Tag Archives: Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

In A Vase On Monday – Purple With Fragrance

In A Vase On Monday – Purple With Fragrance

Every Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase with materials selected from our gardens.

I didn’t have a plan for today but the irises called out once again. They are having a stellar year. The earliest-blooming irises flowered at the end of March and, in the weeks since there has been a steady succession of irises.

An abundant armful of Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’ stuffed tightly into a large, heavy glass vessel reflects this particular flower’s vigorous, bountiful nature in the garden.

This is a large display, 20-inches tall by 17-inches across.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple With Fragrance

I. ‘Helen Collingwood’ is distinctively scented (meaning I can smell it easily and it smells nice). It may be difficult to tell from the photographs, but the standards are very pale lavender. The falls are violet-purple.

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

Iris Siberica ‘Concord Crush’ gets much less real estate in the borders, but in its second year it’s making an impact as well. It seemed natural to tuck in a few right out front.

Iris Siberica ‘Concord Crush’

Iris Siberica ‘Concord Crush’

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’
Iris Siberica ‘Concord Crush’
Glass Vase, 12” tall by 7″ wide

I’m way behind reading and commenting but I hope to catch up soon. I appreciate hearing from you and look forward to virtual visits to your own gardens again.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting each week. Visit her blog to see her vase and check out those of other gardeners from around the world.

Early May, MidAfternoon

Iris Siberica ‘Concord Crush’

Yesterday (Wednesday, May 3) I had a few moments to wander the borders in midafternoon. I had been eying a patch of Siberian iris through the windows and finally had to inspect them.

Iris Siberica ‘Concord Crush’ and Iris ‘Immortality’

The day was sunny, bright, and very breezy, not great conditions for photographing the flowers, but it was a lovely opportunity to just be in the garden.

Added to the garden last year, this Siberian iris seemed unhappy last weekend after so much rain but rallied nicely.

Planted nearby is Peony Pink Parfait, the first peony I ever added to the garden. It’s been crowded out this year by irises and has only a few flowers.

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

Seeking a little shade, my favorite spot yesterday was underneath a Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) in the southwest corner.

Southwest Corner. Dianthus, Artemisia, Heuchera, Iris

Southwest Corner

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)

For a time Iris ‘Helen Colingwood’ and Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) pair up to form a dynamic color combination.

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is quickly laying claim to this section of the garden as evidenced by its emerging green foliage surrounding the heuchera and beyond.

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

Given half a chance, Lamb’s Ears fill in anywhere and beyond. As they are fairly easy to remove I’ve left them to ramble for now.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris) and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Hellebores have been wonderful this year. I appreciate their long bloom time. Even as they fade they continue to add interest throughout this area.

Hellebores and Tansy

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

Thursday Journal

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

April 22, 2021. The temperature at 6 a.m. was 34°F. and after dropping to 32°F by 7 a.m. it began climbing up again.  61°F at 5 p.m.

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

The garden seemed unbothered by the cold night and a couple more irises opened today. One came from my former late-1970s neighbor Henrietta. This tall bearded iris features pale lavender standards and bright violet-purple falls.  Sweetbay identified this passalong last year as Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’.

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

The second newly blooming iris is a reblooming type with ruffled petals. Also a passalong without a name, it came from a plant swap in my current neighborhood in October 2013.  The petal color strikes me as a clean, clear, pure yellow, with a touch of white on the falls below the yellow beard.

Tall Bearded Iris

Tall Bearded Iris

Tall Bearded Iris

A few more flowers opened on the Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony); a bud on my passalong rose bush is showing color; and two snapdragon plants from years past have survived and appear ready to bloom. The snapdragons suffered a lot of rabbit damage last spring so I am happy to see them return.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Sunday Journal – Names For Two Irises

This is a record-keeping entry, following up on my iris flowers from yesterday.  Sweetbay identified two of my passalong irises for which I am very grateful: Crimson King and Helen Collingwood.  Thanks Sweetbay!

These are among the irises my Wave Road neighbor Henrietta gave me between late 1970s – early 1980s. She received them from her mother who had obtained them from a friend who grew them for a local florist in her hometown (Henderson, Hendersonville? NC)—true passalongs! I brought them to this garden in 2001.

As much as I love irises I do not really understand the categories. I have been calling all the bearded irises “Tall Bearded” although one of these is “Intermediate Bearded.” Someday maybe I’ll learn more about them but for now I am saving some information on these two irises. The descriptions are quoted from The American Iris Society’s Iris Encyclopedia.

(IB) ‘Crimson King’

Iris ‘Crimson King’

Iris ‘Crimson King’

(Barr and Sons, 1893). (Germanica). IB, Early bloom. Color Code-R7D.

From Treholme Gardens catalog 1928: CRIMSON KING 89 (Hallock) E. 82 G. 87 32″ E. Same coloring as Kochii but the rich deep purple flowers are larger, the stalks taller and the growth more open. A very desirable flower. 25c.

Cornell Extension Bulletin #112: “Color effect an intense violet-purple, self. Standards pansy violet, lighter to yellowish on claw and wavy along edge. falls cotinga purple, almost velvety in texture. The veining is boldly spaced on the whitish outer haft, while those on Kochii are not so prominent. Its fragrance is very good, its color very intense, and its spathe valves deeply tinged. The persistent green foliage is attractive in winter. Rating 89.”

Royal Iris Gardens 1933: 83. 30″. beautiful deep red purple. As deep as Kochii but redder. Tall, floriferous and a good grower.

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

Iris ‘Helen Collingwood’

(TB) ‘Helen Collingwood’

‘Helen Collingwood’. (Kenneth D. Smith, 1949) TB. Midseason to late bloom. Color Class-R3D, height 40″. ‘Extravaganza’ X ‘Louise Blake’. Honorable Mention 1950, Award of Merit 1952. Smith 1950.

From AIS Bulletin #117, April 1950. Introducing HELEN COLLINGWOOD (1949). A truly brilliant creation in the neglecta class. Well branched 40 inch stalks with light lavender standards and brilliant violet purple falls. Entirely different. 4 branches. Late midseason. $25.00. K.D. Smith.

From Iris Test Garden Catalog, 1955: HELEN COLLINGWOOD. (K. Smith, ’49). M. (Extravaganza x Louise Blake). Beautiful, superb neglecta. Almost an amoena –will be highly useful for hybridizing, surely. H. M. 1950. Award Merit, ’52. $6.00.

From Cooley’s Gardens catalog for 1955: “A very brilliant Iris in the neglecta class. Standards are light lavender, the falls bright violet-purple .. a decided contrast. Stalks are 40 inches tall, sturdy and vigorous.”

‘Helen Collingwood’ is a very hardy variety, well known to be a good survivor of neglect and hence likely to be passed around over the decades. It helps that she is quite lovely and a ready bloomer, giving her much garden value. Understandably she often shows up looking for a name. — MikeUnser – 2014-05-11