Re: Historic Japanese Iris
In a message dated 96-07-26 16:28:45 EDT, you write:
>I have been involved for a couple of years now with restoring the gardens
>at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park. We are now trying to replant some
>beds next to the reflecting pool. They seem to have been originally planted
>with Japanese Iris and Hosta. (The historical record is a little dim.
>Mostly we have to go by black and white photographs where everything looks
>like white petunias :)) So, the question is, does anybody know of a source
>for 1930's era Japanese Iris cultivars? Is HIPS involved with beardless
>iris? We may be looking for Siberians also.
>New York, USDA zone 5
HIPS is concerned with ALL types of irises including Japanese. Unlike the
bearded irises, the Japanese cultivars do not "go out of date" so many of the
older ones are still around. Many of us who have sizeable collections have
some of the older cultivars, but the best source for the older ones is
probably Ensata Gardens in Galesburg MI, operated by Bob Bauer and John
Coble. (9823 E. Michigan Ave, Galesburg, MI 49043). Their lovely catalog is
$2.00 (and well worth the cost if only for the lovely color photos.). They
have many older cultivars that they do not list, so you might want to write
them about your project and as for suggestions.
John Coble is also our current President of the Society for Japanese Irises,
and he and Bob have been very concerned about preserving the older cultivars.
I am certain they will welcome your project and provide sound advice.
Cheers, Clarence Mahan in VA