Monday, August 8, 2016


By Dawn Mumford 

2016 was a good iris year for us.  The conditions in Utah were ideal (except for some strong winds that blew sporadically throughout the season).  We had an exciting season because we had so many "first time to bloom here" irises or "maiden" irises. Here are a few:

'Bravery' (Joseph Ghio, 2011)
This iris is very dramatic; it was very popular in our garden. The blue/white standards are a perfect contrast to the purple/black falls. To add even more contrast there is a bright tangerine beard.  This is a favorite. 

'Ocelot'z Lot' (Brad Kasperek, 2012)
This is a border bearded.  This is one of those irises that turned out even better than the advertised picture in the catalog or on the web page. I have come to have a real fondness, love even, of the broken colored irises that Brad is so famous for.  

 'Red At Night' (Richard Ernst, 1993)
This iris and 'Dynamite' are my irises that have the most pure red color without having the rust or brown in them.  It didn't fade and it withstood the rain without getting white measles. (which is a made-up term) 

'Eye For Style' (Barry Blyth, 2006)
Everyone raved about this iris.  It is justified.  This is a beige/pink (maybe mauve) color.  The lavender/blue blaze around the orange beard makes it more attractive. It has good substance, stays open a long time, and the branching is good. The pollen parent is 'Decadence' and so you may recognize the heavily ruffled form.

'Center Ice' (Joseph Ghio, 2009)
The standards are white with a pale blue edge tint that I find so attractive.  The falls are white with a rosy violet band.  The beard is pale yellow even if the catalog described it as cream tipped with white.  I would describe this iris as crisp.  Notice the bee trying to get in.  

'Golden Legacy' (Gerald Richardson, 2013)
This one is gold/buff with a violet base tint.  The falls are amber-gold, lighter below the yellow-orange beard.  This one got a little battered by the heavy sustained winds.  

'Louisa's Song' (Barry Blyth, 1999)
My heart swelled and my breath caught when I saw this iris. I love purples, lavenders, and orchid colors and this has it all.  It holds itself up proudly and the substance is heavy and this bloom stays open longer than usual.  Another favorite of mine. 

'Goodnight Moon" (Schreiner's, 1995)
This lemon yellow self is huge.  I think of it as generous.  The beards are a golden yellow.

'Heartfelt Beauty' (Margie Valenzuela, 2012)
The standards are pale lavender white. The falls are also pale lavender white with pale peach hafts. It has a beautiful red beard. 

'Peekaboo Zebu' (Brad Kasperek, 2005)
This iris from Brad is rich in red/purple color with white streaks.  It has tangerine beards.  Another broken color beauty to add interest to your garden. 

'Splurge' (Joseph Ghio, 2009)
When I ordered this I was afraid it would be too muted for my taste so this was a pleasant surprise.  The standards and style arms are pink. The falls are pink with deep coral on the shoulders with red violet veins and speckles. This was different but nice and not too muted.   

'Neutron Dance' (Barry Blyth, 1987)
This Amoena, white standards with colored falls, has fresh clean colors. It's standards are white but mine have a tiny rim of pale yellow,and the falls are deep yellow. The beard is also deep yellow.

'Dinner Talk' (Barry Blyth, 2005)
This was my first bloom of 'Dinner Talk'.  It had 4 falls but the subsequent blooms had the standard 3. It had luxuriant ruffles and a very heavy substance. This one will go on my new favorite list.  

'Persian Berry' (Larry Gaulter, 1976)
This 40 year old iris is so graceful and the blending of mulberry, lavender and orchid is glorious. The contrasting orange beard finishes it nicely. 

'Bubbling Waves' (Joseph Ghio, 2005)
Almost everyone who came to the garden this year asked what this one was. The color is described as simply blue.  The form is outstanding.  

'Slovac Prince' (Anton Mego, 2002)
The pod parent for this one is , 'Edith Wolford' and the Pollen parent is 'Queen In Calico'. The standards are pale lavender white with a tiny gold rim. It wouldn't be as attractive without that.  The falls are blue/purple with a lighter rim.   

'Pond Lily' (Evelyn Jones, 1994)

The standards are veronica violet , flushed deeper at midrib. The falls are also veronica violet with pink influence. The beards are tangerine.

This year I bought a new macro lens for my camera.  I had such a good time with it.  At first I cut everything off because I stood too close to the subject, but later I backed up some and was happier with the result.  It was fun to use it when I wanted more detail with a blurred background. 

Iris season was crazy and hectic and just wonderful. My husband and I just finished planting all the new rhizomes that I ordered from iris vendors. I look forward to many more maiden blooms next year or the year after, and there are still many from this year that I will show you in future blogs.

Happy gardening, and remember I love hearing comments from you because it is always fun to talk iris.


  1. Thank you again for your visit and letting me come to see your incredible iris garden!! I am adding a few of these beauties to my wish list!!!

    1. Joyce, we enjoyed your visit as well and liked coming to see your mountainside of flowers.

  2. I just love the broken color iris tell bread keep up the good work

    1. I'm sorry Launa, due to health issues Brad and Kathie are no longer running their iris garden. Their iris can still be purchased at other vendors though.

  3. Dawn, we will miss your beautiful pictures, but have a nice rest while you recover from your operation. We look forward to getting you back. Love the ones with red beards. 'Dinner Talk' didn't like my winters but I'm glad it grows well for you. '

    1. Thank you Betty. Does it seem strange to you how often every 6 weeks rolls around? I swear it has only been about 4 and then it is time for another blog. You are right about the red beards. 'Gypsy Lord' wouldn't be anything special without the beard.

  4. I'm happy to see Red At Night...I got one this year at our local iris sale, so it won't bloom until next year. Glad you had a good season!

  5. Thank you Jan, I bet you will like it. Thanks for the comment

  6. Fell in love with Red At Night and Pond Lily. Have had my eye on Louisa's Song and Center Ice for awhile now. Thank you for all these beautiful pictures!--Claudia Andersen


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