iris Farm, Bluffton, Indiana. Iris 1936 Catalog.
Jean Cayeux (Cay 1931) Dykes Medal 1931, C.M., S.N.H.F. 1931. One of the most outstanding introductions of recent years. The well formed frilled flowers are a pale brown shot with gold; a touch of blue at the tip of the beard brings out the lovely colouring.

National Iris Gardens, Beaverton, Oregon, 21st Catalog, 1937.
 (Cayeux) 38". The most outstanding color introduction of recent years.Flowers are semi-flaring and slightly frilled, of a pale Havana brown, shot with a golden hint. Dykes Medal winner in France. America.

Carl Salbach Berkeley, California, German or Bearded Iris Catalog, 1937. 
JEAN CAYEUX Beautiful blending of Havana or coffee brown, with golden glint. Considered one of the finest iris even imported from France, including among its many laurels the W. R. Dykes medal. Mid-season. 34 inch.  $3.00 ; 3 for $8.00

Schreiner's Iris Garden, Riverview Station, St. Paul, Minnesota. 1937 Catalog.
JEAN CAYEUX (Cayeux 1931) L. 34". 
An outstanding iris in the copper section - the Dykes Medal winner in France in 1931. This full-petaled flower with its slight suggestion of a frill, has a pleasing grace and opulence of form.Its novel tones of light havana brown with a lustre of golden biscuit-tan show up at their richest in the slanting rays of the early morning sun. 

Vilmorin Andrieux & Cie, 4 Quai de la Mégisserie, Paris (1er), Plantes 1938.
Jean Cayeux (Cayeux 1931) Divisions supérieures café au lait, divisions inférieures havane légèrement éclairé au centre. Fleur magnifique. Certificat de mérite de la S.N.H.F.

Photo Parc Floral de Paris

Oakhurst Gardens, Arcadia, California. Iris 1939.
JEAN CAYEUX. The most outstanding color introduction of recent years. The semi-flaring and slightly frilled flowers are pale Havana brown shot with gold. 38 in.

The Australian and New Zealand Iris Society Quarterly Bulletin, No. 6, September 1949.
An Answer to a frequently asked question : How and where to buy Iris. The Editor.
Darker Blends (Copper, Browns, Tans, Bronzes, and Copper tones)
Australia. JEAN CAYEUX (Cayeux France) A perfect Havana brown ; 2/6

The Orpington Nurseries Company, The Nurseries, Orpington Kent, 1949 Catalogue.
Our collection of Irises is the finest in this country, including practically every variety of merit, old and new.
Jean Cayeux (Cay 1931) One of the finest irises raised in France. Subtle and unique, it is a lustrous Havana-brown self suffused and overlaid with gold. Well branched and a good grower, it still holds it’s place among the top flight irises. 3ft; Dykes medal 1931; AM AIS 1936.

Rene Cayeux, 124 rue Camille-Groult, Vitry-sur-Seine, près Paris, Seine. Iris Catalogue, 1955.
Jean Cayeux. M. Hauteur 1 m. Une variété célèbre par sa couleur unique et tout à fait inhabituelle, havane doré à peine nuancé lilas aux sapales. Par ailleurs la fleur est bien formée et les hampes très ramifiées. Toutes ces qualités font de cette plante une variété nécessaire dans toute collection à jour.

Jean Cayeux, Poilly-Lez-Gien, Loiret (France) Iris, Hemerocalles, Pivoines, 1961.
Jean Cayeux. M. Hauteur 1 m. Célèbre par sa couleur unique et tout à fait inhabituelle, havane doré à peine nuancé lilas aux sépales. Par ailleurs la fleur est bien formée et les hampes très ramifiées. Variété nécessaire dans toute collection à jour.

AIS Checklist 1939
JEAN CAYEUX TB-M--S4M (Cayeux 1931)
Cayeux 1931 ; 1938; Year Book IS (E.) 79. 1930; Flower Grower, 22: 6, 274. June 1935 %: Year Book IS (E.) frontispiece %% ; Peckham 1938 ; Rowan 1938 ; Charles Wassenberg, 1938 ; (PHRYNÉ) X (BRUNO X EVOLUTION) ; C.M., S.N.H.F. 1931 ; Dykes Medal France 1931 ; Bulletin S.N.H.F. 5th Ser. 4 : 309. 25th June 1931 ; A.M. A.I.S. 1936 ; Bulletin A.I.S. 63: October 1936.

