Irises forum: Choose 10

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Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
Apr 20, 2019 3:21 PM CST
This question is directed to
people who have at least 30 different cultivars of iris. Choose the 10 that you think are the most beautiful of your iris, that you don't think you could live without, and you would replace even if they died. People who are associated with iris nurseries may also include their own personal favorites here.

I am not asking for a judgement on vigor, because what does not multiply well in one area may multiply well in another. Just the ones you own, and think are gorgeous and well formed. En masse effect from a distance is also important.

I don't have a total of 30 that have bloomed yet, so I will withhold my official nominations. (Having admitted that I am personally loving Dusky Challenger, Beverly Sills, Bubbling Over, Absolute Treasure, Mary Frances, Pond Lily, and Silverado. Just admit it if you have less than 30.)

Feel free to repeat other people's nominations - AGAIN, AND AGAIN if you want Thumbs up
Name: Lilli
Lundby, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
Apr 20, 2019 4:07 PM CST
I think you might find more than one old thread with a similar subject, but since my favourites change, sometimes from day to day depending on what's in bloom, here is my 10 Easter 2019 favourites, in no particular order:











You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
Apr 20, 2019 5:01 PM CST
Lilli, thank you for your input. I realize that this question or similar ones have been asked before, but there are new introductions every year. So I think it's a question worth revisiting yearly. So, thank you for responding, and I hope others will, too.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Apr 20, 2019 5:02 PM CST
Hmmm....

This question is always difficult to answer (BTDT with the daylilies); your taste changes and what your "desert island keepers" (or "fire is coming and must save keepers") are will change from year to year. Moreover, commercial availability has to factor into the list. As with the daylilies, some deserving iris cultivars are simply difficult if not now impossible to find from commercial sources.

I note that you have also left out the non-bearded irises (or maybe you didn't?).

But we if are talking strictly about must-have beauty and form in the bearded irises, then right now, for certain (of those I have seen bloom), I must have:

MESMERIZER (large flouncy blooms, always arresting, can hold its own with THAT'S ALL FOLKS; DYKES winner)



THAT'S ALL FOLKS (I'm still not sure how I feel about most yellow irises, but this one demands your attention; DYKES winner)



MAGNIFICENT MASTERPIECE (this should maybe go on the rebloomer list (see below), but it has yet to rebloom for me, so it goes on this list; beautifully formed flowers, fantastic surface texture, PBF; Award of Merit)



NORDICA (an older cultivar so the blooms are not as large or wide or ruffled as those of more modern irises, but the flowers are still beautiful to me and I love the color contrast of the beard; Award of Merit)



Now I am going to stand up on behalf of the rebloomers. The way you worded this question leaves out most rebloomers, because (from my limited experience and perspective) those generally seem to be lagging behind the spring-only bloomers wrt beauty and form. YET (protesting on their behalf) they certainly deserve a spot in the garden, and at least in this garden, some would be replaced if lost. So, here are those rebloomers which I have (and which I have thus far BOTH personally seen AND experienced rebloom on (I make that distinction because many of my registered rebloomers have not) which go on my Top 10 Rebloomers list:

LUMINOSITY (most of the yellow rebloomers I have seem to have muddy color, but this one has fairly good color; its rebloom time is all over the map, though; somehow no awards Confused )



PURE AS GOLD (I know this one goes on the list (either list) because I have already replaced it twice (my fault, not the plant's); eye zorching color and decent enough form; Award of Merit)



CONSTANT COMPANION (As with the daylilies, I generally prefer my irises to be taller and have bigger blooms. This IB deserves to be on the rebloomer list, though, for the multiple rebloom cycles it has. Somehow no awards Confused , which I think must be an oversight.



(I confess I also like this one for its name, which is why it got invited into the garden despite its smaller size. It brought to mind a doggerel on an old coffee cup which I had bought for its verse, and since lost. I thought I had kept a copy of the verse but couldn't find it, but I did find the images below online on Etsy (and yes, I just re-purchased that vintage cup, for the verse!). Chalk this iris up as another one in homage to our dogs.)

Thumb of 2019-04-20/Polymerous/fe5c9d Thumb of 2019-04-20/Polymerous/2938d5

I have many more irises here that I like (and that I would probably try to replace if I lost them), including a great many rebloomers. I am, however, reserving judgment at this time for my remaining slots on either list. Hilarious!



Evaluating a reblooming diploid daylily seedling
[Last edited by Polymerous - Apr 20, 2019 5:08 PM (+)]
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Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
Apr 20, 2019 10:01 PM CST
Thank you, Marilyn, I especially like the photos of Nordica and Magnificent Masterpiece, though I have not seen them in person.
Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
Apr 20, 2019 10:17 PM CST
Thank you, Marilyn, I especially like the photos of Nordica and Magnificent Masterpiece, though I have not seen them in person.

For me, form is more important than reblooming, since I have never seen iris rebloom in the area in which I live. Has anyone else ever seen iris rebloom in the piedmont area of central Maryland? I haven't. I would love to know if there are any which really do rebloom in this area just west of Baltimore. I know there is a nursery in Davidsonville Maryland which supposedly speciallizes in rebloomers, but I have to wonder why they even bother. I have been gardening in Maryland all my life, and have never seen one rebloom. So, you Marylanders in my area, if you know of any cultivars that really rebloom in this area, I'd dearly love to know the names of them, provided the form is decent.
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
Apr 20, 2019 10:25 PM CST
I echo Marilyn's choice of Mesmerizer. It is a big, beautiful flower.

Merchant Marine blooms heavily and for a long time. It is an all-time favorite of mine.



Fluent Mandarin is a little-appreciated beauty. The colors are hard to capture in a photo, but are incredibly beautiful in person.



