I have not posted for a few days and seem to have a huge backlog of posts to get through and in the past two (warm and sunny) days the iris have been unfurling one after the other and providing a pleasant distraction between pulling up weeds, planting bedding and replanting containers.
I would have a hard job deciding on my favourite iris colour or pattern and I would usually go for something pretty fancy. But this year I seem to have the blues and it is definitely the blue iris that are giving me the most pleasure so far. Soaring above them all (so far) is ‘Joyful Skies’ from the Schreiner stable. Introduced in 2005, this HM (08) winner also won the ‘Best Blue Variety’ at the 2008 International Iris Trials in Florence. It is a lovely iris with moderately sized blooms that are elegantly ruffled – Schreiner says ‘bouncing ruffles’. The colour is pure, soft blue and the white centre to the falls gives the flowers a wonderful luminosity that makes the bloom look like a May sky smudged with friendly clouds. The beards are white with a discreet yellow tipping. It is supposed to have moderate bud count (6-8) and vigour. My plant has produced a decent first spike and there are new fans growing so I can’t say yet but all looks good.
‘Joyful Skies’ is a relatively restrained bloom but it has class. It shines among all the overly complicated flowers. It is the Audrey Hepburn among a bed of drag queens.