Sunday, April 3, 2011

Iris Season Has Begun!

As April begins, so to have the iris! Starting with the standard dwarf bearded and miniature dwarf bearded iris the arilbreds are now starting to emerge. Soon we'll be seeing the Intermediates Bearded, the Miniature Tall Bearded followed by the Border Bearded. Then the Tall Bearded Iris will steal the show come the the last couple of weeks in April and well into May.
Here's a few of our favorites to bloom this year.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


  This is an example of an intermediate iris 'ZING ME' we crossed with a standard dwarf bearded iris 'KILARNEY GREEN'. You never know what you're going to get but in this case we have an intermediate sized iris with the slight spot around the beard of 'ZING ME' and the yellow ground and lavender beards of 'KILARNEY GREEN'. This was it's first year of bloom last year but we liked the size and color as well as the more closed standards. We'll be watching it to see if it pans out for introduction.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


  Winter time and inclement weather is the time I spend going through seedling pix and notes to see what to really watch this year. I'm happy to say there are many babies out there in the seedling patch worth a second (or third) look.
Beyond the pretty pictures comes the more detailed scrutinizing of the plants. I feel I'm pretty strict when it comes to introducing a daylily. There's way too many out there that shouldn't have been put out there. I want mine to be around for a long time.

   So, what do I look for? When the plants are in bloom I keep a yard stick handy to measure both the height of the stalks and the width of the flowers. I constantly count buds per stalk and average out the totals. Rebloom is almost a requirement (unless it is truly a new pattern, color combo or unusual form), meaning we  want the plant to consistently send up new shoots as old stalks bloom. Disease resistance, strong vigor and floriferousness all are mandatory.

So, here's just a few fun ones I hope will pan out this year. (Remember we have contests on our Facebook page when we need names!)...

Sunday, March 13, 2011


'TRIPPY HIPPY' is a new introduction this year. It is very showy in the garden and glistens in the sunlight. Makes great clumps! Here's the specifics on it.  
Height 30", flower 5.5", EM season, Diploid, Dormant, Rebloom, 3 Branches 20 buds. 
Flowers are dark violet-red, lighter sepals with large amethyst purple eyes. Dark edge on eye blending into lemon yellow throat.(Step By Step X Red Eyed Fantasy)
Thanks to Brock Heilman for the name. He won our "Name This Seedling" contest on Facebook!
Brilliant play on purples in the garden. Reminds us of tie die tee shirts!

Friday, March 11, 2011


   Median Bearded Iris are the smaller classifications of iris. They come in a few different shapes and sizes as you can see in the diagram below.  The best reasons to add them to the garden is the earlier bloom season and the shorter sizes. They tolerate wide varieties of conditions with the MDB's and SDB's being much more cold tolerant (not as heat tolerant) and ideal in rock garden type conditions.

   The IB's bloom next and fill in the garden until the tall and border bearded iris bloom. Often, IB's and BB's are a combination of SDB's crossed with tall beardeds, giving them more tolerance of weather conditions.

   We are big fans of these babies and highly recommend trying some in your garden. For more on the medians go the Median Iris Society website. We offer many different varieties at our own site, Stout Gardens at Dancingtree.

Happy Gardening!

Sunday, March 6, 2011



The first deadline to register for this wonderful event is March 15th. Registration before then is $120 then goes to $140 after.

   Registration includes two banquet dinners, garden tours, lunches, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum tour, plant auction, silent auction, great programs & judges training (both exhibition and in-garden training with some of the top judges nationally).

   We received well over four hundred guest iris from top hybridizers in the USA and Canada two years ago and now they'll be putting on a show for you. Arilbreds are included with the medians and are looking very good thus far.

   More info and registration.

Hope to see you in OKC April 14 through 16!

 Happy Gardening!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


2011 Intro DUSK TO DAWN with over 30 buds and 4 branches 

   Once the initial thrill of seeing what happens when one wild looking flower is crossed with another, hybridizers should be thinking about building better flowers. How do we do this and what does "better" mean?  Having some idea of what's available out there, knowing the specifics of the parents to be used and keeping foremost in our minds that the goal isn't just to make a flashy daylily or iris, but to make a perennial that is an asset in the garden all year.

   When selecting parents we want healthy plants with disease resistance, good bud count and branching to handle all the buds and the flowers. The foliage is important as it's what hangs around long after the flowers are gone. Remember if one stalk of a daylily only has ten buds and a couple of branches, that's a maximum of 10 days of flowers (if they open one at a time) out of 365 days in the year! I hope you love that foliage as it will have to do for the next 355 days! We need plenty of buds and rebloom to make plants worthy of purchasing.

   Fancy flowers are the bonus and a smaller bud count can be tolerated if we have some kind of break through. For instance variegated foliage in iris is starting to make progress and would be a huge asset in the garden after the flowers fade. But the flower form is lacking as is bud count and variegation consistency.

   The goal is simple, improve the daylily or the iris by combining good habits in one plant to the good qualities of another. Put the gorgeous flower that's low on buds with a strong grower with prolific habits.

Pod parent 'STEP BY STEP'  so so flower, lots of buds & rebloom.

'JOHANNA KLEIN STRACK' great flower form and eye pattern, bud count okay.