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On Thu, 12 Jun 2003 13:03:50 -0500, some mardy inna cardy wrote:

>I love red in ALL flowers. That said, I've grown several Irises that 
>are proported to be red.  I don't see it, except in my camera photos. 
>  TB Dynamite, Charger, and Play with Fire all look BROWN to me - 
>except when I photograph them - then the photos look red.
>I'm still on the trail of a true red - not a brown/red.

Until you find it, there's a few 'artful' tricks that may help. As an
artist I'm aware that the color we perceive is partly to do with
contrast. I think we can probably increase the sense that our red
irises are 'red' by what we do and don't set them in contrast with.
Most of the photos you see of irises have only green foliage
surrounding the flower and I'm guessing that's probably the best
setting for a 'red' iris, as it's opposite color on the good old color
wheel, and it's natural partner which seems to make the colors snap,
is green. 

A little experimentation might be called for in the choice of the best
green with which to set off your particular red, but my guess is a
green skewed in the same direction as the brownish red is skewed, that
is toward the yellow end of red, would be the best. The thousands of
professional plantings of those thorny burgundy bayberry shrubs and
the gold euonomous you see around places like McBurgers, and Pizza
Pads as well as some homes, sort of bear this theory out. 

You can't get away from the blue-green foliage that goes with an iris
(except with those variegated ones) but maybe by putting the reds off
by themselves or with some sap-green shrubs for contrast would be
enough to make them seem redder. You might also experiment with the
pale grey artemesia family or planting in front of dark green
evergreens to see if that makes your particular red look redder. 

Locating them in a place where you can see the rising or setting sun
*through* them from your accustomed viewing position may increase your
sense of them being red, as does photographing them with sun glowing
through the leaves.

Ironically, true red flowers (verbena's a good choice) may also bring
out the red--just depends on the shades involved.

It is definitely a bad idea to pair them up with purples, against
which they can look nothing but brown.


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