Last year I added a gruntload of historics, so I'm enjoying seeing a lot of first-year blooms right now. Some of my favorites so far:
Darius (Brown 1873) Wyomissing (Farr 1909) Chalice (Sturtevant 1924)
Wyomissing is a diploid, so the individual blooms are small and not all that striking at a distance, but they're beautiful close-up and it makes a beautiful clump. As a rule, yellow irises aren't my favorites, but Chalice is such a bright, clear color that it has me hooked. The jaunty flaring form is great, too. Best of all, it blooms early, when most of my irises are in the blue/purple range.
King Midas (Mead 1928) Don Quixote (Mohr 1927) Peshawar, an arilbred (Schreiner 1937)
Besides thinking it's beautiful, I like King Midas because it's another early one that gives good contrast to the cool colors. Don Quixote is one of the many smoky, blendy irises that I seem to not be able to get enough of. In a few days I should also have blooms on Nueé d'Orage, Quaker Lady, Dolly Madison, Evolution, and President Pilkington. What is there to say about arilbreds? Peshawar is pretty short, but good golly Miss Molly.