HERITAGE IRISES

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Zealand Tall Bearded Iris BEYOND RICHES



'Beyond Riches' is an iris introduced by Alison Nicoll, Richmond Iris Gardens, New Zealand, and certainly has inherited the genes from the pod parent George Shoop's 'Prince George', with an extra large dollop of added zest and wow!!
 Standards are a lilac white with a distinctive gold edge, hafts are veined leading to a solid magenta purple with a mandarin orange coloured beard. Large slightly fragrant blooms on well branched stems, that carry a upmarket sophisticated bling look with a dash of Parnell. 
A very nice iris with good plant health, a sister seedling to the New Zealand Dykes medal winner, 'Atavas'.

Richmond Iris Gardens, 376 Hill St., Richmond
, Nelson, New Zealand
Specialist Growers and Hybridisers of Beautiful Bearded Irises Catalogue, Issue 62, 2012-13.
BEYOND RICHES: [A. Nicoll ’07] Standards, pale lilac blue with fine gold edge. Falls, Purple blend on magenta, white area around tangerine beards.

New Zealand Iris Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist 2015
BEYOND RICHES    (Alison Nicoll, R. 2007) Sdlg. A00T2-1. TB, 30" (76 cm), ML    S. light pale lilac-blue, fine gold edging; style arms lilac blue, darker lilac center, gold tips; F. rich magenta and purple blend, white area around beard, fine gold edging, gold and violet veins; beards tangerine; lightly frilled, ruffled; slight sweet fragrance. Prince George X Outrageous Fortune. Richmond 2007/08.


Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.


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Monday, July 20, 2015

William Rickatson Dykes,THE BEARDED IRISES.



       THE GARDEN.
September 15, 1923

THE BEARDED IRISES
W. R. DYKES, M.A., L.-ès-L.


SOME weeks ago there appeared in these columns an article on Bearded Iris species, which summed up what was known of them about thirty years ago, at the time when Baker compiled his Handbook of the Irideæ The so-called species were described in the order in which they appeared in Baker's book, and in many cases the wording of the descriptions was identical.
Since 1892, however, much research work has been carried out, and our knowledge of the wild species of Iris and of natural and garden hybrids between them has grown very considerably. This growth has been made possible by the examination of the very numerous dried specimens of wild plants which are preserved in the various herbarium collections and by the cultivation of living plants from known localities. Thus we now know the difference between I. pumila and I. Chamæiris. The former has practically no stem and a long perianth tube between the ovary and the flower, while the latter has a stem which is at any rate always longer than the tube.

Colour alone is no guide to specific difference, and both these species may have either yellow or purple flowers. The curious thing is that in some localities there is apparently very little colour variation, while in others every plant seems to be different.
Thus I. Chamaeiris on Mount Coudon behind Toulon is all yellow or yellow flushed with brown, while at Roque-haute on the coast of Herault there is every variation. I. pumila in the Deliblat in Hungary is always purple, while on the Geissberg outside Vienna and on the Dalmatian coast near Zara and Sebenico there is infinite variety.

Many of the plants sold as pumila are in reality Chamæiris, but no one who has once seen the ripe seed-pods of I. pumila will ever again confuse the two species. The capsules are literally on the ground, broad at the base and tapering to a conical point to which is still attached the long, withered perianth tube and the remains of the flower. The ripe capsule splits open, not from the apex, as in I. Chamæiris, but below the apex, as in I. arenaria and in the species of the Regelia group.

I. Chamæiris is found only in South-Eastern France and in Northern Italy I. pumila in Austria and Hungary, Croatia, Greece and Southern Russia.

In Sicily there is a rather delicate species like a large I. Chamæiris, but with the long tube of I. pumila. It looks not unlike a natural hybrid between the two species, but it can hardly be so, because artificial hybrids between them are quite sterile and differ in some slight but well marked details. 
For some unknown reason Balkan Irises have sharply keeled spathes — the green or membranous sheaths in which the buds are contained. There are, in fact, quite a number of Balkan species with keeled spathes, which have counterparts in Western or Central Europe, in which the spathes are either shapeless or merely rounded. Thus I. spuria and I. graminea correspond to I. Sintenisii and I. Urumovii. In the same way the Balkan I. mellita and I. Reichenbachii correspond to I.pumila and I. Chamaeiris. Of both there are yellow and purple forms, which have been described as distinct species. Thus serbica and bosniaca are merely yellow forms of I. Reichenbachii, while balkana and Athoa are purple. I. mellita is dwarf like pumila, but has sharply keeled spathes and is the species of which one variety from Skutari, opposite Constantinople, is in cultivation under the name of rubromarginata. I. Reichenbachii has a stem from 3ins. to 9ins. in height and a comparatively short tube. I. mellita has a long tube and is nearly always stemless.






