Monday, January 30, 2012

Irises at Aitken's: Part One - Historics

Last spring I took a trip south to Vancouver, WA, to visit Aitken's Salmon Creek Garden. I had been to the garden of Terry and Barbara Aitken once before, when it had been one of the gardens on the tour for the 2006 AIS Convention in Portland. That trip was at the height of the TB season and the fields were full of color. This trip was during an incredibly late bloom season so I was fortunate to get to see lots of medians and species varieties that are usually gone by the time the TBs get going. This week I'll have a five part series of posts for you highlighting the beautiful blooms I saw there. I hope it will whet your appetite for spring as it draws closer. Enjoy!

Today I'll start with a few historic bearded irises that I photographed. These are varieties that are still here from Bruce Filardi's collection that I so enjoyed at the 2006 Convention, and are not stock sold by this garden. First up is 'Junaluska' (Kirkland, 1934). A beautiful, tall, glowing iris, it won an HM in 1936 and an AM the following year. Well deserved. I love the wash of rose in the standards and that dark red wire rim around them.

'Messaline' is an old French variety by Millet et Fils, introduced in 1927. It's small flowers are quite charming and display a complex pattern with delicate gold pencil lines decorating the edges of the orchid standards and falls washed and stippled heavily in red-violet, with gilded hafts and a golden beard.

Last is a pretty tall bearded variety from 1967 by Wright - 'Many Moons'. It is a creamy white self with just a touch of lavender to the fall. A really lovely iris.

I hope you enjoyed these. Please come back tomorrow for part two: Medians!

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