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! :)
This week, I ventured out into the gardens to do some clean-up and weeding. I saw so many new baby shoots of growth coming up from the different varieties. I am hoping for an abundant bloom season come next April/May.
One of the things I have been actively working on is getting my garden records organized. This is something I've attempted to to do several times in the past, but always found an excuse not to complete the task. Recording and mapping out 200 varieties of irises isn't easy. However, when applying to become a HIPS Display Garden, they required an inventory or map of the varieties that I grow. After several days of going through typed and handwritten notes, I was finally able to come up with a final inventory list.
Now that I'm on the other side of organizing my beds through written records,I think that keeping a list of varieties of flowers that you grow is extremely helpful. The list doesn't have to be complicated. I typed my inventory into a table that I created through Word. Excel is another option. While gardening is a hobby, being efficient can make your hobby much more enjoyable. Record keeping helps accomplish that. Now I just need to work on organizing my ceramics room and sewing area. :)
See you in two weeks! Only 16 weeks until the irises start blooming!
When I began growing irises about 15 years ago, I knew nothing about iris varieties and how irises got their names. I had no idea there were iris organizations. As time went by and I started collecting more and more varieties, I became more interested in iris history in the States. I joined HIPS - the Historic Iris Preservation Society, and the American Iris Society and my love for irises grew more and more. Recently, I began the process of applying to become a HIPS Display Garden. I'm happy to save that Stormy Weather Iris Gardens has completed the process and we are an official HIPS Display Garden! We are one of only two in the state of Virginia. The other is Monticello/Tufton Farm in Charlottesville. With that said, our gardens are mix of both old and new varieties and I like that we have a mix of both the past and the present. It gives those who come see our house gardens an example of how irises have changed over the years in America.