Sunday, November 30, 2008


One of Barry Blyth's introductions that in my opinion is completely underrated. A fantastic late flowering Amoena, that has remained under the radar probably due to the date of its release which preceded the internet age and the ease of digital photography so missed the publicity that it justly deserves. An excellent garden Iris that grabs visitors attention . High health, good increase, great bud count and branching, it is without doubt a must have in anyone's garden. Quality all round.

Tempo Two, Barry and Lesley Blyth, East Road, Pearcedale, Victoria, Australia, Season 1986-87
Tall Bearded Iris, New Introductions for 1986/87.
ORIENTAL ALABASTER (Blyth 86 Aust) M-ML 38". A lovely near amoena with a smooth application of colour just like alabaster. Standards are creamy white with deeper flush at midribs; falls are a lovely smooth creamy apricot. Beards are red tangerine. Flowers are wide and ruffled and are larger than usual for this class of amoena. A super grower and prolific flowerer. (Cameo Wine x (Love Chant x Festive
Skirt)) ........................................$25.00

AIS Checklist 1989
ORIENTAL ALABASTER (B. Blyth, R. 1986). Sdlg. Q108-A. TB 38" (97 cm) M-VL. S. creamy white, flushed apricot at midrib; F. smooth creamy apricot; red tangerine beard; ruffled. Cameo Wine X (Love Chant x Festive Skirt)., Tempo Two 1986/7.

Sold in New Zealand by Richmond Irises, in Australia it can be purchase from Yarrabee Garden and Iris, and I am yet find who sells it in America if someone knows please leave the information as a comment.

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Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. 
Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tall Bearded Iris 'MAJORETTE'

If I were only allowed to grow 10 irises this would be near the top the list. "Majorette" a strong grower that shows good increase. Bloom is bright and exciting for an almost Plicata that is both different and pleasing. When this Iris was first listed by Lyons Iris Gardens in America, it sold for the princely sum of $14.00. Can't say for sure who still sells this Iris in New Zealand but if I find out I will adjust this post later.

Lyons Irisland, 1955 Catalog, Lyons Iris Gardens, Van Nuys, California.
MAJORETTE (Miess 1953)
Vivid in coloring, unusual. Light medium red-violet shading to deep red-violet on the fall petals, white beard, white plicata markings on the shoulders- these points have special charm. Flaring falls, graceful ruffling. Mid-season 36" (Golden Gleam X Wayfarer) Honorable Mention 1954.

Region 14 Northern California, Nevada, Regional Bulletin, Spring 1958.
Varietal Comment, Mildred B. Maris, Live Oak, California.

MAJORETTE (Miess '53) So many reds burn from our hot sun, but this one does well for me. The color is red violet, flaring and ruffled. There is a white plicata stippling at the haft and a white beard.The form is excellent . It has everything good iris should have

Schreiner's Iris Lover's Catalogue,1958.
MAJORETTE (Miess,1953) E.M. 36"
An Iris with deep maroon falls interestingly etched and feathered white, plicata-like, around the white beard in a vivid manner. Upright standards are a fitting climax to this royal purple coloured Iris.HM 1954; AM 1956

Region 14 Northern California, Nevada, Regional Bulletin, Fall 1958.
Varietal Comment, Mary Ollmann, Menlo Park, California.

MAJORETTE (Miess '53) After three seasons I have decorated it with my own medal for performance beyond the call of duty. Even the fine foliage seems to resist spot and rust.

Iris Colorama Catalog,1961, Marble Iris Gardens, Grandview, Washington. 
MAJORETTE (Miess 1953) HM, 38"
An unusual Iris of red violet with a lighter area around the beard. This bicolor is soft and loverly with a richness and quality that is sure to please every iris grower. H.M., 1954: A.M., 1956.

