April 11th, 2004
Iris Show

Louisianna irises (foreground) at the Iris Society of Austin’s annual show.

The Iris Society of Austin held it’s annual show today at Zilker Botanical Garden Center. For the first time in several years, I didn’t have a single iris blooming, so I wasn’t able to enter. Apparently I’m not the only one with that problem in Austin this year. There were probably only half the normal amount of entries. The one group of irises that looked good, however, were the Louisianna irises. AJM likes these bog plants and if we ever get around to building a pond, I’ll get some for him.

This bearded iris won best “space-age” iris.

by M Sinclair Stevens

3 Responses to post “Iris Show”

  1. From bill:

    I learned some iris terminology over the weekend when I went to the demonstration gardens at Argyle. You probably already know that “space age” is a term used for blossoms with those “spoons” sticking out below the beard. Most irises don’t have that.

    Most of the irises at the demonstration garden were not blooming yet either, by the way.

  2. From Don:

    The late Henry Mitchell, great garden writer of the Washington Post, once wrote that he took an entire day off to look at his blooming irises, to study their complexity, color and texture up close. He thought they deserved such attention, and if I remember correctly, compared their beauty to the sameness of annuals and some repeater bloomers that consistently provide color, but not much else.

    The only iris that I hate are the varigated ones with white stripes up and down the foilage. It ruins what is otherwise a noble and comforting plant essential to any plot called a garden.

    Henry Mitchell is one of my favorite garden writers. I especially love his opening chapter in The Essential Earthman on “The Defiance of Gardeners”. But when I think of bearded irises, I think of Alan Lacy. A Texas native, he tells of how the iris awakened his love of gardening as a child and how he spent his entire week’s allowance of 25 cents to by one rhizome. I’ve often wondered if it was Argyle farms, where Bill went last weekend, that he visited. I don’t have his original story at hand because I read it in a library book. –mss

  3. From Randy:

    Does anybody know the name of this spaceager that won best “space-age” iris at the Austin Show.

    Yes. Best Space Age went to Charlie and Sonja Hensley for ‘Ice for Brice‘. The full list of winners is at the Iris Society of Austin’s page 2004 Iris Show — mss