Iris in the garden

Iris 'Many Mahaloes' May 24

There's a special place in my private mythology for the genus Iris. I suppose growing up in a smallish city that had an enormous Iris nursery at its north end (Longs Gardens in Boulder) has something to do with my lifelong idolatry. And seeing masses of wild iris (Iris missouriensis) in the mountain parklands as a child every June fanned the flames for sure. Few other genera excite me so much, including the tall bearded iris, that some gardeners disdain as "common". Not common enough in my book! I am enormously lucky that one of my colleagues (Ann Montague) at Denver Botanic Gardens knows how to grow irises like nobody's business: many of these shots are taken in our iris garden, which is truly breathtaking for several months every year thanks to Ann...

If you are looking for names, you shall have to wait a few days: I am a member, and love the American Iris Society--but they do have a bit of an obsession with mug shots of individual flowers tagged with fancy--sometimes too fancy--of names. I'd like you to enjoy these as the art objects they are. I've read that Iris are "Poor men's orchids": I say pshaw! to that: no orchid can begin to create this sort of spectacle in the landscape! I say orchids are just coddled, invalid irids! Check back in a week or so and you shall see the names.

Iris 'Mariposa Skies' at Quince Garden

Iris 'Many Mahaloes' in foreground on May 24

Iris x germanica 'Conjuration' Byers '88 on June 20, 2010 Denver Botanic Gardens

Iris x germanica 'Pink Angel' Rudolph '72 on June 20, 2010

Iris x germanica 'Pink Angel' Rudolph '72 June 20 2010

Iris x germanica 'Sunset Sonata' Rudolph '72 June 20, 2010

Denver Botanic Gardens iris garden in June

ADenver Botanic Gardens iris garden in June

Denver Botanic Gardens iris garden in June

Denver Botanic Gardens iris garden in June

Unknown cv. of SDB in my April garden. Any clues?


Iris melitta


Iris melitta with Phlox pulvinata

Iris taurica

Iris schachtii

Iris suaveolens

Iris pumila


Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin'

Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin'


Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin'

Iris danfordiae in Sedum 'Angelina'
Iris danfordiae

Iris danfordiae

Iris reticulata 'Harmony'

Iris reticulata 'Harmony'

Iris reticulata 'Pauline'

  Iris reticulata 'J.S. Dijt'
Iris histrioides 'Major'
Iris henryi

Iris brevicaule (aka foliosa)




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