Irises forum→Your top ten irises....

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Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 12, 2020 12:35 PM CST
What if you had to move and just had enough room for 10 irises in your landscape.

Which ones would you chose?
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Roses Irises Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses Region: Oklahoma Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Rebekah
Jun 12, 2020 4:23 PM CST
Ohhh good question! I just made this decision not long ago. Though to be perfectly honest I was in such a hurry the only one I'm 100% positive I have is Haunted Heart. I love that iris! The others were hurriedly dug so I have to wait to see who I actually brought with me it's like five so hmmm. Nothing bloomed this season, but if I didn't manage to bring Golden Snitch Ill be a bit sad.
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Jun 12, 2020 7:54 PM CST
This was tough! (And I don't even have a lot of irises!).

My choices are based mostly on color and height (I like shorter irises) and if they stand up well.

As I grow more cultivars, I'll probably develop a more critical eye, and things like branching pattern and bloom shape will influence my choices. I had a lot of new-to-me irises this year that didn't bloom.

Number 1 top favorite: TB Owyhee Desert:

I just love the pattern and colors, and it doesn't get too tall for me. Seems to have a sort of rootbeer fragrance. It can take a year to get settled after transplanting.
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The next ones are in no particular order:

TB Wild Jasmine: First year to bloom and only one bloom, but I loved it.
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TB Goldkist: Again, another color pattern that I love.
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BB Blackbeard: I like the simple form with the mysterious dark beard, and it puts out lots of blooms for a long time.
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BB Mostest: Rich yellow!
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BB Solar Sunrise: New bloom for me this year, and I think this will make a wonderful garden iris. Citrus color combo! Smiling
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SDB Bluebeard's Ghost: my favorite SDB.
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The last three spots have a lot of contenders, but I'll list these:

SDB My Little Friend: New bloom for me this year. This iris has a wonderful fruity fragrance--I just kept sticking my nose in the bloom! Hilarious!


SDB or MDB "garage purple noid" Was growing next to the garage when I bought my house. It is a wonderful little iris Smiling
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TB NOID that looks like Wabash: This is one of the first irises I grew, which I received unnamed from a coworker. At some point I'll have to get a true Wabash to compare. It does have PBF like Wabash.
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I've got a lot of irises on order this year, so I expect this list will change then!
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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irisarian
Jun 12, 2020 8:37 PM CST
The best grower here is IB 'Carriwitched' It is a plicata hybridized by sterling innerest & would like to take over the garden.
2. SDB Demon (Ben Hager)
3. MTB Billie The Brownie (John Burton)
4. BB Miss Nellie
5. SDB. Reddy Set (Lucy Burton)
6. MDB, Alpine Lake
7. BB Hi Buddy (Lucy Burton)
8. TB Before the Storm( Sterling Innerest)
9, MTB Tid Bit (historic)
10. SDB Sun Sprite (Lucy Burton) you would expect the burton irises to be best in their home garden.
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Jun 12, 2020 9:08 PM CST
Hi Lucy, I have Before the Storm, and I like it, too. I had to look up pictures of the others... I like Tid Bit and Sun Sprite the best! Smiling

Tid Bit:


Sun Sprite:
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 12, 2020 11:01 PM CST
First, I would start with some basic colors.
1.Yellow - Australian Rose

This is one vigorous iris. And so far, has bloomed every year. Occasionally I get rebloom.)
2. Harvest of Memories

3. Orange - Golden Panther . Another reliable one that blooms every year. (With or without weeds! nodding ) This one is in part shade, too!

4. Brilliance - Blooms well in inclement weather. This photo was right after the rain.

5. Bottle Rocket - Thank you Andrea!

6. Blue - Elegance in Blue

7. Busy Being Blue - Long blooming and strong

8. Procrastinator - Very late blooming
Reliable

9. Thornbird - Very strong and reliable And beautiful purple foliage! (Thank you, Rob!)

10. Haunted Heart


I'm not sure if I can really limit myself to these 10...need purples, lavenders, pinks, and reds..and white, too...so maybe I would have to crowd in at least 5 more....or maybe 10 more! YIKES! nodding Whistling and what about the blended ones...and then there are seedlings, fortunately these haven't bloomed yet! Rolling my eyes.
11. Lady in Purple - Thank you Rob! Extremely vigorous and long blooming. It has gorgeous purple foliage!

12. And one more yellow I forgot. Luminosity, thank you, Marilyn! It is such a cheerful yellow!

13. Ozark Rebounder

14. Pinkity - This is new and hasn't bloomed yet.

15. Polish Princess - Exuberant in the garden from the very first time I planted it...long blooming and reliable.

16. Comic Opera - So colorful and long blooming. Thank you, Daphne!

17. Die Laughing - It is a "sleeper"...what we used to call in racing something that looks ordinary, but turns out to be a winner. It changes color as the days go by, all beautiful.

