In My Garden
aggressively forward tall bearded iris

In the rain!

Aggressively Forward tall bearded iris has the honor of being the first iris to have bloomed for me this season, which is surprising since many others, like Batik or Old Black Magic, are supposed to bloom first according to my research.

Style: Plicata
Height: 36″
Color: Yellow and Purple
Originator: Innerst, Sterling
Year: 1995
Bloom Season: Midseason
Fragrant: Yes

Aggressively Forward is what’s known as a plicata, which means it has a dappled, somewhat dotted pattern of a different color on its edges.  So the center is yellow but the edges of the petals (standards and falls, in iris talk) are purple.  I love this look, and have ordered a bunch of other flowers with this combination in all different colors.

Aggressively Forward Tall Bearded Iris PlantAggressively Forward was one of the varieties I was most looking forward to seeing bloom.  I was not disappointed.  The first flower to open up, the day after Mother’s Day here in NJ, is a gorgeous, eye-catching color.  It almost looks sculpted in colored wax.  It’s a substantial, strong-looking flower.  The yellow, as I’ve read in a few reviews, is somewhat muddy, but for me that’s more than made up by the fact that the purple contrast is just stunning.  Many of its descriptions say that the flowers are fragrant but mine are not (at least not so far).

I have always loved the combination of yellow and purple.  I can trace the fascination back to one of my very first beauty magazines when I was 11 years old which described how to do your eye make-up with what seemed to me at the time like a shocking combination.  (It sounded a little bit like a bruise).  I followed the instructions in the magazine and fell in love with the combo (although I don’t really wear it on my eyes anymore).  It wasn’t until later that I learned that the colors are naturally interesting together because they’re on opposite sides of the color wheel.

More soon on the other purple and yellow (and orange and “black”!) flowers I’ve planted in this section of the garden.   A few I’m really looking forward to:  Swazi Princess (which is just about ready to pop),  Batik and Magical Glow.  They all look on track to bloom soon.

Mine came from Schreiners Iris Garden and I couldn’t be happier with the quality of the rhizomes they sent.  Buy yours here.  

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