Thursday, March 22, 2012

First iris

As I left the house for work this morning, I spied with my little eye...my very first bearded iris! She's a mauve-colored beauty with bright yellow beards, deeply veined hafts and a light topaz blue streak down the center rib of each petal. I believe her to be at least a second-generation passalong from Jenny at Rock Rose who got it from Lucinda Hutson's garden.

Here she is, backlit in the morning sun--
Bearded iris

--lit from the front--
Bearded iris

--and languishing at dusk under the shade of a Texas red oak. (It wasn't until dusk that the topaz blue streak became apparent.)
Lucinda's iris

I couldn't be more thrilled. By "first iris", I don't just mean first iris this spring, but first iris EVER. I've never been successful with bearded irises, not even in Houston.
Bearded iris

I don't know the name of this iris, so for now, I'm going to call it 'Lucinda's Iris'.

What surprises are blooming in your garden this spring? Anything you've never been able to grow until this very year? Or perhaps a passalong plant from a garden friend?

Words and photos © 2009-2012 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

21 comments:

  1. She's a beauty -- and kudos on your first iris. Hope there are many more to come.

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    1. Thank you! The Ocelot iris on your recent post is a stunner.

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  2. How sweet Caroline. What a great surprise! The detail of the topaz is so subtle. I too am waiting on my first iris. One pass along from Robin (white, I think) and another (purple) from a close friend. Only foliage so far and one much smaller than the other. I confess I don't know which is which at this point ;/ but I'm anxiously awaiting.

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    1. I've heard that some irises bloom much later than others, so keep the faith! I have a group of irises like yours -- no stalks yet, only foliage. Fingers crossed!

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  3. Beautiful photos of your iris. I am an iris lover. I think this might be an heirloom iris. I hope you will post more of your iris photos.

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    1. I haven't found this particular iris on any website, so you may be right about the heirloom status. It resembles 'Quaker Lady' or "Queen of May' but is more uniform in color and has no scent.

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  4. It looks like there are little blossoms lower on the stem. It's a beauty!

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    1. Yes, almost like a gladiolus! From what I've read, the lower buds should open if I remove the top blossom once it's faded.

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  5. Congrats! This one's so regal. I had my first iris experience just a couple of years ago with a Boggy Creek Farms bulb...very exciting.

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    1. Ooh, a Boggy Creek iris! I had to run to your blog to take a look. What a peachy beauty. Is yours scented?

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  6. Gorgeous! I hope she thrives in your garden. So many colors in one flower. She's meant to be gazed upon!

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    1. It really is something, isn't it? I planted this less than a year ago, and she's in a shady irrigated spot under a Texas red oak, so I'm hoping she'll be back every spring.

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  7. I have to say I'm jealous. I have one iris, and it doesn't look like it's even thinking about blooming. It looks healthy, though. So, maybe there's hope for next year.

    Your first photo reminds me of one my mother used to grow. She called it 'mahogany'. But, the other photos look more blue. It's lovely, whatever it's called. Good work.

    Have a great weekend.

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    1. Hope springs eternal! So many mamas and grandmas grew irises, didn't they? The sight and scent of an iris can bring back such fond memories.

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  8. LOVE the venation on the haft! It really shows in the dusk shots.

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    1. I'm surprised how different the colors of this iris look between daytime and dusk. In bright morning sun, the petals look almost bronze and the hafts orange. At dusk, the petals fade to a lavender-mauve and the hafts turn to butterscotch.

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  9. I also have that Iris, but I don't know where I got it from--it's a winner. I have several clumps and they've always done well for me. Congratulations!

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    1. Thrilled to join the club! Some of my gardener blogger buddies have gotten divisions of this iris from Zilker Park. I bet there's some growing at Mayfield Park, too. It seems to be a common passalong in these parts.

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  10. Congratulations on your first iris! I always find it difficult to plant these because I somehow always bury them too deep but luckily the majority survive. The color of yours is really nice.

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    1. I do recall struggling to plant these shallowly. Even with the fans cut back into chevrons, the rhizomes kept flopping over! I had to prop a few up on stones until they rooted.

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  11. Gorgeous! Love the color, and the pretty tiger-like markings! I have a clump in the front yard inherited from the house's previous owner. Have divided it and moved it several times. I think I've only seen it bloom twice in 7 years. It grows great, just rarely flowers. There is a wonderful HUGE clump growing in a field in front of my bank off 620. They flower beautifully every year. I'm SO tempted to sneak out there one night and thin out a few rhizomes for my garden!

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