By Mike Unser
I hope you enjoyed that first set of photos from my garden this past season. We had so many beautiful blooms, even in a sparse year. Here's the second part of my presentation.
One of my favorites of Jim Gibson's plicatas is the charming 'Mod Mode' (1969). Could it be any prettier with its soft pink edging on a sparkling white ground?
Well, yes, it could! Take a peek inside the flower and check out its lovely heart. A suffusion of sunny yellow lights it up and compliments the pink and white tones perfectly. (click for larger photo)
'Old Black Magic' (Schreiners 1996) is one of a long line of stunning black irises from this famous hybridizing family. While I grow mostly historic irises, the tailored form of OBM is delightful and it is a favorite of garden visitors, too.
It also looks amazing when you take a peek inside. Such colors! Like a living kaleidoscope.
'Parthenon' (Connell, 1934) bloomed the first year in the garden, and my, wasn't it eye-catching. I admired it every time I passed by. Its creamy white infused with soft yellow really allowed it to catch the light.
'Pretty Butterfly' (Sass by Edinger, 1999) is an old Sass variety finally getting a proper registration in 1999. What a pattern! It was nice to see it again after several years of it settling in.
Dr. Kleinsorge's 'Rebellion' (1937) is not a flashy iris, nor an eye-catching one, but for those who notice it does intrigue. The deep smokey red tones are verging on brown. It always makes me think of old tapestries or Persian rugs.
Rhages is a perennial favoite and I was pleased as punch to capture this shot of it with the sun barely lighting it. Just magical.
Everyone raves over 'Tropical Butterfly' (Carstenson, 1963), and rightly so. Big, bold flowers of creamy yellow ground edged in bright red really brings the drama to the garden.
Paul Cook's classic Dyke's Medal winner, 'Whole Cloth' (1956), was a welcome sight. Having lost it several years ago in a move I was very pleased to see it showing off this year on an established clump. The soft blue and white is so fresh and lovely. You can see why it merited irisdom's top award in 1962.
Last, I'll share this pretty shot of an old French variety, 'Zwaneneburg' (Denis, 1912). It has aril in the ancestry yet does very well in my wet Pacific Northwest garden, blooming along with the late daffodils and complimenting them nicely. It is a very tough little iris and a reliable bloomer too. I really liked this shot with the yellow of the daffs behind it.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed a brief tour thru some of the flowers I enjoyed this spring and the photos I took of them. I find photographing my iris collection to be just as fun and rewarding as collecting them in the first place. It's not too late to enter your photos in the AIS Photo Contest. You can click here for information on how to enter. I'm looking forward to seeing your winning photo in an upcoming issue of the society's bulletin Irises.