Monday, June 17, 2013

Favorite Photos & Varieties from the 2013 Season

By Mike Unser

Here in the Pacific Northwest we had near perfect conditions for the iris season - warm early with plenty of rain and generally mild conditions. No late freezes to mar the blooms, no days on end of rain to wash them all out. It was too bad other factors (weeds, lack of fertilizer, recent division) kept us from having a really spectacular show in the garden. That said, many varieties did show off for us we welcomed them with plenty of admiration and fascination. They are truly marvelous in their variation. Today I'd like to show you some of the many photos I took this year of the many beautiful irises I grow. Hope you enjoy them!

First, a shot of a bed of intermediate varieties, some named, most not. The light yellow variety in this photo is 'Primavera' (Mohr-Mitchell, 1926). The a cool yellow flower with the color of fresh lemonade. It was spectacular in a three year clump bursting with bloomstalks.

Next a pretty little seedling of Siberian iris 'Flight Of Butterflies' (Witt, 1972). I liked it with the grays, yellows and greens of the pond area in the background.

Grace Sturtevant's lovely little creation, 'Afterglow', is not much for form, but the color tones are so lovely as the sun plays thru them across the day.

'Barbara Walther' (Casselman, 1959) sent up four very tall stalks bearing large, pristine white blooms. A real eye-catcher in the garden.

Next is Lloyd Zurbrigg's 'Chimera', an intermediate variety from 1961. It's metallic sheen glitters with diamond dusting, enhanced by the rain droplets it appears covered in jewels.

Violet Insole's 'classic, 'Dogrose' (1930), is a reliable bloomer and was showing off as pretty as ever this year.

The bewitching Border Bearded variety, 'Jungle Shadows', cast it's spell on us. Such a rich and subtle iris.

'Lovila' (Crandall, 1959) was glorious even after having been divided last year. Four stalks sent up a profusion of pale blue blooms over several weeks. I'm surprised this one is not more well known among lovers of historics.

Another IB that really took my breath away and had me coming back again and again is 'Maygold' (Nicholls, 1931). The color was just lovely - a creamy yellow bitone, but the standards were shot thru with golden threads giving it a gilded aspect. What a profuse bloomer too! And with its rounded, jaunty form it was a real standout - the 3 year clump had 21 bloomstalks!

These varieties were excellent garden plants this year and really made the season enjoyable. I look forward to seeing them blooming for me for years to come. There's more photos coming up, so check back later this week!


  1. Hi:

    I was wondering if anyone can help me with my problem. I have reblooming Irises that never rebloom. What am I doing wrong? I live in 5b zone that is dessert like in the spring, summer and fall in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia Canada.

    Thanks, Vivian

    1. Hi Vivian,
      Not many irises will rebloom in your cold climate. Here is a link to a list of tried and true rebloomers in your zone from the American Iris Society Region 2. Good luck growing your rebloomers!


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