Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Iris stocksii: Your Day Is Coming

Alpine horticulturists around the world, including Allen Bush, wait with excitement as cultivation of a rare Juno iris, collected in Afghanistan, begins.


Tony Hall working on a frame of Juno Iris

Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, 2009

Photo: Jim Almond

By Allen Bush

I spent one sleepless hour after another on my London flight in late May walking the aisle while staring at an unconscious planeload. I tried to play catch-up. Two glasses of airline wine and an Ambien didn’t do a bit of good. A day later I came calling on Tony Hall cross-eyed with jet lag. Sleep walking for a couple of hours around the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew seems now like a dream—full of memories of a friend.

I tumbled out of the car on Kew Road at Primrose House and graciously agreed to be picked-up sooner or later.  Later preferred. I feared sooner since neither Kew Gardens nor precious time with Tony Hall should be done on the fly. Hall has retired – sort of. He was for nearly thirty years the Manager of Kew’s Alpine Unit, caring the alpine plants and bulbs and overseeing the Alpine House and Woodland Garden. Hall, renowned for his knowledge of Iris, is the leading authority on Juno Iris and working toward a botanic monograph. Kew continues to provide facilities for Hall’s Juno Project. 

Tony buzzed me in and was eager to get moving. A special package had just arrived: four bulbs and nearly fifty seeds of the very rare Iris stocksii.

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Posted by Julie on 06/23 at 04:44 PM
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