NZ Iris Society



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New Zealand Iris Society Awards

The Dykes Memorial Medal was instituted by the British Iris Society in 1926 to honour William Rickatson Dykes (1877-1925), a founder of that society and a noted English and a noted English researcher, hybridiser and gardener as well as the writer of the authoritative monograph, The Genus Iris. The Dykes Medal is the highest award an iris can receive. The New Zealand Dykes Medal can be awarded every second year by the British Iris Society on the recommendation of the New Zealand Iris Society. Frances Love won the first New Zealand Dykes Medal in 1995 for the Siberian iris 'Emma Ripeka'. This medal is awarded also in the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia. The Australasian Dykes Medal was first instituted in 1985 and allowed a medal to be awarded to New Zealand and Australian irises in successive years. However the process of sending irises out of the country to be tested in Australia proved unworkable and as a result in 1992 the New Zealand Dykes Trial Garden system was set up.

An iris which gains an average of 80 points across two bloom seasons in two of the Society's three Trial Gardens, as judged by a panel of three judges including one senior judge, is eligible for a Dykes Memorial Medal from the British Iris Society.

Protocols for testing of Dykes entrants are available in the working Handbook (from the Treasurer) or by applying to the Test Garden Director.

An Award of Merit may be awarded to an iris in the Dykes Test Garden if it receives over 75 points during the judging cycle.

An Honourable Mention may be awarded if an iris achieves 70 points during the judging cycle.

Siberian Iris - SIB - "Emma Ripeka"
Mrs F Love - 1990

Tall Bearded Iris - TB - "Salute D'Amour"
Shirley Spicer - 2001


"Norma of Irwell"

Ron Busch - Dykes Medal Winner 2012

Ron Busch was born in Tower Street in Christchurch in 1934 and would be the Societies most prolific iris breeder. Ron has been breeding irises for many years and his first registration was a tall bearded called Open Country registered 1969. It had lemon standards with light blue falls and a yellow beard.
In 1976 he registered 8 Tall Bearded irises;
Allusion - Blue Guilt - Mountain - Painted Witch - Rich Melody - Sand Boy - Snow Song - Southern Queen

Ron has consistently registered irises over the years,
1981 3 Tall Bearded - 1985 3 Tall Bearded - 1991 4 Tall Bearded - 1997 2 Tall Bearded -

In 1999 we saw a change with 5 standard dwarf bearded registered.

2006 saw another change and Ron registered 6 tall bearded and 2 Siberica.

2007 1 tall bearded and 4 standard dwarf bearded.

2008 saw 11 Spec-x ( cal sibs) and 3 tall bearded which included “Norma of Irwell” named after Ron’s wife.

In 2009 health issues began to plague Ron and a move to town and a smaller property were on the cards and Ron registered his biggest number yet 113 tall bearded.

The BIS have approved the giving of the Dykes medal for “Norma of Irwell” and due to Ron’s deteriorating health we are making the announcement prior to receiving the medal which is cast and inscribed in England and will take some time to arrive.

Well done Ron a just reward for your perseverance over many years.

Piki Carroll
New Zealand Iris Society