Thursday, April 27, 2017

Second bearded iris to bloom.

The second miniature dwarf bearded iris (MDB) to bloom in my garden in 2017 is 'Navy Doll' which burst into bloom today.  It was hybridized by Alta Brown and introduced by Brown's Iris Gardens in 1968.  It's an oldie but goody that I've enjoyed growing for a number of years.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

First bearded iris to bloom in my garden in 2017

Here's a picture of a bloom on 'Spring Beacon' which opened today in Enfield, NY.  'Atroviolacea' is usually the first to bloom in my garden but the buds which had color before our last frost failed to open.  'Spring Beacon' was from a cross Don Spoon made between 'Atroviolacea' and 'Lighthouse Beacon.'  All three are miniature dwarf bearded (MDB) iris.  What's blooming in your garden?


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Meeting: April 30, 2 PM Honeoye Falls


Join us for ur next regular meeting. It's perfect for beginnings!

Our usual presentation time will be devoted to informal discussions.  Ask questions, share photos, and look forward to the 2017 bloom season!  Bring along catalogs you have received share your favorites. We'll be able to search the internet and project your selections.  Have your own photos you'd like to share? Send them to neil.houghton@me.com.  Any inquiries can also be directed to that email address.

Model Questions:

  • What iris borers? How can I combat them?
  • Some of my irises don't bloom (anymore). Why?
  • How can I extend my iris season?
  • When and what should I feed my iris?
  • Are there any iris that will tolerate shade?
  • What companion plants are best for iris. 

We'll also be talking about our annual iris show, sale and hosting the Region 2 meeting in October.  Our guest in the fall will be Chad Harris from Mount Pleasant Iris Farm along the Columbia River in Washougal, Washington. The presentation on Oct, 21 will be open to the public on a limited basis, but members get priority.

While our meetings are open to all, dues are only $10/year.  For another $10 you can join the American Iris Society (AIS).  This is a limited offer for what is usually $30.  Come and learn of how you can save on irises from participating growers with an AIS membership.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dwarf Bearded Iris

As you watch the changes in your iris plants in the spring you contemplate with anticipation the appearance of buds and can't help but feel anxious on the sporadic nights when the temperatures drop below freezing.  The first bearded iris buds and possibly the toughest with respect to frost damage are the dwarf iris.  Soon we'll be enjoying their blooms and hopefully not see too much frost damage.  Schreiners recently posted an on-line a link to their dwarf iris offerings.  Hope you enjoy clicking through the pictures.

https://www.schreinersgardens.com/dwarf-iris?utm_source=FullCatalogAnnounc_021917&utm_campaign=FullCatalogLaunch_030917&utm_medium=email

Monday, March 6, 2017

Another False Start?

Last year we had an early Spring in upstate New York. That was followed by a week of hard freeze. My daffodils were fooled and what did bloom was a very poor show. I fear we may be sin the same state this year, but it may be worse.  After almost 3 weeks of weather well above freezing in February, we plunged back to bitter cold. Today, March 6, its 56ยบ.  The daffodils are about 4" high. I am hoping that the iris will not be badly affected.  A friend at the Western New York Iris Society yesterday said that she has seen damage already.  I can't bear to look at what has happened to some of my newer varieties, especially Japanese and Pseudata.

Off Season Fun

While the iris sleep I have plenty keep me busy, but this year I decided to resurrect an interest in art.  Pastels are a new medium for me.  Of course the subject is iris.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Buyer Beware

The 2017 Breck's catalog front cover features a picture of a bearded iris which is identified as 'Golden Zebra.'   Its height is listed as 10 inches.  McClure & Zimmerman also list 'Golden Zebra' and their description is similar to Breck's but they list it as an Iris versicolor which it certainly is not.  Iris versicolor is a beardless iris native to Region 2 of the American Iris Society and much of the Northeast.




The real 'Golden Zebra' registered with the American Iris Society (AIS) is 'Golden Zebra' (Sass, R. 1956) Sdlg. 51-106. TB, 34" (86 cm). Midseason bloom. Bitone. Standards very deep yellow, near orange; Falls deep yellow heavily striped brown. Sdlg. 48-175: ('Tobacco Road' x 43-40) X 'Russet Wings' sdlg.




Although Breck's 'Golden Zebra' may look good in your garden, you could never exhibit it in an AIS sanctioned show and expect it to be judged.  It is not registered with the AIS.