Irises forum: Which TB irises are your "must have's"?

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Region: California
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UndertheSun
Aug 23, 2013 6:21 PM CST
As a relatively new iris fanatic, I just wanted to reach out and see what long time iris lovers choose as their "must have" irises.

Most of my irises are NOIDs, but I did start buying named irises this year. I thought I went crazy by buying 11 of them. However, after reading what others have purchased this year, I see that I'm rather sane lol. Green Grin! Just don 't look at my iris wishlist next to my computer, or you'll see I have iris fever too. *Blush*

Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
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Paul2032
Aug 23, 2013 6:43 PM CST
My must have's change each year and there are many many fine iris to choose from. Also we each have different tastes but I think a good place to start would be the Dykes Medal winner for the last few years, Also Wister Medal winners and top am and HM winners. This is just TBs....then there are the medians and on and on. Happy hunting.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Aug 23, 2013 6:51 PM CST
Thank you Paul. I did get quite a few names off of the past Dykes winners, as well as, from the Dykes thread going on here. I'm also looking through the "Tall Bearded Iris Symposium" for nice ones too. Not to mention all of the ones people here have growing in their yards!

Is it wrong that I want all of them? Rolling on the floor laughing

Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
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Paul2032
Aug 23, 2013 7:07 PM CST
We all have our obsessions. Iris are certainly one of mine but so are Hosta. They need different exposures so do not compete. And then there are roses and vegetables and phlox, rudbeckia, echinacea and on and on Shrug!
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
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
Aug 23, 2013 9:24 PM CST
Black Suited. Ours bloomed without increase this year.

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Aug 24, 2013 2:45 AM CST
Oh Black Suited is nice! It's added to the ever growing wish list. Green Grin!

Yeah Paul, my love of irises is shared with my love of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias too. I love hostas and roses, but so do the deer in my area. I live next to open space, so I have a hard time here with those type of plants. I do have some roses and a few hostas in a fenced in area, but not as many as I would if my whole property was fenced in. However, that is not an option... Since I'm the intruder in their area, I want the wild life to roam freely through my yard.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Aug 24, 2013 4:13 AM CST
Rob, 11 is a good start! Get the shovel out and start your new beds for next year! lol, cause that list will be much larger by then! Worst part is that you spend all winter adding iris to the list, then the new introductions come out and you have to add a bunch of them too. Before you know it you have 50 to 100 new additons. Then you start trading with the fiends you meet on here, and you have to add another bed. The fun never stops. nodding I already have a good start to next years list, but really wish I had gotten All Smiles, Golden Panther and Noble Gesture this year. Then you have to find space for the new seedlings. A friend I met on here gave me some seeds, and they grew! On top of that, I got the bug to make some crosses this year, and have a bunch of seeds to plant this winter and will have to find room to plant them next year. I have about 23 acres here, and if I don't watch out I'll have a jillion irises. Rolling on the floor laughing I did manage to cull out some this year. Maybe 10 or so. Like they say, there could be worse addictions to have. You might be able to identify some of your NOIDs in time. Good luck!
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: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
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Paul2032
Aug 24, 2013 7:53 AM CST
Rob.....Toms advice to work on some beds this fall is spot on. Work the the soil, eliminate weeds, add a generous amount of organic matter and some fertilizer and you'll be ready to plant next summer. The iris you plant in these improved areas will reward you the following year. I have deer here all winter and a few linger all year long. They often eat my first rose buds but [knock on wood] so far haven't bothered my Hosta or my tulips which they love, There are a number of great catalogs to look at in the spring. One I would suggest is Superstition. Nice rhizomes, good selection, decent prices, and generous extras.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Aug 25, 2013 12:50 PM CST
I'm glad you weren't with me when I bought some irises Tom, my 11 would have turned into who knows how many. Hilarious! 23 acres!...nice! I would get into trouble with that much space. Big Grin

I have a flat field that I've been covering with wood chips and leaves for the last 10 years. The soil under the chips is black gold and weed free and ready for some love. The slight slope leading to the field (was also covered in chips for years) is where I currently have replanted my other irises.

So I'm making a shopping list for next year (and many more to come lol) to fill the field with color and love.

Paul, I have deer here all year long. I once left the gate open to my roses and overnight, they ate everything off of several of the bushes.....leaves and all. The hostas they will eat to the ground and forget about my poor agapanthus I have/had everywhere in the yard, they are just little green nubs now.