These four species, pumila and Chamæiris in the west and mellita and Reichenbachii in the Balkans, are never more than a foot in height, and the only other species which are certainly natives of Central Europe seem to be I. aphylla, I. variegata and I. pallida, of all of which there are many local varieties. All those who have grown them know how readily and persistently they all set seeds, while it is comparatively rare to see a pod on any so-called germanica, lurida, flavescens or sambucina, and rarer still to find more than one or two seeds in them.
I. aphylla, as its name implies, loses its leaves entirely in autumn ; so, too, do I. variegata and I. pallida to a very large extent. This is only what we should expect of plants which are natives of countries like Central Europe with a rigorous winter climate.
I. aphylla has a host of synonyms, such as biflora, bisflorens, bohemica, hungarica, furcata, etc., some alluding to its habit of flowering a second time in the early autumn, some to the branching habit of the stem, which forks characteristically below the centre, and others to the various localities in which it is found. It is characteristic, also, of I. aphylla to have spathes of thin membranous texture either wholly green or more or less flushed with purple. The colour of the flowers is usually a deep purple, though both yellow and almost white forms are not unknown.
I. variegata comes from Hungary, Croatia and the Balkans, and is the source of the yellow colour in our garden Bearded Irises. In the wild plant the standards are yellow and the falls more or less closely veined with some shade of brownish purple on a yellow or creamy ground. The spathes are green and remain persistently so, even when the flowers are fully developed.
In I. pallida, on the other hand, they are always wholly scarious or papery, even long before the buds emerge from them. It is interesting to remember that all such plants as sambucina, squalens, lurida and even germanica have spathes which are scarious in the upper part and green or herbaceous in the lower part, an indication that they are hybrids which owe their origin to a cross between a species with herbaceous spathes and a species with scarious spathes.
Another fact, which appears only to have come to light in the last ten or fifteen years, is that in the only two localities where I. variegata and I. pallida are both known to grow wild, namely, near Bozen in the Tyrol and on the Velebit Mountains above Carlopago on the Croatian coast, natural hybrids also occur identical with those to which such names as squalens and sambucina have been given. In such hybrids it is easy to see the struggle for mastery of the purple of pallida and the yellow of variegata. Moreover, it is quite easy to raise these hybrids in our gardens by crossing the two species.
I. germanica is frankly a puzzle. All we know for certain is that it has never been found undoubtedly wild anywhere. Moreover, it is extremely reluctant to set seed under any conditions, and it has a habit of making its new growth in the autumn, which would mean that its foliage would suffer in a continental winter and the plants remain flowerless, as they not uncommonly do even in this country in a season of late frosts and in exposed situations.
Again, there is not one germanica but several. The common form in this country is bluer than those we find in Southern France. The variety Kharput was sent to Foster from the town of that name in Northern Asia Minor and is naturalised near Srinagar in Kashmir, while atropurpurea grows in masses at Beaucaire, opposite Tarascon on the Rhone, and at many other places in the South. Moreover, it was found growing abundantly at Khatmandu in Nepal a hundred years ago! Three years ago I found an Iris growing high up on the rocks between the two arms of Lake Como, in a position where I felt sure it must be wild and not an escape from cultivation. When the plants, which I brought home, flowered they proved to be Kochii, but, unfortunately, they will not set seed, as we should expect them to do if Kochii were a wild species. No form of germanica has been known to reproduce itself from seed. The few seedlings that have been raised are all dwarf plants, resembling I. aphylla more than any other species.
Another puzzle about germanica is that each purple form seems to have a corresponding albino form. The so-called germanica alba is one, another even whiter was found growing by the roadside in Istria, while the well known florentina is another. This is the albino of a slender form of germanica which is used along with pallida in the manufacture of orris root near Florence. Streaks or patches of purple not infrequently occur in flowers of florentina and also in the other albino forms of germanica.
Florentina has nothing whatever to do with I. albicans, which is the albino of the Arabian I. Madonna. I. albicans and I. Madonna can easily be picked out of a collection in winter by their curiously twisted leaves and by the fact that the tips are always browned by the frost. Albicans has been transported all over the world as an ornament for Mohammedan graveyards, while Madonna was only discovered in, and introduced from, South-Eastern Arabia less than twenty years ago.
I. pallida has many local forms. Near Bozen it is a sturdy plant 3ft. high with a stiff stem and very glaucous leaves. In Dalmatia it is much more slender, with either green or glaucous leaves and flowers of every conceivable shade of purple, using that unsatisfactory word in its very widest sense. Ciengialti and Loppio are only two forms among a vast number to be found on the eastern coast of the Adriatic, and the so-called pallida dalmatica is almost certainly of hybrid garden origin and not a native of Dalmatia. It is much nearer to the Bozen form than to anything that grows in Dalmatia. Moreover, it very rarely sets seed and, when it does, gives a long series of variations.
Another old garden plant, flavescens, is similarly almost certainly of hybrid origin. It seldom sets seed and is quite distinct from I. imbricata, with which it has been confused. The latter is a plant from the south-western shores of the Caspian, and was once grown at Kew under the name of obtusifolia. The flowers are of a curious greenish yellow, sometimes streaked with purple, and the spathes are very large, green and inflated. In cultivation a purple-flowered form of it has appeared. Neither flavescens nor imbricata are found growing wild in the Balkans.
I. kashmiriana is a difficult plant to flower in this country. It wants a thorough roasting in summer, and has a purple counterpart, which seldom finds its way beyond the borders of Kashmir. The white form is used for decorative purposes by the natives, as is also albicans, and the purple form is as neglected as I. Madonna.
The so-called plicata can hardly be a wild species. It does not come true from seed, and it is not known to occur in the wild state anywhere. It seems rather to be a seedling or hybrid of I. pallida and is, in fact, a pallida in which there is some factor which prevents the purple colour from spreading all over the segments of the flower. The colour is confined to the veins and usually to the extremities of the veins near the circumference of the petals.
In Asia Minor and in the hill country to the north of Mesopotamia there are undoubtedly several little-known or unknown species of Bearded Iris. Specimens have occasionally been in cultivation, but never apparently for very long, nor has anyone tested their validity as species by raising them from seed. Moreover, the specimens seem always to have come from inhabited areas and not from regions in which it was obvious that they were wild plants. Probably, now that we are once more at peace with Turkey, it will be possible to obtain further specimens and to decide how many species there are.
At present the claims of I. trojana to specific rank seem undeniable. It has a tall branching stem, long, narrow pointed buds and comparatively narrow foliage. It is supposed to have reached the Vienna Botanic Garden from the neighbourhood of Troy, but it is obvious that a plant from such a locality might not necessarily have been a native of it if, as now seems probable, Irises were in cultivation as garden plants when Minos reigned at Cnossus in Crete about 1600 B.C. However, I. trojana seeds readily and reproduces itself with those slight variations in the tone of colour in the flower which we expect to find when raising a species from seed. It is probably to I. trojana that we owe the tall, branching habit of many of the newer hybrids. W.R.D.



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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Historic Tall Bearded Iris CLEMATIS and the British controversy.






THE GARDEN
June 4th 1921

NOTES OF THE WEEK

A New Iris to which we take exception. — The Bearded Irises of June have an old-world charm, and so long as this is preserved we have no fault to find with the hybridists, but there is a tendency on the part of some hybridists to develop the size of the flowers at the expense of grace and form.
There is one new variety to which we take exception — it is named 'Clematis' — in which the standards of the flower open out like the falls or lower petals. The flowers appear like those of a large six-petal Clematis. All six segments of the flower reflex horizontally. But why turn half a flower inside out ? And why produce a beard on petals on which there should be no beard ?Does not the Iris owe much of its charm to its beautiful curves and natural outline of its flowers ?


