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How I Learn’t to Show and Stage A TB Iris

How I Learn’t to Show and Stage A TB Iris

When I was learning to show Bearded Irises I had the best teacher Helen Reid, a lovely lady that is very well know to many Iris fanciers around Australia and has been the treasurer of the Victorian Region Iris Society for many years. I was taught well by an expert.  I won two big flower shows soon after, back in 2000 or 2001. One of the shows was a country show and nearly every lady, including some men from the surrounding districts. Lots of people in the Riverina area entered a flower or many spring flowers from their gardens. They got so many exhibits because anyone could enter their produce on the day. Two large halls full of flowers near bursting out the doors were staged as well as floral art and many home made garden art items. Sadly this doesn’t happen anymore, the young ones don’t seem to be interested or they move away to the cities for work.

To win the best flower in a country show back then was an absolute honour, and would never happen again in a lifetime. I was very lucky to win the best flower in that country show once. Read on to see how and why I won Ist Prize.

This particular morning in spring, it was early Iris season for the talls, when most country shows are held in Australia. I went out to my Iris garden about 18 years ago and saw this lovely iris flowering, a very early variety out of my 400 varieties that I grew and supplied back then. I couldn’t believe my eyes it had 4 gorgeous new flowers out on one stem, this Iris flower had flared falls and the first flowers flowering from the flower socket as well. Back then flared falls was a new type of Iris flower especially to get one to flower so early. The Bearded Iris flowers that were bred and in gardens had always, big downward drooping flowers some narrower than others but was rare to have an iris with flared falls flowering so early in the season. It was a new release and new fashion to the Iris world just like when the horns and spoons were introduced to irises years later. I new I had a good chance of winning the best Iris in its class with this amount of first flowers out at once. If only I could get the stem to the show in one piece without any damage. So I picked it and packed it and I drove 47km to the Walbundrie show, to enter the iris. After I entered the Iris in the show I had to go straight home. I couldn’t wait around till after lunch time to find out the results because I had 2 very young autistic children to look after. I was told that night that I had won the best flower in the whole show and not just the Iris section. Yay I was so excited I couldn’t believe it!

The second time I won the best flower in the show, was at the Inland Region Iris society in Yarrawonga Victoria not long after and never found the time to show Irises since. I still have both of these two winning Iris flowers growing in my garden to this day and more time to show them now.

Here are the two Tall bearded Iris that I have won ”Best Iris In Show”. They are definitely show winners.

Tall Bearded Iris Louisia’s Song bred by Barry Blyth – reveals close colouring to its parent “Tall Bearded Iris About Town” with stunning royal purple flowers, huge flowers with strong flowering stems and so ruffled and laced.

Tall Bearded Iris Aztec Burst Pictured.

Walbundrie is in NSW their annual show is held on NSW Labour Day weekend.

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