Thank you both for the great advice! I tip my hat to you. I think I will work in some fertilizer and some aged manure into the designated new bed before the rains come. As for Superstition Gardens, they will hear from me next season. Not too far of a drive for me to visit them too.

Cheers! Thumbs up
[Last edited by UndertheSun - Aug 25, 2013 12:52 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #471678 (9)
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
Image
Paul2032
Aug 25, 2013 3:48 PM CST
I would contact Superstition next spring and inquire about a visit. That would be a treat.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Aug 25, 2013 3:52 PM CST
I agree I've never been there, or met either of the guys, but in e-mailing ,back and forth over the years, I've got the idea they are both SUPER nice fellas....Arlyn
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
Aug 25, 2013 5:59 PM CST
Nothing like a first hand look at the bloom to help you make choices. The pictures are always nice, but the real thing sure can be breath taking. Just have lots of money in the ol' check book when you get there, nodding
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: Mary Ann
Kentucky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Muddymitts
Aug 25, 2013 8:55 PM CST
Cuz if you're anything like the rest of us, there won't be much left when you leave!!! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
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
Aug 25, 2013 9:12 PM CST
They do have a $3 section of nice older plants (not historics) different section for those. yes, they are nice guys.
Name: Dennis
Gilbertsville, KY/ Lahaina, HI (Zone 7a)
Director, TBIS
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dd95172
Aug 26, 2013 6:20 AM CST
Here is a picture I took of Superstition Gardens last year when I visited them.
Dennis
Thumb of 2013-08-26/dd95172/5625c2


caitlinsgarden
Aug 26, 2013 6:38 AM CST
Superstition sends out very nice sized rhizomes for the price. I am trying to add some of the medal winners such as Paul Black and Dusky Challenger to my collection, as well as this year's eye grabbers. This year it was Brazillian Art, and Action Packed that I couldn't resist!
Name: Christy
Wyoming
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Cupcake
Aug 26, 2013 9:09 AM CST
My "Must Have's" are Historic. I can't live without China Maid or Rosy Wings!! Lovey dubby
There are sooo many fantastic colors for irises- good luck!

Hugs- Christy Thumbs up
Name: Brett Barney
(Zone 5b)
Irises Region: Nebraska
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brettbarney73
Aug 26, 2013 9:35 AM CST
Yep, Superstition is great. There are plenty of other good commercial growers, too. It's interesting that there haven't been a lot responses to the original question that have taken the form of a list. And as I was trying to think what I would put on such a list I think I kind of figured out why: We have too many favorites and there's rarely a situation in which we have to choose among all of the ones we like (for often different reasons). Every year the AIS runs a popularity poll (called the "Symposium") and publishes a top 100. You might enjoy having a look at the 2007-2012 results:

http://www.irises.org/About_Irises/Awards_Surveys/TB_Symposi...

If you dig into how the poll is conducted, you'll discover that it's very heavily weighted toward recent introductions. So, since I'm big fan of historic irises, the Symposium is a little frustrating. Some historics I wouldn't want to be without:


Thumb of 2013-08-26/brettbarney73/8db26b
This NOID is the first iris I grew, obviously a pallida of some kind. I like it for sentimental reasons but also because it is the very definition of hardy and has a delicate periwinkle color that's especially beautiful in the evening and a really strong pleasant fragrance.


Prairie Flame (H. P. Sass 1942)


Changing Lights (H. E. Sass 1955)


Persian Robe (H. E. Sass 1954)

I've recently become converted to "Stepping Out," which I never thought that I would recommend, since plicatas aren't generally my favorites. But a clump of Stepping Out is just hard to beat.
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Brett Barney
Rural SE Nebraska
[Last edited by brettbarney73 - Aug 26, 2013 10:28 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #472066 (18)
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Aug 26, 2013 9:35 AM CST
make mine, "Wabash"!...Arlyn

caitlinsgarden
Aug 26, 2013 2:36 PM CST
Prairie Flame is beautiful with the pallida noid. Is it the one that smells like grape koolaid? I love historics, too, especially the ones that survive nearly anything. The early yellow flavascens is one that I inheirited with my house; I kind of ignored it for years, but it survived total neglect. Last year I divided it and made a nice semi circle of it at the back of my front bed, and I was so delighted with how it looked. I like to try some of the new prima donnas, but gradually I am amassing a collection of hard core survivors.

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