THE GARDEN
June 18th 1921

NOTES OF THE WEEK


A Champion for Iris Clematis. — A recent note has provoked a vigorous champion to defend Iris Clematis and the hybridist. We hope others will enter the lists, and that they will not all be on one side! It is very remote from our wish to belittle the labours of the patient and painstaking workers to whom garden-lovers owe heavy debts ; but it must be conceded that they do not always realise their own ambitions, any more than they invariably please the taste of all and sundry even when they produce what is evidently satisfactory to themselves But where taste is concerned who shall be the final judge ?
Anyhow we think an interesting discussion should follow our correspondent' s valiant defence of the criticised Iris.



THE GARDEN
June 18th 1921

IRIS CLEMATIS: THE TENDENCY OF HYBRIDISATION


THE exception taken to the above Iris in The Garden of June 4 is at once interesting and illogical. Interesting because it opens up the question as to where the aims of the hybridist should cease ; whether, for instance, a change of form in any particular flower is as permissible as a variation of colour. Illogical because it concludes that such change is not permissible, and argues from this conclusion, and also a purely personal objection to the form taken by this particular flower, that there is in it a lack of beauty. More illogical still is the suggestion that the hybridist is responsible for this particular variation of form. The point to which " exception " is taken appears to be that " the standards of the flower open out like the falls, or lower petals."

Does the writer really think that this detracts one iota from the beauty of the flower ? If so, he rules out of the scope of his admiration other Irises, both species and varieties, that possess the same characteristics. All the six petalled Iris Kæmpferi would be excluded. Neither Iris tectorum nor gracilipes would have a place in his garden. Surely he would not " take exception " to these, among the most admired of the whole genus.
Returning to the effect of hybridising,the development of the peculiar characteristics of Clematis was the very natural result of a very natural process. There was no intention, or effort, on the part of the hybridist to " turn half the flower inside out." The only artificial act was in conveying the pollen from one flower to another. Neither of the two parents showed the tendency developed in the offspring. Even the act of the hybridist was unnecessary. A chance seed from a bursting pod, in a garden where the science of hybridisation was unknown, might conceivably have produced the same results, and had 'Clematis' been a natural hybrid, collected in some far distant comer of the world, should we still " take exception " to its shape. If Nature chooses to make the interior of the standards more beautiful than the exterior, and then, in her wonderful economy, rather than waste her effort makes the standards reflex to show that interior, for what shall we blame her ? If there is any blame it is on Nature and not the hybridist, for she alone is responsible.

But there is a deeper and more serious suggestion in the paragraph referred to. The writer is willing to find no "fault with the hybridists," providing they preserve that indefinite, unprogressive and elusive attribute called " old world charm." If this is to be the foundation of judgement, it will eliminate from cultivation 99 per cent, of all the Irises, Sweet Peas, Dahlias, Roses, Carnations, Carrots, Potatoes, Cauliflowers and every other product of the modern garden. Chelsea Shows would be no more, and that bright little periodical 'The Garden' would either become a botanical catalogue of known species, or die from lack of material to fill its columns. Horticulture might survive for a time by collecting and distributing the weeds of the world, and the garden would become a very dull place, for if the "charm" is " old world " enough it would resolve the modern garden into a collection of species.
 




Please do not misunderstand me. There is something absorbingly interesting in a collection of species, whether of Irises, Roses or anything else, but who would care to go back to a garden of types ? Some months ago I remember the " Notes of the Week " in The Garden opened with a quotation from the pen of Mr. Eden Phillpotts : "Man has availed himself of the great laws of evolution in mightier matters than the Iris : but in no theatre of his unsleeping efforts has he created purer beauty, or wakened for the flower lovers, truer joy than among the bearded Irises of June."

The bearded Irises of to-day are just as much departures from the original species, in one way or another, as 'Clematis' is from its first parents.
Is not the whole scientific effort of the day directed towards developing the best and eradicating.the worst characteristics in every genus? 
It is not a question of developing " size of the  flowers at the expense of grace and form." Man cannot of himself breed a new form. Nature may do so by taking a hand in his efforts, but even she is bound by her own laws. She only reproduces unequally the good or bad attributes from remote or near ancestors. 
No one knows better than the hybridist how accidental some of his best results appear to him to be, and this despite all the laws of Mendel. 
Twelve seeds from a single pod may produce as many variations, and of them one may be half the size and one twice the size of the parent, and one only, as in the case of 'Clematis', may choose to assert itself as a variation of form, and the hybridist is impotent. He cannot even be assured that the form will reproduce itself from seed. 
The probabilities are that it will if Nature has endowed the new characteristics with strength and individuality sufficient thereto. 
If we take exception to a form adopted by one Iris because it reproduces the form of another, or even if we object to the form of one flower because it resembles that of another species, where shall we stop ? Orchids resemble butterflies and bees. Shall we " take exception " to the Orchids, or the butterflies and bees ?
Some of the characteristics that have been bred into the newer Irises are just as pronounced as this reflexing of the standards horizontally in 'Clematis'. Standards have been strengthened and elongated. Falls have been broadened and rendered horizontal or drooping, as the case may be. Stems branch low down where once they bore their flowers rigidly, alternately on each side of an erect stem. Colours have been mingled, and new colour shades introduced that have added infinitely to the charm of the Iris as a garden flower. So much is this the case that we are all in the position of the little girl who, when asked to describe the colour in an Iris, said : " I really cannot tell you what colour it is, but it's every kind of fairy colour."
All this is tolerated, together with the wave, in Spencer Sweet Peas, and other modifications ; and yet because Nature chooses to adopt a form a little different from the standard set up by man as the ideal, " we take exception."






