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Re: CULT: The Very Best of Our Best

From: Irisacher@aol.com

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 
another list.

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..... 

Dorothy Stiefel
Dryden, NY, USA

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