Re: CULT: The Very Best of Our Best
Well, I have agonized WAY too long over this already, and the only way I'm
done now is that I arbitrarily eliminated beardless, which will have to be
With the exception of 2 amazing performers (I.florentina and JUNGLE SHADOWS),
all of these have been in my garden for at least 5 years, and many for 10.
They all have performed exceptionally well in Newfield, NY, a cold Zone 5.
The soil is glacial till; lots of rock of all description, very well-drained
to the point of being chronically nutrient-poor and dry. pH slightly acid to
neutral. Worst gardening problem is roller -coaster winter temperatures with
unreliable snow cover. Borer is a given unless one takes preemptive action!
SAPPHIRE HILLS (TB) Reliable blue-blue iris.
FIRST VIOLET (TB; Hist); Beautiful violet with simple, eye-pleasing lines.
VANITY (TB) THE pink to grow around here.
LADY FRIEND (TB) Reliable grower in a unique claret-magenta color.
SNOW CLOUD (TB) Not only garden worthy, but a show-stalk producer. Older
blue amoena that can still hold its own on the show bench.
PACIFIC MIST (TB) Another older, wisteria blue that will produce show stalks
yet perform year after year in the garden.
STUDY IN BLACK (TB, HIST.) Stunning, simple black.
TITAN'S GLORY (TB) BIG purple, seemingly less tasty to borers than most
purples in my garden.
SULTRY MISS (TB) A gorgeous, vigorous pink and lavender confection from
Evelyn Kegerise that should have received MUCH more acclaim.
I. florentina (species). A vigorous plant with hauntingly beautiful
gray-white tissue paper flowers. The fragrance will stop you in your tracks.
STRIPED BUTTERFLY (TB, Hist.) Light blue of wonderful form, with darker blue
veining on the falls. C.G. White Award, 1962, and still a head-turner.
ESTHER, THE QUEEN (AR, 1968) Wonderful aril characteristics in an iris only a
hair more demanding than TBs.
SHEIK (AB, 1/2, 1976) Same as above! Beautiful magenta/fuchia violet color
with dark signals. Take it to a show and watch folks swoon.
JUNGLE SHADOWS (BB, Hist.) Indescribable "brown" blend. A truly vigorous
grower in a class often found wanting in that department.
WELCH'S REWARD (MTB) The epitome of the class when it's good...as it usually
is. Yellow standards; maroon falls with precise yellow edging. Tremendous bud
BANGLES (MTB) I thought Lynda Miller had a winner here when I first saw it
at the York Convention; I've only become more convinced since then. Unique
amethyst/ sapphire coloring; makes wonderful garden clumps.
LEMON POP (IB) A growin' fool! Round yellow with crisp white spot. Blooms
and blooms and blooms. Dykes material, IMHO.
SMITTEN KITTEN (IB) Subtle, but beautiful. A long-season-of-bloom pale pink
amoena with beautiful green foliage.
BLAST (IB) Anything but subtle! Apricot-orange standards, magenta falls, and
a bright orange-red beard. Real vigorous.
RASPBERRY BLUSH (IB) Older but still a garden stand-out. Saturated pink with
raspberry area on falls.
PEACHY FACE (IB) Also been around awhile, but still pleases mightily. Salmon
color with a peach "face" spot on falls.
AZ AP (IB) Sky blue self; plant it and stand back.
LUMALITE (SDB) Glowing yellow-green amoena with orange beards. It looks
like its PLUGGED IN, folks! Garden presence galore, and a "good doer."
GINGERBREAD MAN (SBD) Brown with a blue, blue beard. One that's hard to
PRINCESS DOROTHY (SBD) A reliable, clean pale blue-white with a violet
"thumbprint" on the falls.
All of these irises were moved this year to a new garden in Dryden, NY.
Heavy clay soil. More nutrients and MUCH wetter. I'm thinking this list is
going to look quite different in a few years.....
Dryden, NY, USA
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