iris - leading light garden Saltspring Island Victoria BC Pacific Northwest

Ted Baker’s Iris

It was so overwhelming, I didn’t know where to start.  It was my equivalent of a candy store. Where to look first?

Ted Baker's iris bed 01
Ted Baker’s iris bed

Our garden club was visiting Ted Baker’s garden on Saltspring Island.  He likes iris.  A lot.

Inside the Iris Societies BC & Canada, he’s a celebrity.  He was instrumental in bringing the 2011 American Iris Society national convention to Vancouver Island.  What a treat to explore his garden!

Who knew there were so many variations of iris?  It was a kaleidoscope of exotic blooms & colours.  With names for each plant, it was an enthusiast’s dream.

It’s too much to try to show you everything.

“Focus – Focus!” I thought to myself, entering Ted’s main iris field.  I decided to concentrate on a single theme.

Yellow.  I like Yellow, it’s a happy colour.  So, get ready, here’s only a ‘Baker’s dozen’ of Ted’s 250+ bearded iris.   See if you think the name matches the flower.

iris - golden ecstasy
iris – golden ecstasy
photo by SVSeekins
iris - dazzling gold
iris – dazzling gold
photo by SVSeekins
iris - leading light
iris – leading light
photo by SVSeekins
iris - pirates quest
iris – pirates quest
photo by SVSeekins
iris - catalyst
iris – catalyst
photo by SVSeekins
iris - aura light
iris – aura light
photo by SVSeekins
iris - tour de France
iris – tour de France
photo by SVSeekins
iris - Mexican holiday
iris – Mexican holiday
photo by SVSeekins
iris - pirate ahoy
iris – pirate ahoy
photo by SVSeekins
iris - crackling Caldera
iris – crackling Caldera
photo by SVSeekins
iris - dream team
iris – dream team
photo by SVSeekins
iris - solar fire
iris – solar fire
photo by SVSeekins
iris - sunny and warm
iris – sunny and warm
photo by SVSeekins

The morning visit to Ted’s garden was fun.  It certainly proved there was more to iris than those delightful purples that still grow (un-tended) in Mom”s & Grandma’s gardens.    Which do you grow in your garden?


© copyright 2012 SVSeekins

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9 thoughts on “Ted Baker’s Iris”

  1. WOW what a wonderful garden trip and obviously the perfect time of year to go. When we moved in to our townhouse there were quite a lot of iris as the previous owners name was IRIS! Over the years I’ve dug them up and passed them on – they are beautiful for about a week and then just take up a lot of room! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures! We’re off from work this week and finally a SUNNY day today so will be out in the garden soon.

    1. The lady that gardened here before us was named Iris, too!
      She also grew several varieties – – all versions of purple. I’ve moved them around the yard & they worked great to fill in space while the shrubs we added grew up.
      Last fall I realized it was time to remove quite a few. Like you, many have been shared with friends. 🙂 Some more are growing in gallon pots for anyone that might like some….

  2. These flowers are truly amazing but I still prefer the purple ones. Guess I am ‘old school’.

    1. I’ve always liked the purple ones that Gran & Mom grew – they’re still surviving untended at the homesteads. I guess that proves they’re ‘low maintenance’ 🙂 + they’re deer resistant. They’re so big & exotic looking. I wonder if the hummingbirds feed on them? Anyone know?

  3. Wow, I like yellow too and it would be hard to choose a favorite. Glad you got a chance to enjoy such beauty.

  4. Beautiful flowers. Can you tell me the difference between the terms flag and iris? Are flags a type of iris?

    1. Hi Julie; Iris is a group of flowers with at least 200 varieties. An old fashioned way to refer to an iris is calling it a flag… Who knows where tat originated 🙂 Although consider the different bits of the blossom are called (beard, falls, standard…) it comes to my mind that medieval armies had ‘standards’; weren’t they some sort of flags to identify whose army was whose?
      Either way, both blue flag iris & the yellow flag iris are common in these parts… but the ‘flag’ is just part of the name. Both are iris. 🙂
      cheers, SV

      1. Thanks for clearing that up. The history would be interesting. .You may be on to something. 🙂


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