Courtesy of  Lyons Irisland  Catalog 1955

AIS Checklist 1959
MAJORETTE (Miess, R. 1952). TB 36" M. RV3. S. rosemary (M & P 44-H4); F. deep maroon (M&P 47-L7), or light medium red-violet and deep red-violet. (Name released by Mrs. Mary Tharp.) Golden Gleam x Wayfarer., Syllmar 1953. HM 1954; AM 1956.

As always clicking on the above images will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Tall Bearded Iris 'ANNOUNCEMENT'

Photo taken at home this morning.

AIS Checklist
ANNOUNCEMENT (Paul Black, R. 2002) Sdlg. F158AA. TB, 34" (86 cm), M
S. pastel cameo pink, slight crystalline rim; style arms pastel pink, violet midline; F. pastel blue violet, pale violet white halo edge, white haft with few tan veins; beards tangerine, violet flounce; ruffled; slight sweet fragrance. To the Point X Lookout Point. Mid-America 2002 HM 2004 AM 2006

Its good to get the view of hybridisers concerning their introductions and Paul sent me these comments on 'Announcement' in an email this morning.
"I've been very pleased with 'Announcement' both in the garden and in the AIS awards system. It received an AM in 2006. It has been very consistent in formation of the appendages. It also opens the flowers without distorting the falls which happens often with space-age irises. It also forms a relatively tight clump which I also like."
$SOLD OUT last season at Mid-America Iris Nursery so look forward to it next season if you live in America.Not listed this current season with any New Zealand Iris grower that I have received a catalogue from.

Clicking the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.

Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Historic Tall Bearded Iris "AZURITE"



Purchased this iris some years ago and has become a garden favourite. I will have to shift it this season as the dogwood trees are starting to shade it, hence the only slight blue edging on the falls. If you can find it buy it!!! It's one classy lady

Schreiners Iris Lover's 1964 Catalog
AZURITE Highly individual.... a plicata that could almost be called a 'white plicata'. A few minute, lightest, speckling and dots of light violet and then nestled in the center of the flower is its main attraction--- strikingly rich blue style arms and crests. Most unusual. HM '61

AIS Checklist 1959
AZURITE (Sass-Plough, R. 1959). Sass, Sdlg. 53-6. TB 34" M, W2V. White ground with methyl-violet stitching, Moorish blue styles and crest. Sass 49-59 x Dancing Waters., Eden Road 1960.

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Iris variegata 'var.Reginae'

Iris variegata 'var.Reginae', collected in Hungary in 1947 but I am most sure that this natural clone has been around many century's before the date it was collected. There must be huge amounts of these types of Irises in parts of Europe and Russia that western gardeners are still oblivious to.
Plant is about 40cm tall and the flowers size is approx. 6cm in height. Flowers just above the foliage and usually bears two or three lateral heads. Glaucous green ribbed foliage. It's one tough little plant.
Super species type for Heritage gardens.
I have no idea where this plant can be purchased from in New Zealand.

Photo copyright Iris Hunter

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Zealand Tall Bearded Iris "PRIZE LADY"

First bloomed for me at home 4 days ago,and what a top surprise. 'PRIZE LADY' was given this name by Noel Lapham because as you can see in the checklist description it had won a CM in 2005. Please don't ask me what a CM is but it seems a obscure Award for such an outstanding Iris. One would think this amazing Iris is been considered for New Zealand's Highest Iris Award. It is my opinion (and that's what this blog is) that this iris is of a international standard, more than a match for imported varieties, showing high health, good increase, height, great bud count,and edgy colour tones. Fertility unknown.

'Broken Dreams' the pod parent has traits of broken colour but it seems to be seasonal and is some what erratic and inconsistent and this can be on the same plant in the same season. Reminiscent of that stable broken colour Tall bearded Iris of the 80's "Maria Torena" (Allan Ensminger '87) which is an Iris I admire a lot.

2011 New Zealand Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist

PRIZE LADY (Mr. Noel Lapham, R. 2007). TB, 37" (95cm), M. S. peach pink, ruffled; style arms pink, F. purple splashes at tips blending to lemon influence around vivid orange beards. Broken Dreams X Unknown. CM 2005 Mossburn Iris Gardens 2007

As always, clicking the image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.

Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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Monday, November 10, 2008

New Zealand Iris 'MUNRO SPECIAL'

Munro Special growing in Mrs Mary Greaves garden in Masterton, NZ.

Standards on this lovely iris are a lavender blue, and the falls are a great show of velvety purple edged lavender blue with conspicuous white lines radiating from the haft's giving the blooms a distinguishing Heritage look. Plant is vigorous and has good plant health. It is yet to show good branching, but hopefully this will come to pass next year when the clump is more established. Good for floral display as well as being a choice garden variety.

AIS Checklist 2007
MUNRO SPECIAL (Gwen Henderson, R. 2007). Sdlg 96-163-1. TB, 33" (85 cm), ML. S. pale blue to lavender; F. dark velvety purple, lighter blue lavender rim; hafts white veined dark purple, beards white tipped yellow. N Lapam 0-51-1 X Unknown Mossburn Iris Gardens 2007


Named after the bike of famous Southlander the late Burt Munro of the "Worlds Fastest Indian' fame who is related to Gwen Henderson.

As always, clicking the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tall Bearded Iris 'BLUSHING BEAUTY'

Purchased this Iris from an grower in Wanaka who no longer sells commercially and it is a looker. A complete delight to us each year it flowers and growing amongst a bed of blue irises, its subtle soft warm white with peachy pink flushed hafts, its large blooms (165mm/6½ inches) stand out like a beacon making it a very pleasant Historic Iris.

AIS Checklist 1969
BLUSHING BEAUTY (Noyd, R. 1964) Sdlg. N61-3-33 TB 34" EM WS S warm white flushed pink at base; F white, clear pink at haft; coral beard, serrated edges (Pink Mauve Mohr x (Midwest Gem x New Horizon)) X Apple Valley., Noyd 1964 HM 1965

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tall Bearded Iris 'CRYSTAL GLITTERS'

Purchased this iris last year from 'The Iris Garden' only because it was reasonably priced. After flowering I have come to realise that with a $8.00 price tag this iris is more than just great value. I would recommend this impressive iris to everyone so get your order in before Julie runs out!!
Tempo Two, Pearcedale, Victoria, Australia. Iris, Daylilies, Hosta Catalogue  1994-1995
CRYSTAL GLITTERS. (Schreiner's 1985 USA) EM 36"
A warm glow of pink and peach highlights the creaminess of this iris.Lovely form and superb branching. We are most impressed with this variety.
(Moon Glimmer X Gold Trimmings) X (Inferno X Brimstone) HM 87. AM 89.

AIS Checklist 1989
CRYSTAL GLITTERS (Schreiner's, R. 1985). Sdlg. S 871-2. TB 36" (91 cm) EM. Lightly ruffled pale peach cream; darker peach pink hafts and styles; peach gold beard. K 814-A: (Moon Glimmer x Gold Trimmings) X K 711-2: (Inferno x Brimstone)., Schreiner's 1985.


As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tall Bearded Iris 'BROOKSIDE'

'Brookside' another standout Iris from New Zealand's Ron Busch. I took this photo in my garden some weeks ago but had problems with Ron's checklist colour description of robins egg shell blue but the photo has been checked by others and Ron and I am assured that the Iris pictured is true to label. It is darker than the same variety growing in Christchurch but I have put this down to a regional difference. A good grower with good branching and reasonable increase. Interesting parentage.

AIS Checklist 1999
BROOKSIDE (Mr. R.W. Busch 1997) Sdlg. 8673/4. TB. 40" (102 cm) M. S. robins egg shell blue, F. light violet, widely edged robins egg shell blue; beards orange; ruffled, flared; slight fragrance. 77204/2: ((Tea Apron x Wine and Roses) x (Siva Siva x Tuxedo)) X 7789: ((Rippling Waters X Velvet Robe) X Black Swan)). Irwell Iris Garden 1997.

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Photo credit and copyright Iris Hunter.

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