It may be argued that Nature sometimes produces monstrosities, which is true ; but it is not in violation, but in pursuance of her own laws. The stronger characteristics of one parent may be reproduced in unequal proportions to the best of the other. The scientist may make mistakes in endeavouring to assist Nature by trying to impose on one variety the desirable characteristics of another, which may be due to his ignorance of what has gone before. Nature never forgets what has gone before. Mere size has nothing to do with beauty, in flower or animal. It is proportion that counts. The hybridist cannot " develop the size of the flowers at the expense of grace and form" unless Nature retaliates for some precious violation of her laws by producing inequality, and thus lack of proportion. The little Iris gracilipes magnified to the size of the largest Iris Kæmpferi would be just as beautiful if all its characteristics were equally magnified, nor would it be less beautiful than the finest Kæmpferi. We may admire diminutiveness, but smallness does not in itself 
constitute beauty. It is the little thing that reproduces perfectly the characteristics of the larger that attracts us. Therefore mere increase in size does not necessarily mean loss of grace and form. Little things are valuable when they are seen quite near. The largest flowers become smaller to the eye when seen in the distance. Who would reduce Iris Lord of June to the size it appears to be 20 yards. away ? Would they not rather have gracilipes magnified so that its beauty is not lost to sight at that distance ?
There is a very apt quotation from a well known author in his attempt to define beauty which is appropriate here : " Beauty is the moment of transition, as if the form were just ready to flow  into other forms." 

GEORGE DILLISTONE. 


THE GARDEN
March 24th, 1923.

MOISTURE LOVING IRISES

........This characteristic they undoubtedly derive from Iris setosa. It is interesting to note that the Bearded Iris Clematis, which almost certainly represents, a cross between a June-flowering Bearded Iris and a Kæmpferi form, not only has six petals all in the horizontal plane, but that all the petals bear beards.

THE GARDEN
April 7th, 1923.

CORRESPONDENCE
MOISTURE LOVING IRISES

...............How the Japanese have evolved their hybrids from the single- flowered wild form of I. Kæmpferi is not known ; but probably, as in many other garden plants, these double forms have merely arisen in cultivation without any admixture from another species. The same explanation applies without a doubt to the Bearded Iris Clematis. Seedlings of I. pallida not infrequently appear with some or all of the " standards " changed in form, and there is even extant a paper by a learned Professor of Innsbruck who seeks to prove that this flat form of flower is the archetype of all Irises. His whole argument is based on an I. pallida identical in shape with the variety I. Clematis. Mr. Bliss was the raiser of Clematis, and he will probably support the statement that I. Kæmpferi was in no way responsible for its shape. There is in fact, no authenticated hybrid between a bearded and a beardless species of Iris. — W. R. Dykes.

THE GARDEN
April 28th 1923

CLEMATIS- FLOWERED IRIS.

MR. DYKES in his notes on moisture-loving Irises, in your issue of April 7, refers to the origin of Irises of the type of the Bearded Iris Clematis in which all six petals reflex. So far as Bearded Irises are concerned, I. Kæmpferi has certainly nothing to do with the appearance of this type. The parentage of Clematis is Cordelia x Princess Beatrice. It was the only one of the batch of seedlings of the cross which displayed this form. Clematis is the most perfect example of this type that I have raised, but the form in varying degree of perfectness has appeared casually from many other crosses of Bearded varieties. It is probably a teratological form — a freak. I should not be inclined to agree with the learned Professor of Innsbruck that this flat form of flower is the archetype of all Irises, since it is the standards that are modified from the normal form, and in assuming the position of the falls they not only take up the special colouring of the falls but also develop (more or less perfectly) a beard. That is, the transformation is from a simpler form of petal to a more highly specialised. If it was a reversion towards an ancient type, one would expect that the transformation would be, on the contrary, from a more specialised to a simpler form. Therefore it is much more likely that the Crocus or Sparaxis form of flower was the original and most primitive form of the first Iris. But these Clematis forms, furthermore, raise interesting questions in heredity, since they do not appear to transmit according to Mendelian laws and, indeed, are not constant, flowers of quite normal form often appearing on the same plant, and even on the same spike as the Clematis forms. — A. J.Bliss.


As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
For more on Arthur Bliss Irises be sure to visit Anne Milner's National Collection of Arthur Bliss Irises web site. Listed in the above 'International Iris Links tab.


Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©

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Historic Tall Bearded Iris CLEMATIS




Is flat form of the Bearded Iris flower the archetype of all Irises?? I think the augment has an enormous amount of validity. 'CLEMATIS' is an interesting Iris which today would be celebrated as a 'Flattie', but created some controversy in the 1920's. John Wister at the time the President of the American Iris Society had very strong views regarding 'Clematis' enough to make a note to himself to "throw it out of his own garden". The American Iris Society had real straitjacket views when it came to irises that did not follow their point of view on what constituted the form and look of a bearded Iris. The publishing of the Discard List in 1931 was a extraordinary low point in the "We Know Best Iris world". 
Arthur Bliss had 35 Irises including 'Clematis' entered on the discard list.
Its not like the form of 'CLEMATIS' flowers was anything new, Peter Barr showed an red coloured form of pallida with a clematis like appearance named 'MANDRALISCAE' (Collected Italy) which was given a certificate of Commendation by the Royal Horticultural Society at Hampton Court flower show in 1903, its plum colour was also noted for crossing.
Bertrand H. Farr in 1922 also registered an Iris of similar form which he named 'JAPANESQUE' and this was also listed on the AIS 1931 Discard List. 

The Iris 'CLEMATIS' is so interesting there is more information in the following post, I have tried to keep my research as comprehensive as possible.

The Gardeners Chronicle June 14th 1919
Nursery Notes
Irises at Colchester
  
A rather unusual form was seen in the variety Clematis, for instead of having a well-defined standard the segments hang down as in the falls and moreover, the standard segments have beards so that the flower must be regarded as an abnormality. The effect was that of a more regular flower than is usual in Irises, and it is from this fact that the name Clematis was given to it.


Cayeux & Le Clerc, Quai de la Mègisserie, 8, Paris. Catalog 1923.
Clematis (Bliss 1917). Special variety. The shape of the flower is more like and exceptionnally fine I. Kaempferi or a large six petalled Clematis flower. All six segments of the flower are beardless and reflexed horizontally. Colour light violet with variable veining at the base. Strong growing. Has obtained a Certificate of Merit of S.N.H.F.when shown by us on May 1922.


Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1923, Number 7.
Descriptions of Varieties, Part II.
CLEMATIS 78 (9)
Self, veined. VR-V. (1). Bliss, 1917
Brief. Light lavender violet, both the falls and the horizontally held standards veined darker at the haft; stalk low and well-branched-;
growth vigorous; 30 in.
Details. Styles and F. flaring; beard white.
Remarks. Not distinctive until the standards open flat forming a clematis, or rosette shaped flower. Cert. S. N. H. F., 1922-.

Treasure Oak Nursery, Mays Landing, New Jersey, Catalog of Select Iris and Peonies, 1923.
The Best and Rarest of the Iris.
7.8 CLEMATIS. (Bliss 1917.) $2.00
Clear light violet. Segments in these blooms reflex horizontally, giving it a clematis-like flower or appearing somewhat like a Japanese Iris, an effect more novel than handsome.


The Dean lris Gardens, Moneta, California. Choice Iris, Price List 1924.
Some of the More Recent Introductions of Tall Bearded Iris
Clematis (Bliss). An open flower of pale violet, base of standards and falls veined darker. Very floriferous.
Each, $2.00.


Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1924, Number 10.
Practical Points, R. S. Sturtevant
ABNORMAL DEVELOPMENT
Analogous development occurs in other irises when the beard is transformed into a crest or ridge, when two flowers are closely superimposed or juxtaposed, and when the standards are held horizontally and develop the beards (very rare) and haft markings of the falls. This last occurs commonly in the varieties Clematis, Rosette, and Japanesque and Dorothea, Eldouard Michel, and others tend to this formation, often it is more, a matter of poor substance: rather than actual intention.


Rainbow Iris Gardens, Farmington, Minnesota, 1925.
CLEMATIS Unique. Shaped like an exceptionally fine Japanese iris or a large six-petaled Clematis. All six segments of the flower reflect horizontally. Color light clear violet with variable veining at the base. Strong grower, free flowering and fragrant.

Lee R. Bonnewitz Catalog,Van Wert, Ohio,1926.
CLEMATIS (Bliss)
S. deep lavender; F. deep lavender-purple with white reticulations at the base. Yellow beard. Strong growing, free flowering and fragrant. This variety has very much the form of the intermediate variety, Dorothea. Although it is an English Iris, it received an Award of Merit at the International Iris Show in Paris three years ago, but I am not altogether sure it deserved this high honor. It does, however, resemble the Clematis after which it is named.





American Iris Society

Discard List 1931.
BEARDED IRISES
Compiled by J. E,.Hill and E. A. S. Peckham
Explanatory Note
The varieties of Bearded Irises marked with the sign, $, in the Alphabetical Iris Check List 1929 as extinct or superseded, together with numerous additions, are named in this list.
The order of presentation, i.e., varietal name, class and authority for the name, and the abbreviations, are those used in the Check List to which the reader is referred for more complete information.
The classes in the Bearded group are abbreviated thus:
DB: Dwarf bearded.
IB : Intermediate bearded.
MB : Miscellaneous bearded. Hybrids between the species of the sections Oncocyclus, Regalia, and Evansia, and the species of the group Pogoniris.
TB: Tall bearded.
Care should be used in the application of the list. Of two varieties which have the same name only one may have been discarded. It is for this reason that the authority for the name is given. For example: Princess Beatrice - TB - Barr, is retained, Princess Beatrice - TB - Sal., a white blue feathered variety, is discarded; Fairy - TB - Ken., is retained, Fairy TB - Cap., is discarded, etc. It is hoped that the reasons for the preparation of the list will be respected and that ultimately discarded irises will not be grown.
Clematis-TB-Bliss

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, April 1932, Number 43.
ARTHUR JOHN BLISS
Irises Raised or Introduced by A. J. Bliss, by E. A. S. Peckham.
CLEMATIS caused much discussion because of its peculiar flat form and Mr. Bliss had to come to its defence as he was criticised for allowing it to be introduced. The color was a very clean, clear blue, much more a real blue than was the case in iris as known then and it made a good mass in the garden and so it had its defender, but the sticklers, for a particular form in irises were irate and said it was a cripple in exactly the same manner as discussion raged over BRANDYWINE, some upholding it for its blueness, others damning it because of its bad habit of having extra parts and trying to "go double." I do not mean that CLEMATIS had a doubling habit but the standards lying flat as they do gave an appearance not unlike the kaempferi hybrids we know as. "Japanese" iris.

A H. Burgess and Son, Iris Specialists, Waikanae, Wellington. 1936 Irises.
CLEMATIS - The shape of the flower is like a six petalled Clematis. Standards and Falls reflex horizontally. Colour, light clear blue, veined at base. Strong growing and fragrant. Mid-season.. 2ft. 

AIS Checklist 1939
CLEMATIS  TB-M-B3M (Bliss, 1917) Wallace 1917, Garden Chronicle 14th June 1919; John Scheepers Inc, 1920; Lee Bonnewitz, 1920; Earl Woodward Sheets, 1928; The Garden 85: 304. 18th June 1921; Novato Nursuries, 1933; Buccleuch Nursuries,1938; AAA Journal Royal Horticultural Society  137;
(CORDELIA X PRINCESS BEATRICE) , C.M., S.N.H.F. 1922; Journal Société Nationale d'Horticulture de France. 23; 218, June 1922; $ 





As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version. Major Hat Tip to Anne Milner for her amazing photo's and catalogue listings.

For more on Arthur Bliss Irises be sure to visit Anne Milner's National Collection of Arthur Bliss Irises web site. Listed in the above 'International Iris Links tab.


Reproduction in whole or in part of these photo's without the expressed written permission of Anne Milner is strictly prohibited.
Photo credits and copyright Anne Milner and Bliss Irises © .


Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©



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Friday, May 1, 2015

Beautiful German Iris of Special Named Varieties.



Checklist status of the varieties Illustrated above;

#1. CUPERO., is not listed in either the 1929 or the 1939 Checklists

#2. PARISIENSIS., is not listed in either the 1929 or the 1939 Checklists.


