Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dark beauty

Iris barnumae v. barnumae

Iris 'Oyez'

Various Arilbreds on East Ridge

There is a problem area in my garden we've dubbed East Ridge: not many choice or interesting things seemed to grow there because of the deep sandy soil and extreme dryness until one day when I put an arilbred on the slope. It waxed and thrived so (something arilbreds don't often do) I realized I'd inadvertently discovered a perfect spot to collect this marvellous group of plants. Two years worth of bonanzas from the Aril Society international, some trades and purchases, the slope now has dozens, maybe even a hundred or more plants established.

For the last month or more I have had the delight of watching a parade of aril and arilbred irises bloom along the length and breadth of East Ridge. The show is not over yet, but it's past its peak. We were blessed with incredibly cool, often rainy weather this past month, so the flowers lasted and lasted. One blossom lasted a whole week!

Although I am a devotee of the tiny and delicate beardless irises (in fact, most anything in that family enchants me), I grudgingly admit that Tall Bearded irises join peonies and roses as queens of garden sumptuousness. But when it comes to allure, the arils and arilbred irises are right up there with the sexiest aroids and orchids for sheer gorgeousness and exoticism.

You may have noticed that my posts have slowed to a trickle in the last month: I've been to busy worshiping these amazing plants. I am sad to see the show slow down and just can't wait till NEXT April now as the clumps increase and the show goes on again!

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