California’s Frederick Kerr produced the fabulous ‘Queen’s Circle’ and introduced it in 1999. It is a relatively short iris, at about 85cm and the flower colouring is not that unusual. But it grows well and it flowers too with 8 flowers per stem. It is clean and crisp and just a great garden plant and no one could fail to love those blue and white flowers warmed by a tangerine beard. It flowers late and rounds up the iris season which may be a reason for its huge popularity – blooming when there is less competition. But it deserves all the awards it has received, including an AGM from the RHS and, finally the American Dykes Medal in 2007. And to top it all, it came in at No 2 in the 2010 poll of favourite iris.
Raised by Keith Keppel and introduced in 2002, this unusual iris has similar colouring to Paul Black’s ‘Goldkist’ from 1993. Both have golden hafts at the top of the falls and purple toning on the falls. My apologies for the rather dark image.
‘Quite the Reverse’
William Maryott of California raised this reverse amoena and it was introduced in 1998. It has lots of ruffles and the standards are noticeably darker than the falls. It was bred from the Dykes-winning ‘Honky Tonk Blues’.