Unlocking the history of French Irises and exposing the varieties and their incredible beauty is an advantage to all Iris Historians as these varieties had a huge impact on the iris world and its history. There are large list in both New Zealand and Australia catalogues of French Irises and a lot will still be growing as unknown varieties in gardens in both these countries just like they are still growing in America, Canada, England, Germany, the Czech Republic, such are their status, longevity and beauty.
 Without getting too carried away let me say this when garden tourists visit Paris they have expectations to see the Irises in Paris gardens to look like the irises in those impressionists paintings of Monet, and lets face it how many people do you know that are off to visit Europe and the beautiful gardens there, have told you "I'm of to Paris to see Barry Blyths or Keith Keppels modern irises"............................................. well none actually.
There are only a few historical iris collections worldwide, and collections of French Historic Irises are an even smaller group of these collections, so to have a authority as important as The Parc Floral de Paris that has a commitment to continue to grow and preserve these historic iris beauties, is something we can all be incredibly thankful for. Make sure the next time you visit Europe that the 
Parc Floral de Paris becomes one of your 'must see' gardens!!

As always clicking on the above images will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Major Hat Tip and "Merci beaucoup" to Nathalie Faivre a member of the staff at 
Parc Floral de Paris for sharing with you the amazing photos of 'Jean Cayeux', to Catherine Adam for her direction and help with the French language, catalogue listings, and of course for sharing with you all the amazing  information, also to Phil Edinger for his digging out the 'The Iris Year Book' of 1934 its much appreciated. 
My heart felt thanks goes to the contributors who wrote their descriptive comments in the above Year Books, Bulletins and Catalogues which has contributed immensely to the the knowledge and more detailed history of Irises.
Reproduction in whole or in part of these photo's without the expressed written permission  Nathalie Faivre or Catherine Adam is strictly prohibited.

Photo credit and copyright Nathalie Faivre © .

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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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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris CHERRY GARDEN

Every spring the iris growers in New Zealand await the opening of the first iris flowers in their gardens. Sometimes, even when the last snow is still on the Mountain Range the little miniatures poke their little heads through and shout out with joy. From the minute that the first flowers appear you know that in just a few short weeks you will be in the middle of peak bloom. Hallelujah!!!

Bennett C Jones, Portland, Oregon. Introductions for 1967.

CHERRY GARDEN-Sdlg. #M134-1 (CAPTAIN GALLANT X pumila Y9C Randolph). Red from purple side, velvet smooth. HC 1966.........$5.00

Richmond Iris Garden, Hill Street, Richmond, Nelson. Bearded Irises 1971-1972
CHERRY GARDEN- Completely a red self, smooth and glowing. A wonderful Iris.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1971, Number 203.
Median Varietal Comment, Bee Warburton.
When our editor asked me to write some varietal comment, he sent me an example of the sort he wanted, which was in line with the popular motto, "Be Kind." This emphasizes the delicate balance involved in such published description since giving praise where it is not due is anything but kindness in the end. The ancient gambit is to name the good points of the iris, and then follow with the damning BUT. Or one may praise with abandon one quality which is truly good, and damn the mediocre with silence or the classic faint praise. This requires more tact than even the best judges can always muster............
CHERRY GARDEN. (Jones). Registered as pansy purple, but seems more on the red side; a superb glowing color with beard an exact match. Flowers tend to grow a bit large.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1972, Number 204.
Flightlines ; Varietal Comment, Leda Christlieb, Kansas.
CHERRY GARDEN, SDB, again lovely red velvet, with the terminal bloom too large; later ones in proportion.

Mission Bell Gardens, Melba and Jim Hamblen,  South Roy, Utah. Iris for 1973.
CHERRY GARDEN (B. Jones 1967) M, 15in..
Rich red from the purple side with velvet plush texture. Fine form and vigorous plant. Sensational!! (Capt. Gallant X Randolph pumila 9C) Cook-Douglas Medal 1972.

Riverdale Iris Gardens, Minneapolis,Minnesota. 1980 Price List.
Showy purple red. Cook-Douglas 1974.

4~ Square Iris Gardens, Eau Claire,Wisconsin, Cold Climate Iris, 1982.
CHERRY GARDEN (Jones 1967) Pansy purple self. (more to the red side)
(The reason I have include these short and to the point listings is that the catalogue states 'plants are grown in a very harsh climate. Temperatures from -40°F in winter and up to 100°F in the summer. Coupled with the harsh climate is a short growing season, all of which strongly indicates 'Cherry Garden' is a very hardy iris.)

AIS Checklist 1969
CHERRY GARDEN (Bennett Jones, Reg. 1966) Sdlg. M134-1. SDB, 15" (38 cm), M
Pansy purple (Wilson 928/3) self. Captain Gallant x pumila Y9C (Randolph). Jones 1967. HC 1966, HM 1968, JC 1968, 1969, AM 1970, Cook-Douglas 1972.

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