#3. FULDA., is listed in the 1929 checklist as TB-W3L which is a White light blue toned bicolour,  and is attributed to no hybridiser. By time it gets to the 1939 checklist it becomes a midseason blooming Intermediate Class Iris with the same colour tone still with no known hybridiser and in 1939 it is now listed as obsolete.

#4. CRAMER., Cottage Gardens Nurseries of Queens Long Island in their 1903 Catalog  list 'Cramer' as Light blue, falls slightly darker.
The 1939 Checklist says Cramer is a synonym for  ATTRACTION an Intermediate class, light blue self and considered nearly obsolete.

#5. MADAME CHEREAU (Jean-Nicolas Lémon, 1843) and #6., QUEEN OF MAY (John Salter, before 1859.) are listed in both checklists, they are two of the greats by two of the greats of historic world and are still grown in many Historic Iris collections around the world.

Two out Six is not a lot of 'know where they live' irises to show for an amazing colour plate of named irises that was published in 1927 and these are just some of a large number of named and catalogued irises that the early checklists left in a Iris 'no man land'. Perhaps the missing variety information can be found in earlier Garden Journals and I will keep an eye out for them. Perry Nursery Company, Rochester, New York, also is not listed in the 1929 or 1939 Checklists.


Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©. 


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Thursday, April 23, 2015

French Historic Intermediate Bearded Iris ARCHEVÊQUE





Within the framework of the in-depth study concerning French horticultural heritage that I have been working on for many years, the Parc Floral de Paris asked for my help checking the identification  of the cultivars they possess and the reorganisation of their collection of both bearded and species irises.  They sent me certain plants in order to achieve that objective and ‘Archevêque’ is one of the plants I have had the pleasure of observing first hand.  
The rigid but fine bloom stalk is 50 cm high, has four buds and one can understand the particular name, ‘Archevêque ‘ as the flowers open, with their colours which are reminiscent of the luxury and colours of priestly clothing worn by the , 'Archevêque' (Archbishops) of the Catholic Church.  
Assessment under different types of light reveals the delicate qualities of all the parts of this flower.  
Archevêque is a sumptuous iris which increases slowly - it has the good taste to not act as if it were an invasive weed like some cultivars.  It does honour to the unique genetic heritage of bearded irises of which France is the birthplace. 
CATHERINE ADAM, FRANCE, 2015.

G. G. Whitelegg & Co, Chislehurst, Kent,Catalogue of Irises 1921
June Flowering Irises, General Collection.
ARCHEVEQUE (Vilmorin).-A brilliant coloured variety of French origin, Standards rich violet-purple, Falls bright Velvet crimson. An exceedingly fine flower ............. .. ..

Les Iris Cultivés  1922, choix de 100 variétés pages 30-31-32
Archevêque (Vilmorin 1911). Divisions supérieures violet rougeâtre clair, divisions inférieures violet velouté.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, October 1922, Number 6.
Descriptions of Varieties, Part 1.
ARCHEVEQUE 8.3 (22)
Bicolor. RR,-V. (d).     Vilmorin, 1911
Brief. Standards, light hortense violet; Falls, velvety raisin purple; stalk, short branched; growth, vigorous; 2 ft.
Details. Beard yellow, brown tip; styles pearl gray and violet.
Remarks. Unusually deep rich color, effective in mass.

Treasure Oak Nursery, Mays Landing, New Jersey, Catalog of Select Iris and Peonies, 1923.
The Best and Rarest of the Iris.
8.3 ARCHEVEQUE. (Vilmorin 1911. CM., RHS.) $0.75
S.-Deep purple-violet (hortense Violet).
F.-Black-purple of velvety surface.
True stock of this variety is in demand as it is slow in increasing and at times backward in blooming but these faults are overlooked for its wonderful bloom of finest texture and color.

The Dean lris Gardens, Moneta, California.Choice Iris 1924.
Archeveque (Vilmorin). Standards purple·violet; Falls very dark velvety purple. Beard, ocher tipped brown. A very rich, handsome Iris and free bloomer, blooming in mid-winter in Southern California. Each, 50c; dozen $5.00.

Vilmorin Andrieux & Cie, 4 Quai de la Mégisserie, Paris (1er), Deuxième Série,
1925-1926.
17. Archevêque (Vilmorin). Hâtif. Divisions inférieures grandes, violet foncé velouté avec médiane plus claire; les supérieures violet rougeâtre. Haut 0m60.

Carl Salbach, 657 Woodmont Avenue, Berkeley, California. Irises, 1926.
Archeveque (Vilmorin). 83-Standards red violet, Falls deeper and velvety. Fine color and inclined in California to bloom in late fall as well as spring. 2 ft.

Iris Fields, West La Fayette, Indiana. Iris of Quality,1926
83. ARCHEVEQUE (Vilm. 1911). An old variety that has not been surpassed in its color. Standards deep purple violet; Falls velvety raisin purple. 2 ft.
(DESCRIPTION OF VARIETIES The figure before the name is the rating of the American Iris Society on a score of 100 as perfection. Those not preceded by a figure
have not yet been rated. Any Iris receiving a score of 70 or over is considered good.
)



Longfield Iris Farm, Bluffton, Indiana. Price List 1926
83. Archeveque (Vilmorin 1911). A richly colored Iris fine in clump or mass. Standards violet; falls a deep violet purple. Neither large nor tall but a general favorite on account of its fine coloring. Two feet. - $0.50

Leamon G. Tingle, Pittsville, Maryland. Tingle's 1927 Catalog of Nursery Stock
8.3. ARCHEVEQUE (Vilmorin 1911). A striking flower of brilliant coloring. Standards, rich violet-purple, Falls, bright velvet-crimson. 40c

Indian Springs Farm,Baldwinsville, New York.Iris Catalog 1927
ARCHEVEQUE (Vilmorin 1911) 8.3. Standards deep purple-violet; Falls rich, deep, velvety violet. An exceedingly fine flower of rich coloring. 24 inches. - 35 cts. each; 85 cts. for 3; $3.00 per doz.