18. Purple People Eater- I guess you knew I would put this late bloomer in here...

19. Don't Stop Believing- It didn't even bloom this year, but I still wouldn't want to be without it!

20. Friendly Advice - I guess that even 20 isn't enough... *Blush* who was I kidding? Angel


I left out the reds....Samurai Warrior, Lest We Forget and the many blended ones I love...Mad World, Afternoon Delight, Carnival in Rio and others... Dragon Dance, Drama Queen, and some that don't fit into a neat category like Dipped in Dots or the wild Dewuc Whatic which is "broken", it has a different appearance on each bloom with flecks and stripes. I guess I'm hopeless! Sticking tongue out

(Maybe this needs to go to the joke forum... Hilarious! )
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
[Last edited by evelyninthegarden - Jun 13, 2020 3:02 PM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Polymerous
Jun 12, 2020 11:24 PM CST
That's always a tough question, regardless of the plant species, because there are so many different reasons for keeping a particular plant. Beauty is generally the most powerful motivation to keep a particular plant, but there may be other reasons for a plant to make the top ten list.

For example, sometimes the name of the plant has some significance such that we don't want to part with it, even if it may not be the among the "best" of the plants (of that species) in the garden. One iris that I would keep because of its name is WEDDING KISS. Whistling There are prettier irises, it is not an award winner, but I would not like having to part with it.



Performance value (however you define that) would be another strong argument for keeping a plant. For me, rebloom factors in highly into performance value. Rebloomers lag behind the spring-only bloomers wrt looks so there is some sacrifice there (or perhaps this is better expressed as balancing beauty and performance in the garden). Irises that currently get the nod from me for rebloom are TOTAL RECALL, BLUE OASIS, and CONSTANT COMPANION. I generally prefer TBs to other bearded irises, but I can't argue with the rebloom on these last two.



So here we are with 4 of the 10 already accounted for, and none of them are hypnotic beauties. I have several irises that range from "that's really nice" to "wow that's gorgeous", and these don't even include the irises that absolutely command your attention such as THAT'S ALL FOLKS.



But while I generally like yellow flowers for cheerfulness, I much prefer blues, purples, pinks, and maybe an orange (if a non-muddy orange existed) for the irises. So the rest of the top ten (5 now) would have to be distributed among those colors, with some selfs, some blends/bitones/bicolors/what-have-you.

Hilarious!

But for the newbies, if you pick any of those last 4 irises, you can't go wrong.
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Polymerous
Jun 12, 2020 11:35 PM CST
LADY IN PURPLE is nice and you certainly can't argue with its vigor. Hilarious! PURPLE PEOPLE EATER gets points for being a late space age purple with a neat name! POLISH PRINCESS, alas, was one of the ones I lost to drought. I will have to think about whether I want to reacquire it (because of the pots/space issue).

I deliberately didn't mention LUMINOSITY as a rebloomer because it never got a fair trial on that score (although it has rebloomed for me), having to contend with redwood roots as it did. I do think it has the cleanest/best color of all of the yellow registered reblooming irises that I have, and I hope to find a spot for it that is not in its current pot.

But something just jogged my memory, so I am going to add PAUL BLACK to my list. While lacking the fancy ruffles of more modern irises, the blooms have a nice contrast between the violet bloom color and the orange beard, the clump has a long bloom season, the blooms are held atop nice tall stalks, and they have a wonderful carnation-like fragrance to die for!



Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Jun 13, 2020 10:03 AM CST
It is fun to see people's absolute favorites! Smiling

I noticed the question is: If you only have ROOM for 10... I think two midsized iris should count as one; and three dwarfs should count as one! Lucy: do you want to add any more?!

Here is what I would add:

IB Fathom: This is a lovely blue color and a reliable bloomer. Gentle ruffles and a nice fragrance!
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IB Ming: A sweet yellow with a sweet fragrance:


SDB More Drama: Maybe not the best form, but it is a rich purple and very early--it blooms with some fairly early tulips. (I am trying other early purple dwarfs but haven't yet found any I like better). This picture is a little too blue:


SDB Teagan: Again, not always the best form, but that color is unique. Seems to have a fruity fragrance, too.
Thumb of 2020-06-13/lauriemorningglory/26760a

And I think I still have space for 2 more TB's:

TB Hysteria: Cool pattern/colors and kind of smells like licorice to me.


TB Dark Passion: I need a black and I only have this and Before the Storm. Both are nice, but Dark Passion has a bit more ruffle. The big drawback is it sometimes flops in heavy rain, so am looking for something better.