Boundless pleases me more and more each year. It has delicate, subtle coloring and beautiful form.

Thumb of 2019-04-21/AndreaD/083860

Advanced Degree is a late bloomer that can stand up to hot days. It has subtle veining that I really like.



Paul Black. There are some Dykes winners I have no use for, but I love this one. It combines with so many other cultivars.



Tend My Heart has really impressed me with its first year's long-lasting blooms' form and color. It is
now on my favorites list.



OK, that's seven. I have a lot of new to me irises still to bloom, so I'll leave some room for new nominations.
[Last edited by AndreaD - Apr 20, 2019 10:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Apr 20, 2019 10:45 PM CST
I wasn't considering it for my Top 10 Whistling , but I agree with Andrea that PAUL BLACK is an impressive cultivar. AND it has an awesome carnation-like fragrance! Lovey dubby Thumbs up

Hmm, maybe it DOES go on my Top 10 list, just for that fragrance! Hilarious! I'd certainly miss it!
Evaluating a reblooming diploid daylily seedling
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Apr 20, 2019 11:39 PM CST
I'm on the I pad so I'm going to have to edit each time after copying the BB code: not in any order....

• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Apr 20, 2019 11:40 PM CST
I'm on the I pad so I'm going to have to edit each time after copying the BB code:
not in any order....
.

AW started to bloom yesterday, I think it's just beautiful .

.
One more because I love this one:
:
If you asked me tomorrow I could probably add a few more.😀
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
[Last edited by iciris - Apr 21, 2019 12:36 AM (+)]
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Name: DaisyDo
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
DaisyDo
Apr 21, 2019 12:33 AM CST
Ooh, I especially like Coral Chalice! Adding that to my want list!
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Apr 21, 2019 12:41 AM CST
Oops....
This was meant to edit the single post of Mulberry Magic above. 😁
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
[Last edited by iciris - Apr 21, 2019 12:45 AM (+)]
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Apr 21, 2019 4:55 AM CST










Ask me tomorrow and I'd probably list 10 different ones. Rolling on the floor laughing
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Apr 21, 2019 10:53 AM CST
iciris said:I'm on the I pad so I'm going to have to edit each time after copying the BB code:
not in any order....


AW started to bloom yesterday, I think it's just beautiful

One more because I love this one:

If you asked me tomorrow I could probably add a few more.😀


Barbara ~ I love all your selections! I especially love Adriatic Waves, so if it isn't on my want list already, it will be added! Lovey dubby
"June is busting out all over!"🎼🎶🎵🦋🌹🌸🌾
[Last edited by evelyninthegarden - Apr 23, 2019 11:18 AM (+)]
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Sweden
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William
Apr 21, 2019 10:56 AM CST
There sure are many pretty irises here. Lovey dubby
Hopefully I will see 'Adriatic Waves', 'Gambling Man' and 'Captain Thunderbolt' myself this year. It is their second year and they are all bought because I heard good things about them on here. I'm pretty sure some of them will be on my next top 10. Smiling

For my top 10 I'll repeat 4 that are previously mentioned, because I think they are very good irises:

I love Absolute Treasure for its color, hardiness an also it is a big plant with wide leaves and large flowers.





Little SDB 'Aria Cigana', always flowers like there is no tomorrow(but no bloom out!) regardless if the preceding summer was cold and wet or dry or sunny. I love it so much, that last year I even replanted my original mother rhizome from 2016, because it was healthy and had some promising, but tiny increases forming. To my surprise there will be a flower stalk on one of those increases as well.






IB 'Star in the Night', hardiness, vigor, beauty and real garden impact.


I don't know if Terre de Feu is a great iris as such, there might be much better irises in similar color with better form, but I did love its colors immensely last year, it was also the first TB to bloom for me. So it deserves a spot here.

Name: Evelyn
Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies
Cat Lover Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Apr 21, 2019 11:24 AM CST
Even though I have way over 30 irises, many are new to me this season, so I cannot really give a good answer to a favorite top 10 irises quite yet.

I can, however, give a few favorites from last years blooms.

Thornbird (Thank you, Rob!)

Rob sent me a clump! And there were flowers everywhere! They were strong and tall.


Chasing Rainbows (Thank you, Barbara)

This was one of the last to bloom. It was huge, the flowers had substance, several stalks and buds per stalk! This was a WOW, all the way around. Especially for a first year's bloom.

Elegance in Blue (Ordered from Schreiner's)


This was very large and tall, and it should have been planted in the ground. As you can see, it was too tall to be in a raised bed. I can hardly wait until it blooms again, as it is in the ground now.
"June is busting out all over!"🎼🎶🎵🦋🌹🌸🌾
[Last edited by evelyninthegarden - Apr 21, 2019 1:38 PM (+)]
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Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Apr 21, 2019 2:14 PM CST
Lots of beautiful irises posted here. I tip my hat to you. I want Aria Cigana, it's such a beautiful little SDB! Lovey dubby I hope it makes it to the U.S. someday! Thumbs up

Thank you Evelyn. I have some that are going to bloom for the first time. So my list could be changed everyday too.
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
Apr 21, 2019 3:02 PM CST
I should add Daughter of Stars and Star in the Night to my top ten. They are marvelous.

Barbara, Adriatic Waves is a sibling to my top 10 choice of Merchant Marine. AW is a bitone and MM is a self. I really love both of them.
[Last edited by AndreaD - Apr 21, 2019 3:07 PM (+)]
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Apr 21, 2019 3:51 PM CST
Should have top ten tall, and top 10 smalls. Smiling
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Apr 21, 2019 3:58 PM CST
Andrea, I have both of them, Smiling MM would have started blooming first if I hadn't broke the stalk. Sad I could probably make a top 50 or 100 thread. Whistling
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous

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