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  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • From: Irisborer@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 23:11:58 -0600 (MDT)

Well, judging by Mark Cook's post, the word is out about the Denver weather
today.  The "s" word was not only in the forecast.... it was all over the
ground, the irises and the 500+ people tramping around here.

Yesterday was chilly.... this morning was damn cold.  Most folks either hied
their bad selves to K-Mart or the hotel gift shop to get something warm to
wear... or they improvised by layering.  Some unique fashion statements here
in Denver today.

First stop was the Chapman garden - a place that boasts of view of Pikes Peak
and Long's peak... but not today.  The weather was drizzly and chilly.  I
liked CROSS CURRENT by Keppel... with dark blue falls and lighter standard.  I
remember this same iris catching my eye last year and it's moving closer to a
spot on the Guest estates.  Our Walter had a seedling here... 91-10-B is a
yellow IB with flaring form.... In bloom and looking perky.

The second stop was the Baumunk garden .. an exquisite confection in horse
country.  As we pulled up, the drizzle became more regular.... and then more
substantial and our initial foray into the garden was in a pure sleet storm -
which then turned quickly to snow!  And I don't mean there were flakes in the
air, boyz and girlz.... I'm talking GOOD PACKING SNOW!  I'm talking Abe
Feurstein making snowballs!  

This was just beyond the pale.... it was so funny.  Imagine all these folks in
bizarre getups slinking around in a December snowstorm ... trying to make
notes with frozen fingers on wet paper... of irises weighted by snow.  I got a
great shot (I think) of Tom Abrego in a snowstorm.... and lots of pictures of
irises gaily topped with a snow cap.  It's funny.... instead of being upset -
most people appreciated the joke and knew that we were part of a historical
convention...... the Denver Iditarod.

I should mention before I get too far afield that the irises at Baumunks were
at peak bloom - and tolerated the snow very well.  I'm becoming particularly
taken with most irises by the Cayeux family, and today was no exception.  Two
in this garden were very similar; white standards, wide falls with a rim so
wide the white center looked more like a signal.  One had a wide violet rim,
the other a wide royal blue rim.  Both had bright orange beards.  Although I
didn't identify which was which, one name was BAL MASQUE and the other RUBAN
BLEU.  You won't go wrong with either.  Keppel's LONDONDERRY was also looking
good... and the rest of my notes consist of blotches and smears.

Getting back to the fashion statements being made today.  There were lots of
layered looks and hats... and plastic garbage bags were featured prominently
in this season's Denver collection.....  Ellen Gallagher sported garbage bag
covers over each shoe giving her a charming gait and assurances that she can't
sneak up on anyone.  Anna Mae Miller tied her garbage bag "Aunt Jemima" style
on her head.... Carol Warner wrapped her scarf around her head serveral times
till she looked like an immigrant.  

>From there we went to the Hudson garden... a large publicly-owned garden that
was once private.  This is a spectacular garden/park with enormous borders, a
fragrance garden, a cutting garden, a rose garden with formal fountain in the
center.  To one side was a rock garden TDF with all manner of dianthus, sedum,
ephemeral, and so on.  

Mike Moller tends the iris garden at Hudson, which was not large - but very
well done (BTW, it had stopped snowing).  The only iris I made a note of was
MY SHADOW (dark purple with darker falls and an unusual coppery beard), but
that's only because I was too damn cold.  This  is a garden you could get lost
in.... no problem.  Lunch was served there... an elegant affair of pasta and
petit fours and chocolate covered strawberries.

The other two gardens today (Stetson and Love) were both in peak bloom as
well.  We haven't seen many siberians here, so I was thrilled to see a bunch
in the Love Garden - and very well grown too.  I was especially thrilled
because many of them were from Dana Borglum of my region!  His LAKE KEUKA is
justifiably famous... and was showing us why - a regal clump of shades of
blue.  Also featured were his "Seneca" series, SENECA EGRET COVE (a wide
white), SENECA STORM CLOUDS (dark blue with feathered styles, and violet on
the hafts).  SENECA SKYLITES (blue with flattened standards with turquoise

Sterling Innerst also had siberians in this garden!  This is the first I knew
he even DID siberians, and he did his usual 'over-achiever' effort... SIB8 is
a grape purple with short, very fancy, feathery stylesarms in (get this) aqua!

More gardens in the morning... running out of steam already tonight.  I'll
also fill you all in on the Geek Jamboree tonight (aka the Iris-L and computer

Kathyguest..... fighting the good fight in Denver

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