(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
Jun 13, 2020 10:07 AM CST
If I only had room for 10, I would turn my roof into a garden so I could plant more.
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 13, 2020 10:52 AM CST
Rob ~ Which ones would you plant?
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a semi-retired studio potter.
Hummingbirder Region: California Dog Lover Irises Organic Gardener Daylilies
Dahlias Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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janwax
Jun 13, 2020 12:06 PM CST
Well, while Rob's thinking...
I'll probably leave out some, so many are loved, but here's 10 faves...and why.(a fun project for a lazy Saturday morning. Thanks Ev.)
In no particular order:

1. LITTLE STITCHES is such a little trooper in my garden...a bloomin'fool! Love it, Robin Shadlow!

2.PATCHWORK PUZZLE just knocked me out when I saw Brad's photo. It was the first time I'd seen this type of banded pattern.Beautiful! Performs well in my garden. Thanks Thomas Johnson

3.VOLCANIC GLOW, One of Keith Keppel's Dykes Medalists! A fave. Have it in 2 beds.A luminata!

4. MUSICALITY. A Joe Ghio pink. His best, I think. Ruffles!!!

5.ADOREE. An early love from Barry Blyth. In a good year she's gorgeous!


That's 1-5. Gotta take a break. Back later with 6-10!
Life is a Gift !
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a semi-retired studio potter.
Hummingbirder Region: California Dog Lover Irises Organic Gardener Daylilies
Dahlias Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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janwax
Jun 13, 2020 1:07 PM CST
I'm back with 6-10

6.RISE LIKE A PHOENIX Tall.I wouldn't be surprised if this one by Paul Black won a Dykes some day. Great grower. A powerhouse.

7.BOTTLE ROCKET so very colorful! good grower, Dykes. By Michael Sutton

8. BLACK LIPSTICK best of the blacks in my garden.by Keith Keppel

9.OCEAN LINER Beautiful blue with lines. Keppel

10. MAD WORLD John Painter Always noticed. Glorious color combo.John Painter

What are your favorite 10?
Life is a Gift !
[Last edited by janwax - Jun 13, 2020 1:26 PM (+)]
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Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
Jun 13, 2020 1:42 PM CST
This would be really tough, but these ten irises have always filled my heart with joy. (But they are by no means the only ones.)

TEND MY HEART An early bloomer that blooms for a long time and is so, so pretty.

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BARBARA MY LOVE Never fails to bloom but given a little TLC goes crazy.

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ADRIATIC NOBLE Extremely vigorous, nice heavy substance, has made a big clump in two years.

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DAUGHTER OF STARS Another very vigorous grower, makes a gorgeous clump.

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FLUENT MANDARIN Love the colors in this one.



MY LADY'S MANOR Love the color, substance, and floriferousness of this one.

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DANGEROUS LIAISON Heavy bloomer, beautiful colors.



BEAUTY BECOMES HER A beast. I have to divide it after two years.

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BETTER THAN BUTTER So cheerful.

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WICKED GOOD

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The last one is tough, because I love neglectas and it is hard to limit myself to just one. Other choices could be:

VISUAL INTRIGUE



GLOBAL CROSSING

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[Last edited by AndreaD - Jun 13, 2020 1:44 PM (+)]
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Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a semi-retired studio potter.
Hummingbirder Region: California Dog Lover Irises Organic Gardener Daylilies
Dahlias Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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janwax
Jun 13, 2020 5:22 PM CST
GLOBAL CROSSING ! Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby
Life is a Gift !
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Jun 13, 2020 5:58 PM CST
I can't pick ten, but I 'might' be able to pick my top 200. I was going to say 100, but since some haven't bloomed yet, I'm going to say 200. Hilarious!

• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Region: Maryland Bookworm
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DaisyDo
Jun 13, 2020 6:14 PM CST
I am not going to pick 10, but I am going to pick these favorites:

Absolute Treasure
Anna Belle Babson (she glows)
Paul Black
what I think is Game Player (creamsickle orange)
Bluebird of Happiness
Mary Frances
Gypsy Romance
Queen's Circle
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
[Last edited by DaisyDo - Jun 13, 2020 6:16 PM (+)]
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(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
Jun 13, 2020 7:06 PM CST
I'm with Barbara on this one, there's no way I can pick just 10. Unless I swapped out the 10 every year...assuming they all bloomed every year.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Jun 13, 2020 8:35 PM CST
MTB Larry's Girl (plicata) Stephanie Markham blooming nicely in the shade.
MTB Astra Girl white -Terry Varner
MTB Ginger Treat Lucy Burton
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[Last edited by irisarian - Jun 13, 2020 8:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Jun 13, 2020 8:55 PM CST
janwax said:
8. BLACK LIPSTICK best of the blacks in my garden.by Keith Keppel



I bought Black Lipstick last year. Hasn't bloomed yet, but I am excited to see it on someone's top ten list. The pictures always look so striking!

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