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Re: HIST: REB: SPEC: Blooming January 3 in Richmond VA

In a message dated 1/4/2007 10:01:52 AM Eastern Standard Time,  
koekkoek@mtcnet.net writes:

<<Amazing!  An iris blooming in early January!  I can  hardly conceive of 
such a
thing.  The height of 3 ft. is a surprise,  too, at least to me.  I didn't 
pallida grew that tall.   What a nice mid-winter surprise!  Thanks for
sharing it with  us, Anner.

Hello,  Arnold. Thanks, and Happy New Year! I hope you ate your  beans so you 
will be healthy, wealthy and wise this year. We ate our blackeyed  peas on 
New Year's day, and watched Fellini's 'Amarcord.' It was a very  nice day.
This has been an interesting sort of season. There was that amazing  yellow 
rebloomer earlier, which, it occurs to me, I should probably check on  again. 
Too,  there was a little, as in dwarf, dark purple  blooming all December up 
against a house in a protected area down in one of  those elite older 
neighborhoods which is practically a cloistered  community, an area in which rather 
tender plants like Gardenia radicans  routinely winter over and the camellias grow 
up to the second story.  Now this pallida type thing. 
Around here pallida can get some height on it, although I suppose this  could 
be Farr's 'Juniata', which looks rather like a slightly darker  pallida and 
is quite tall. In fact, there is a wonderful bogus  portrait of Farr holding 
the cultivar in one of his catalogs. They  fiddled the photo, rather crudely, to 
exaggerate the height of the stalk.  

Bertrand Farr came to Richmond in the early 1920s to judge an Iris  show, and 
he named a cultivar for the city, although it was not  introduced. He was 
considered a most presentable representative of AIS at  the time, in an elder 
statesman sort of way, all very carriage  trade. Others like Sturtevant and 
Wister were still quite young. Even so, Mrs.  Marion Cran, the UK garden writer, 
writing at the time, said John Wister  was the most 'congealed' man she'd ever 
met. This cracks me up. 
If the rain holds off  I will traipse down the promenade with a  yardstick 
and my Ridgway color chart and see if I can get some  specifics on the plant. It 
is in what one would call a tree  well were there a tree in the well, if you 
catch my dithering drift,  darling one. 
Anner Whitehead
Richmond VA USA USDA Zone 7

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