Lee R. Bonnewitz Catalog,Van Wert, Ohio, Peonies and Irises Catalog, 1928.
ARCHEVEQUE (Vilmorin 1911) The cheapest and the best quality of the rich red-purple Irises for landscape effect. If, with its high quality and its bright color, it possessed also size and height and were scarce,it would sell at an extremely high price.  $0.35    Five Rhizomes for $1.00; 1 Dozen rhizomes for $2.00; one hundred rhizomes for $15.00;


Shenandoah Nurseries, Shenandoah, Iowa. Peonies Iris-Lilies & Bulbs, 1929.
ARCHEVEQUE, (Vilmorin 1911) 8.3. Standards, deep velvety violet, Falls, deep purple, an unusual and rich color effect seldom found in Iris. 24 inches.


Vilmorin Andrieux & Cie, 4 Quai de la Mégisserie, Paris (1er), Série Générale, 1930.
17.Archevêque (Vilm.). Hâtif. Divisions inférieures grandes, violet foncé velouté avec bande médiane plus claire, les supérieures violet rougeâtre. Haut 60 cm.

The Orpington Nurseries Co. Ltd., Orpington, Kent. Irises 1930.
Archevêque (Vilmorin 1911).A brilliant variety of French origin.  S. rich violet-purple, F. bright crimson-purple./ A small flower,but very rich. Rather dwarf. Early







Rainbow Fragments, A Garden Book of the Iris, J.Marion Shull, 1931.
General list of varieties.
ARCHEVEQUE (Vilmorin 1911) Rich deep red-tone purple. Fragrant.
Freedom of Bloom......Moderate to free.
Season of Bloom ........Early-Midseason
Garden Value.............Good
Flower;
Color Class.................Bicolor
Color effect Ridgway symbols...RR-V dark
Size............................Medium
Standards...................Arching
Falls...........................Drooping incurved
Substance...................Good.
Stalk;
Character...................Erect
Height........................Low
Buds per stem.............Average
Branching...... ............short high
Foliage;
Character...................Stiff and broad
Leaf Color...................glaucous blue green.
Growth.......................Vigorous with good increase

AIS Checklist 1939
ARCHEVÊQUE IB-M-B9D Vilmorin 1911
Vilmorin 1911; 1938; Quality Iris Gardens 1915; Charles Wing, 1920; G H Francis 1920;  Earl Woodward Sheets, 1928; Amos Perry 1938; Rowancroft Gardens, 1938; Charles F. Wassenberg, 1938; Brookdale Nurseries, 1929; A. B. Katkamier, 1939; Gilbert Wild & Sons,1939; AAA Journal Royal Horticultural Society  135; Commended,Royal Horticultural Society 1916.


As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.
Major Hat Tip and "Merci beaucoup" to Catherine Adam for her direction and help with the French language catalogue listings, the introduction at the top of the page and of course for sharing with you all the amazing photos of the historic Intermediate Bearded Iris 'Archevêque'.

Reproduction in whole or in part of these photo's without the expressed written permission of Catherine Adam is strictly prohibited.
Photo credit and copyright Catherine Adam © .

Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

French Historic Tall Bearded Iris, INNOCENZA.





The American Iris Society published a Discard List in 1931 and included amongst the 141 Lémon varieties listed for discard was today's featured iris 'Innocenza'. 
I still find this list to be at the time an incredulous level of arrogance by some within the iris world. Amazingly short sighted to suggest the discard of irises that were mainly British or European bred, listed on 22 pages with an average of 70 irises per page (approx. 1500 irises). The legendry breeder William Caparne when campaigning vigorously against the discard list wrote "It is a narrowing down of the idea of things beautiful instead of expanding it".

Bertrand H. Farr, Wyomissing Pennsylvania. Farr's Catalogue of Hardy Plants Specialities, 1910.
Iris Germanica-Variegata Section.
INNOCENZA. S. and F. ivory white, crest rich golden, a very delicate and beautiful flower, 26 in. 25c.


G. G. Whitelegg & Co, Chislehurst, Kent,Catalogue of Irises 1921
June Flowering Irises, General Collection.
Innocenza. Pure white, with slight reticulations at the throat. A most useful variety.





Les Iris Cultivés,  1922.
choix de 100 variétés
39. Innoncenza (Lémon 1854). Blanc presque pur.

Bulletin of the American Iris Society, January 1923, Number 7.
Descriptions of Varieties, Part II.
INNOCENZA 71 (21)
Self, W.                Lemon, 1854
Brief. White. S. cupped; F. drooping; stalk low and well-branched;
growth moderate to vigorous; 30 in.
Details. Haft finely reticulated blackish purple to burnt lake; beard
conspicuous white, orange tip.

Cayeux & Le Clerc, Quai de la Mègisserie, 8, Paris. Catalog 1925.
Innocence (Lémon 1854) Pure white, with slight reticulations at the throat, yellow beard.

Vilmorin Andrieux & Cie, 4 Quai de la Mégisserie, Paris (1er), Plantes 1925.
Iris Vivaces Hybrids, Série Générale.
Innocenza. Tardif. Fleurs blanc pur avec chenille jaune, à divisions infèrieures lègèrement 
striées brun à la base.

Cornell Extension Bulletin 112, Austin W. Sand, 1925.
Innocenza. (Lémon 1854) Color effect a white self. Standards white with brown and purple reticulations on the claw. Falls clear white, inconspicuously veined purple on the haft.
The dense beard is conspicuously orange tipped. Innocenza ia a moderately vigorous grower, with a medium, yellow green foliage. The low branching flowering stalks are freely produced, and carry flowers of a good substance till late in the season. Its clear color and showy, golden beard make it one of the best ten, a good cut flower and excellent for mass effect. It is one of the older sorts, not fully appreciated when rated at 71.




