CULT: Best plant in the Garden
Gary, your experience with GREAT LAKES and SNOW FLURRY is intriguing.
When we moved to this property there were bits and pieces of irises here and
there, long abandoned, but surviving invasion by grass, attacks by borer and
suffering from years of neglect.
I rescued pieces of each and found when they bloomed most to be easily
recognized greats from the past. One was BLUE RHYTHM, which has always been
one I loved. Another planted in several places here was WABASH. A flimsy,
unattractive reddish bitone that, despite its vigourous growth, went to the
compost was the most widely scattered. I rather wish I had saved a sprig,
even though I disliked it a lot. I never made any attempt to identify it.
Another found here was BLUE SHIMMER. One diploid remains unidentified, but is
a charming variegata-like plant with pallida height, a flower intermediate
more or less between the species, and a thriving performer I keep around.
As to favorites, however, I picked up two historics through purchase this past
year, and have some hope to see bloom this spring, although growth on all my
purchases from last year is minimal. My soil is badly in need of major
ammendments---. The two were PATIENCE, a seedling of Snow Flurry for whichI
have always have had a fondness, and TOMECO, because it is one of the more
widely destributed products of the work of one of my mentors, Melvina Suiter.
She lived and worked north of Caldwell, ID, in the Sand Hollow area for many
years, then later moved near where the Stanley Gardens are now in the fringe
of the Boise area.
TOMECO is in the ancestry of many modern Schreiner reds, and I also noted a
fairly recent registration from England with Tomeco in the pedigree. It was
probably the first red to really have clean, red hafts without conspicuous
markings, and was a wonderful garden subject.
Favorites? I have one other, a diploid, that has always been a delight--PINK
RUFFLES. Dating from 1940, it is a BB-height "pallida pink," that in Idaho
was astoundingly floriferous. I'm not sure how well it likes North Carolina,
but it grows, blooms and appears to be the same clone I had in Idaho. There
is apparently more than one clone circulating under the name. I believe what
I have is authentic.
Although I don't go out of my way to collect historics, I find the ones I have
delightful, and a reminder of the years in which I first got involved with
irises. I'm adding LENT A. WILLIAMSON to the pile this year, as this was the
first iris I came to know by name, and the first really to catch my attention
as a child. I found the haft veining a source of fascination, and probably
still will. I also have sent for some of the "pallida pinks," all probably
GREAT LAKES, incidentally, may genetically be a "zonal," a part of the plicata
allelic series. A cross from it with really modern plicatas might produce
some interesting seedlings.
Neil Mogensen z 7 Reg 4 western NC mountains
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