I have a great amount of respect for those who hybridize. Being able to hybridize a flower takes skill, a love for the flower that is being hybridized, and perhaps most importantly - patience. Often when I go out to the gardens during bloom season, I admire the flower and fail to think of who took the time to develop it.
We have several different varieties in the gardens and several different hybridizers represented. Some of those varieties/hybridizers were awarded the highest honors from the American Iris Society (ex. Celebration Song/Schreiner), Thornbird/Byers, and Wabash/Williamson.
As I began to collect irises, I noticed that whether by name, or attribute, each hybridizer has their own way of creating. One of my favorite hybridizers from the past is Tom Craig. His variety, Escondido, is in our gardens. I'm including a link to his bio below. Also, I'm including a list of hybridizers provided by the American Iris Society. Click on some of the names and see if you have a favorite hybridizer. :)
When I was planning a list of what irises I wanted to plant in the gardens, I saw one iris advertised for sale that I knew I had to add to my inventory.
I've always loved "old movies". What I define as old movies are movies that were made before I was born. However, my children see movies that were made when I was in high school as old, so I guess the definition of "old" is subjective. :)
"Silent Screen Star", piqued my interest more because of its name, rather than its color or attributes. However, once I planted this variety and it bloomed the following year, it instantly became one of my favorites. What I liked most about it was the splash of blue on the falls (mine looked more lavender) that contrasted with the cream and orange.
At the end of that blooming season, my Silent Screen Star succumbed to iris rot. I reordered the variety from the only person who was selling it, but when the time came for her to ship it to me, the only rhizomes she had of the variety were eaten by gophers. Sounds like a movie, doesn't it? :) A few months later, I came across a gardener who had posted a picture of Silent Screen Star on a site called, "Dave's Garden". She didn't have any rhizomes available at that time because the rhizomes she had were too small. Fast forward to a year later when this gardener messaged me out of the blue (via Dave's) and told me should could send me one of her rhizomes since her plant had grown and it was big enough to divide. Last year, I was able to plant Silent Screen Star once again and I'm hoping you will see it bloom during Open House this spring.
If you're looking for gardening tips, or people who have plants that you want but can't find, please consider looking at Dave's Garden (there's no fee). It's an excellent resource. I'm including a link to it below (I don't get a commission) and a link to several pictures of Silent Screen Star from the AIS website, and a link to a story on some of the most famous silent screen stars of all time.
See you in two weeks! Please keep in mind that all our information is now on our site (rather than Facebook). Please spread the word! :)