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Visit to Mr. Amos Perry

Enfield, Middlesex (June 12, 1919)
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From London to Enfield is only about one-half hour by train, and Mr. Perry’s nurseries here were known all over the world before the war for their extensive collections of herbaceous plants and especially for rare Alpines and lilies. When war conditions made it impossible to keep all these collections in good condition, Mr. Perry very wisely confined his attention to his rarer things, and most of these have survived.

I therefore did not see as many irises as I had expected to, but the few which I did see well repaid the journey. There were a number of standard bearded varieties, and I saw also quite a number of Mr. Perry’s new seedlings, some of which he may name and send out in the future. Here I saw also the new American self yellow variegata, Mrs. Sherwin-Wright. It is a good yellow, but apparently no better than Aurea, and I agree with Mr. Perry that it should never have been named. The Siberian Irises were specially interesting. Of these Perry’s Blue is by far the finest clear sky blue I have ever seen in this group and has splendid horizontal falls (pointing to sanguinea not sibirica as a parent, but it is classed with sibirica on account of its height.)

Mrs. Edward Sanders is the darkest blue of the group; Peggy Perry is intermediate; and Mrs. Perry is a blush white. These are four valuable varieties. Among other irises I saw some fine specimens of Chrysographes, Bulleyana, Wilsoni, and the Californian Douglasiana and Watsoniana. Mr. Perry claims that he does not find Californian iris difficult to transplant during or immediately after the blooming period, providing they can be watered as soon as set. He is the first person I have met who says that the transplanting of these varieties is practicable.

Oriental poppies were gorgeous. I had never seen so many different colors in poppies before and came away entirely converted to the new race and particularly pleased with the smallest of them-Perry’s Pigmy.

In specially prepared frames were many species of rare lilies, and also some of Mr. Perry’s hybrids; while behind his house, half a mile or so from the nursery, was a wonderful rock garden, full of the very rarest Alpines, most of which, unfortunately, I did not know, and which are Mr. Perry’s especial delight. He collected them himself all over Europe and Asia Minor and tells me he has collectors in all parts of the world. He has raised a large quantity of hybrids and plans to devote himself entirely to that work as soon as he is able to get his nursery back into its proper condition.

~ Reprinted from AISB #7, January, 1923.
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