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Visit to Mr. W. R. Dykes

Charter House, Godalming, Surrey (June 11, 1919)
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w.r. dykes Leaving Wisley at noon I caught a train at Byfleet a little after one and in less than an hour was in Godalming. Mr. Dykes’ place is small – not more than an acre or two in all, but he has a good sized collection of tall bearded irises and probably the largest collection of species of Apogon, Oncocyclus and Bulbous Irises in the world.

Among the bearded irises the following were noted as specially fine:

Pallida Como. A collected form of Sir Michael Foster’s.
An Unnamed Variegata. Seedling of Her Majesty, in color a
cream yellow resembling Dawn, much taller than any other
yellow self and very valuable for that reason
Sunshine (Yeld). A variegata yellow self of the form of Dawn,
but of bright glittering yellow color not as golden as Aurea.
Very fine massed.
Ochracea Caerulea (Denis). Variegated with yellow and light purple in the falls, a
pleasing combination.
Arlequin (Squalens). In better form than when seen at M. Denis’s or at M. Millet’s.
iris ochracea caerulea Jeanne D’Arc (Plicata). An old variety in splendid form.

Among the seedlings were an interesting group from Black Prince showing great range of color but sticking close to the Black Prince habit. One of these, Richard II, an Amoena with falls of Black Prince color, is already in commerce.

Two collected types of the species variegata, one from Bulgaria, the other from Hungary, were exceedingly interesting and showed by contrast the great improvement irises have undergone in our gardens.

Among the beardless were some fine sibiricas in many colors including a fine sibirica x sanguinea hybrid, Chrysographes, very rich in color, Bulleyana, Forestii, and Wilsoni, and natural hybrids between these, many of which were very interesting but none as beautiful as Chrysographes. I saw also the true species of Laevigata of an exceedingly beautiful violet blue color but very small (probably owing to drought, as it is a water-loving plant.) A few very beautiful Spanish Irises were in bloom also, but the greater part of bulbous and other groups had finished blooming. How freely they had bloomed could be inferred from the large number of seed pods which were evident everywhere.

~ Reprinted from AISB #7, January, 1923.
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