Growing and hybridizing tall bearded irises for beauty, performance, and your pleasure." (Bob Van Liere, Iris4U)
By Susanne Holland Spicker
|One of Bob's newest introductions: 'FOREVER MY LOVE' (Van Liere 2015)|
"There is an excitement, a rush, and thrill when you walk out in your garden, and you see a new iris." (Bob Van Liere)
|'CROOKED LITTLE SMILE' (Van Liere 2008)|
Bob's 2012 introduction 'GLOBAL CROSSING' is a favorite in my garden, and a 2015 award-winning iris. The crisp light blue-violet standards, with its heavily ruffled, deep purple falls, edged with a light blue-violet line is elegant and stunning. An iris with a long bloom time, it was the first TB to bloom in my 2015 garden, and among the last still blooming at the end of the season. The flower is not only outstanding, but the foliage has lush green, wide, thick fans and is always a subject of conversation with the visitors in my garden.
2015 award-winner 'GLOBAL CROSSING' (Van Liere 2012)
A 2015 award-winning iris,'SWEETER THAN HONEY' (Van Liere 2012) has exceptional color and beautiful form.
Another popular 2015 award-winner, 'MAYAN MYSTERIES' (Van Liere 2011) has a unique purple waterfall and bright color.
Bob's tall bearded iris 'SISTERHOOD' refers to survivors of breast cancer. He says he introduced it in 2011 with all proceeds going to several breast cancer research organizations. I love the delicate color and wonderful substance of the petals of this large ruffled, laced, light
pink self, which ensures a long bloom time. As a survivor of breast cancer, this addition to my garden has special meaning. Thank you, Bob, for honoring survivors in this
|'SISTERHOOD' (Van Liere 2011)|
|'BY DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT' (Van Liere 2013)|
Van Liere says this about his 2013 introduction 'BY DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT': "A hybridizer is supposed to like their own introductions, but I really like this one. It has grown on me year after year. It calls me from across the garden. There is a confidence in its make up; it has a garden presence which says, 'Look at me.' "
Van Liere says, "Good looks don't matter if the blossoms aren't prolific and lasting." His culling of seedlings is based on bud count and flower forms. He says he "wants the standards and falls to be substantial enough to last three or four days in the heat," and "a stem should last two weeks." Van Liere's irises have always been exceptionally prolific and hardy in my zone 6 garden. Some of my favorites include:
Large blooms of 'TICKLE ME PINK' (Van Liere 2011), with it's bright, bushy beards, are long-lasting and a stand out in the garden. An honorable mention in the 2015 iris awards.
|Striking and prolific 'LONG EMBRACE' (Van Liere 2010). A clump of this is absolutely stunning!|
|Iris4U Iris Garden, Denver, Colorado|
"It can take a decade before a cross is proved to be worthy of commercial introduction. It's a lot of hard work," Bob admits. But I bet if you asked him, he would say it is all well worth it!
Do you grow any of Bob's irises? Which one(s) are your favorite(s)? I'd love to hear from you!
Bob was featured in the Denver Post this past year. To read the article, go to http://www.denverpost.com/.../breeders-an-eye-better...
To read more about Bob's seedlings and the future of their progress, other introductions, or what is happening right now, go to iris4u.com