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Garden Tips

21st Judged Iris Show Winners
By: Nelda Moore

For the second consecutive year a Louisiana Iris won the Queen of Show when the Iris Society of Austin presented its 21st judged show in cooperation with the American Iris Society Saturday, April 17, in the Zilker Botanical Garden Auditorium.  Fifteen exhibitors provided 82 entries for the successful event.

  • 'Laura Louise,' voted the Best Louisiana, the Best Yellow, and Queen of the Show, captured the trophy--a glass punch bowl that could be changed into a cake plate.
  • Runner-Up was 'Midnight Oil,' the Best Tall Bearded and the Best Black Iris.  Both were grown by Don and Pat Freeman, who will be awarded the silver medal and certificate for their eleven blue ribbon winners.
  • Charles and Sonja Hensley will be awarded the bronze medal and certificate for their eight first place winners.
  • Other sections that made up the show included 9 Space Agers, 4 Historic Irises, 1 Bulbous Dutch Iris, 1 Border Bearded, 4 Spurias, 1 English Box,11 Artistic Designs, and 2 Educational Exhibits.
  • Pat Freeman entered the Best Design of the show with "Iris Fantastic" while Nelda Moore captured Artistic Sweepstakes by having the most first place winners in Division IV or Artistic Designs.

Judges were Peggy and David Lamb from Garland and Dell Perry from Plano who selected Ken Fuch's Educational Exhibit about the Iris Society of Austin the better of these two entries in the Horticulture Division.   Alys Honey and Angie Smith judged the Artistic Division.

Bearded IrisWant to Try Growing Irises in Austin?  Nelda Moore of the Iris Society recommends the following Iris’s that will grow well in our Austin gardens.

For smaller varieties, select 'Cranberry,' a Border Bearded that is a deep red; 'Bottled Sunshine,' an Intermediate Bearded, bright yellow with yellow borders and hafts; and 'Eleanor Roosevelt,' a purple.

Everyone loves Reblooming Irises that can bloom again in the fall:  'Immortality' white; 'Jennifer Rebecca' rose pink self;' Recurring Dream' purple self; 'Champagne Elegance,' amoena--white standards with pale lavender pink atop buff apricot falls; "Clarence,' white standards crowned violet blue with falls that are light blue-violet.

Space Age Irises have horns, spoons, or appendages above the beard: 'Conjuration' white with violet blue edging; 'Mesmerizer,' white; 'Thornbird,' buff or tan with purple; 'Triple Whammy,' yellow white with blue beards.

Other irises that grow well in Central Texas by floral color are the following:

  • Orange--Orange Celebrity, Thai Orange, Voltage
  • Reddish Brown--Rustler
  • White--Skating Party, Sponsorship
  • Pink--Persian Berry, Coral Point, Lady Friend, Chasing Rainbows, a pink caramel
  • Black--Midnight Oil, Hello Darkness, Dusky Challenger, a silky-rich dark purple
  • Blue--Ty Blue, Absolute Treasure
  • Red Purple--Ida Red, Red Masterpiece, Red Handed
  • Plicata--Rare Treat, Uncertain Times

Rhizomes from some of these winners and recommended varieties will be sold September 11 from 9 am until 4 pm in the Norris Conference Center of Northcross Mall, 2525 W. Anderson Lane, Building 3, according to President Tracey Rogers.

©Zilker Botanical Garden,
Austin Area Garden Council