Wednesday, June 2, 2010

red not brown

"Gingersnap" iris germanica from the catalog

the label found in the dirt below the mysterious reddish brown iris germanica
last two "Samurai Warrior" iris blooms this year
Brookland neighbor's iris
these last two photos show the reddish brown bearded iris found in Brookland neighborhood a couple years ago, nice but not quite what I was desirous of for my garden

Somewhere in my head I have a recollection of a beautiful garnet-purple-brown German bearded iris. After talking to my mother about her iris last week, she said she had one like that, of dark reddish brown when I was a kid. Now, I know where I saw it first and that brown iris existed in my personal garden history. After I posted this blog about the new iris on [May 24th colors brown blue green] about that beautiful brownish iris I discussed it with a close friend too and he said something about the smell being like root beer. I decided to go Internet searching to see if I could figure out what color I have and what color of iris I want, using root beer bearde iris as my key words. I also searched the garden and found the tags I mentioned near by the 3 iris now in question. I had two "Samurai Warrior" reds and one "Savannah Sunset" orange and none that I will now call brown. During my Internet searching I found only one brown iris called "Gingersnap" in Schreiner's iris Gardens catalog which is a lighter brown iris that claims to have the true smell of root beer. I spent hours looking through that catalog to see if I could track down the right color. The experience was like looking at flower pornography but I kept my focus. I stuck to looking for that brown garnet purple color. I passed many black iris, dark purple, garnet and many so called reds and learned that cherry red is a color they are still trying to create and all those I thought were kind of brownish are actually marketed as reds. So to be clear I do not have browns and not even the color I thought I bought but due to faulty memories turns out I have two reds the photos didn't look quite like the one Mom had in her garden so I never bought one labeled brown. She also mentioned a lime chartreuse green iris years ago that was one she liked a lot. I don't remember the green one but I would love to see it now. She decided to order a package deal of 7 twice blooming iris from the same company that she got hers all those years ago in the late 1950'swhile we were discussing iris history for her current garden. I also learned that iris do best when planted in July or August so they have time to establish roots. They couldn't be easier to grow since you only have to set them on top of the ground with an inch of soil to cover the root and wait one to two years for the first flowers. The waiting is the hardest part.

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