Monday, September 1, 2014


By  Dawn Mumford

Looking at photographs of your irises is one way to enjoy your irises beyond the bloom season. I would like to share pictures of my favorite pinks, but I have so many that I will have do it in two parts. 

'Designer Gown' by Ghio 1985
(This will be 'historic' next year: it will be 30 years old.)
This beauty has a fine gilt edge on it.  You don't see it until the sun hits it and then it is an eyelash wide line of gold on the edges of both the falls and the standards.  Oh My!

'Magical' by Joseph Ghio 2007
This was my first bloom year for this iris and it took my breath away.  It has extravagant ruffling. 

Many of my "pinks" have a lot of shrimp color in them.  In the garden I still label them as pinks. So I am grouping them together.  It is only in a collage or viewing the photographs and iris side by side that you see that there is a slight orange or shrimp colored cast.  Sometimes I grow similar colors together so that I can see the subtle color difference.  It also makes a bigger splash of color.  Here is a collage of colors side by side to show differences in pinks and corals, and shrimp.  

'My Ginny' by Spoon 2000
This one is one of my husband's favorites irises.  It grows well here.

'Electrabrite' by O. Brown 1983
This one is aptly named because it seems lit from within.  

'Geniality' by O.  Brown 1981
This has long been in my top 25 irises.  It is rather short at 31 inches.  It also doesn't increase as well as lots of others but the colors are worth it. It has both ruffling and lacing.   

'Heatheridge' by Joseph Gatty 1985 
This one has a lavendar flush where the standards and falls come together.  

'Rose Tattoo" by Nearpass 1976 
 This is another that my husband likes.  Some years it has a lot of tattooing and other years it doesn't.  

'Lovely Kay'  by Hamblen 1979
This is one of my clearest pinks that has no shrimp or orange cast.  It looks beautiful in the garden planted next to pure yellow and cornflower blue.  

'Kitty Kay'  by Keppel 2002
This iris has a really pretty form.  I have had trouble with the plant itself.  The leaves are not hardy and the plant itself doesn't increase very fast.  But oh, what a bloom!

'Dream Cake'  by R. Ernst 2002
The hot coral beard and the veining make this one a tour stopper.  This is the first year for it to bloom in my garden.  It won a right to stay.  

'Anna Belle Babson' by Hager 1985
(This will also be on the 'historic' list next year.)
This one has a lot of shrimp coloring in it and reminds me of "Beverly Sills" who is one of its parents.  

'Magdalena Louisa' by Brad Kasperek 2003
I heard that Brad named this one after his mother.  It is a lovely broken color iris.  I was a little fearful of broken color at first and this one seemed more subtle than 'Bewilderbeast' and 'Hot Dogs and Mustard'.  I like lots of the broken color irises now and with Zebra Gardens just 21 miles north of me I  can buy all I want until the money runs out, my husband's patience runs out or we run out of room.  

'Falling In Love'  by Ben Hager 1988
I know this looks like many others but how do you resist the name? 

'Femme Fatale' By Gatty, 1988.
She posed for this one at 10:34 am.

I will continue with more favorite pinks in my next post.  Which of these do you like most?  Which pinks do you like best in your garden?  


  1. We have two pink tall bearded irises here in the garden at Sissinghurst. The first is 'Pink Clover' bred in 1953 by Whiting and the second is (most probably) 'Rosy Wings' bred in 1934 by R. Gage. There is slight uncertainty about this because it has traditionally been labelled as 'Rosy Veil'. However, it does not look at all like 'Rosy Veil' as it's not a plicata and it looks very much like the photo of Rosy Wings on the Historic Iris Preservation Society website. Whatever it's true identity, I love it! Helen (gardener at Sissinghurst)

    1. t is so rewarding to know that the gardener at Sissinghurst Castle follows us on the Word Of Iris, the blog for The American Iris Society. 'Pink Clove'r and 'Rosy Wings' would look pretty and oh so appropriate in the gardens at the castle. Thank you for the response.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you whoever you are and watch for part two of this blog.

  3. I love pinks as well! Your photography and selection is wonderful!

    1. Thanks Susanne, and thanks for your encouragement for writing a blog. This has been a nice opportunity. Dawn

  4. That Magdalena Louise looks amazing! Now on my want list! :-)

  5. Next year contact Zebra Gardens. Brad and Kathie Kasperek are the owners. It is in Elwood Utah. Brad is the hybridizer. Zebra Gardens ZEBRA GARDENS - 2014 We WILL BE TAKING BEARDED IRIS ORDERS UNTIL AUG 15 2014

  6. I'm learning to gardening and would like to plant some bearded iris in memory of my grandmother who love them. Could you recommend a couple of good online sources for purchasing quality iris? Many thanks!

  7. There are many very good ones. The American Iris Society has a list of commercial growers.
    I can only tell you who I have used and who I like but there are many that I haven't tried yet.that are probably just as good. I used Schreiners for years and they are still a very good company. They have been in business many many years and know what they are doing. This year I received nice rhizomes from Schreiners, Mid America, Beaumont Ridge, Iris4u and received some very nice ones from Superstition Gardens and from Zebra Gardens . If you know iris growers near your location ask them because some rhizomes do better in some locations than others. Once you place an order with many of these company's you may get a free catalog sent to you the next year. Some of the catalogs are $10.00 each. Good luck in your buying. It is a fun hobby.

  8. I moved, name tags were lost and now I have 5 'blacks' and am sure of only one name. How does one differenciate between them when they are so alike. For instance there are two almost identical though one has white tipped beard and the other has a bronze tipped beard. I have Spirit Raiser, Badlands, Black Swan, Before The Storm and Sinister Desire. Is there any particular thing I should look for to tell them apart ?? I am in New Zealand. Have a happy day.


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