Courtesy U S Department of Agriculture Farmers Bulletin 1406


U S Department of Agriculture Farmers Bulletin 1406, January 1926.
Garden Irises B. Y. Morrison
Beginning with the white varieties, there is a group in which are included the truly white ones, as, for example, Iris albicans (fig. 22) ; those which are white with some colored reticulations in the throat, as in Innocenza (fig. 23) or Mrs. Horace Darwin; those of white faintly washed or tinted with color, but still counting for white in garden effect, as in Iris florentina (fig. 24), and perhaps as in Pancroft, which may be taken as the/other extreme of tinting;

E.Turbat & Cie , Route d'Olivet 67, Orleans, France.
Automne 1930 Printemps 1931 (variétés nouvelles ou rares)
Innocence (Innocenza). Blanc pur avec chenille blanche légèrement strié brun à la base. Tardif.

  AIS Checklist 1939
INNOCENZA TB-M-WW (Lémon 1854) Van Houtte 1854; Garden Chronicle 1894, Van Tubergen 1900; Farr, 1912; Wing 1920; Buccleuch Nursuries,1938; AAA Journal Royal Horticultural Society; Highly Commended Royal Horticultural Society 1903; Commended Royal Horticultural Society 1917; Journal Royal Horticultural Society 1918; Horticultural Directory and Year Book, 1918;






As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.

 Major Hat Tips and "Merci beaucoup" to Nathalie Faivre for her amazing photo's, and Parc Floral de Paris for the use of the photo's, and to Catherine Adam for her direction and help with the French Language, catalogue listings, and my sincere thanks for her tireless pursuit with the preservation of French Historic Iriseswe are all truly grateful.

Reproduction in whole or in part of these photo's without the expressed written permission of Parc Floral is strictly prohibited.
Photo credits and copyright Nathalie Faivre and Parc Floral de Paris © .


Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©



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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris ALEXANDRA TWILIGHT



Another of the beetroot red colour so popular or is the word prevalent within the Standard Dwarf Iris class. 'Alexandra Twilight' has a parentage like a double dose of Cherry Garden. Bred by Helen Falconer a well known New Zealand gardener from Central Otago. Produces a good measure of blooms, that display themselves well above the foliage. Hardy. Helen Falconer received the NZIS Lucy Delany Award for 'Alexandra Twilight' when it was displayed as a seedling at the Central Otago Iris Safari in 1993. (The NZIS Lucy Delany Memorial Award is presented to the raiser of the most outstanding New Zealand Bred Dwarf or Median Iris seen at a Iris Safari for that year.)

Waimate Iris Garden, Waimate,  2000.
Alexandra Twilight: Falconer 1999. Plum standards with black thumbprint. Early........$4.00

New Zealand Hybridisers Cumulative Checklist 2014
ALEXANDRA TWILIGHT (Helen M. Falconer, R. 1997.) Sdlg: 1/90. SDB. 11" (27cm), E. S. plum;  style arms orange, streaked plum; F. deeper plum, plum black thumbprint spot; beards purple; slight fragrance.  Cherry Garden X Barnstormer. Waimate Iris Garden 1999/2000. Lucy Delany Award 1993 (NZ).

As always clicking on the above image will take you to the larger, higher resolution version.

Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited.
Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.


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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Historic Border Bearded Iris RICHARD II




The Garden, 1st July 1916.
AWARDS OF MERIT.
Iris germanica Richard II. — A late-flowering Bearded Iris said to be a seedling from Black Prince, and, if so, would, we imagine, be more correctly grouped with the I. neglecta varieties. It is a handsome and distinct sort, with deep purplish violet falls bordered with white ; standard'- bluish white. Valuable for its late flowering. From Mr. Amos Perry, Enfield.


The Gardener's Chronicle, July 1st, 1916.
Iris Richard II. — The new Iris illustrated  in fig. 3 is a notable addition to garden varieties. The falls are coloured deep violet, whilst the  standards are white, the dark and light tones contrasting in a marked degree. The veining on the falls and the rich gold colour of the crest give additional beauty to the flower. The variety received the R.H.S. Award of Merit on the 20th June. when shown by Mr. Amos Perry. 


G. G. Whitelegg & Co, Chislehurst, Kent,Catalogue of Irises 1921
June Flowering Irises, General Collection.
RICHARD II. (Dykes). one of the most fascinating Iris yet introduced and one of the most prolific, neat tufts of light green foliage, stout stems, well furnished with medium-sized ·flowers, standards pure white, falls deep violet conspicuously margined white.


The Dykes Irises, Mrs Dykes, Bobbingcourt, Pyle Hill, Mayford, Woking, Surrey. Irises of 1927
List 2 June Flowering Irises. General collection of varieties raised by Mr. W. R. Dykes
 RICHARD II. (1914).- A seedling of "The Black Prince." Neat tufts of light green foliage, stout stems, well furnished with medium-sized flowers, standards pure white; falls deep violet conspicuously margined white. 1½- to 2 feet.


A H. Burgess and Son, Iris Specialists, Waikanae, Wellington. 1936 Irises.
  RICHARD II.  Standards white; Falls deep violet, with a very handsome white margin. Very dwarf. Suitable for a rock garden. Late 1ft.


Amos Perry's Diary. Printed for private circulation 1946.
Being a record of plants raised and introduced by Amos Perry.
Iris Barbata. 1911
Richard II. Award of Merit Royal Horticultural Society
A beautiful border Iris with purple falls bordered with white. The standards are white; it was obtained as a seedling from Black Prince/ Raised by W. R. Dykes entire stck purchased 1914


AIS Checklist 1939
 RICHARD II., DB-M-W3 (Dykes 1914) Perry 1914; The Garden Chronicle, July 1916; Rainbow Iris Gardens, 1921; Earl Wooddell Sheets, 1938; William Clibrain & Son, 1938; Anton Roozen & Sons Holland,(BLACK PRINCE X BLACK PRINCE); AAA Journal Royal Horticultural Society  137; A.M. R.H.S., 1916 shown by Perry.


There is a very good chance that this Iris grows somewhere in England. I have highlighted it on the Blog so it may find its name. Maybe at Sissinghurst?? Research show it blooms midseason, bloom stalks 22" in height and looks like a mini 'Wabash'.

Reproduction in whole or in part of this post, its opinions or its images without the expressed written permission of Terry Johnson is strictly prohibited. Photo credit and copyright Terry Johnson and Heritage Irises ©.


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