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  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] SYRIAN PRINCESS
  • From: "Donald Eaves" donald@eastland.net
  • Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2003 16:46:27 -0500

I think your points are good.  Spme further thoughts.
>the bed has by and large never been devoid of moisture since planting.
Consistant conditions.  Much easier for plants to adjust when conditions don't have too much variation.  Wet followed by a sudden cessation of moisture combined with extremely high temps and low humidity and then alternating back to wet and hot might be showing you something altoether different.  I think as condition for how a plant performs, consistency in growing conditions is overlooked.  It's the swings they have trouble with.
>While we are in the same zone our climates do differ significantly.
Significantly!  Your winters are possibly a bit milder than mine, but H2O is a big one!  Also, I would note as well that newly acquired or newly moved plants behave differently than those established for more than a season.  All else being the same, they are more erratic in health and performance than when left alone.
>Results here are causing me to further question conventional wisdom concerning arils, arilbreds, and irises in general. I have had >less rot and better growth in this wet, moist year.
But it has been consistant, hasn't it?  Not off and on again.?
> Too, the rapid weed growth has produced total shade on several newly planted irises similar to what is depicted for my SYRIAN >PRINCESS here. For about half of the time this SP rhizome has been in the ground it has been in total shade from this weed >protection.
Shade can be a benefit here most summers.  It is not so beneficial in mid and late spring.  I guess I should love pecan trees more than I do since they are so late putting on leaves and the first to shed them.  They attract aphids, though.  I prefer my oak trees.

>(Texans do things their own way). You can however observe insect damage on the leaves of the plant growth sheltering the plant. The second photo is from the same angle, with the natives removed.
Some Texans are just worse about it.  Inattention or stubborness or something worse, I guess.  I think my seedlings this year could have used the conditions shown in your photos to good advantage. 
>I do think sometimes, good gardening practices are not the best gardening practices, and good gardening practices look better >but do not necessarily work better ... at least not for the lazy.
Lots of truth here.  What works well for me could easily be wrong somewhere else.  And sometimes a neglected spot in the garden can tell you a lot.  Figuring out what it's saying and then applying it is the trick.

>If we look at the design of the iris plant and try to surmise how this design might have evolved to promote the plants survival some >factors are obvious and others less so. We see the outer leaves senesce and curl inward toward the center of the clump as they >do so. This suggests the plant needs shade at least for it's rhizomes.
It might be well to look at the origins of the plant before too much is assumed here.  Some dried leaves around the base of a plant from Syria might be doing something quite different than the same number of dead leaves on a plant native to Great Britain.  I would agree that the natural habits of a plant count, the growing conditions might cause the wrong assumption of what appears to be the same phenomenon.  Possibly a bit of a problem with cultivated irises that have ancestors from different geographical climates.
I hope that little plant in the photo thrives for you.  You're likely to like it a lot if does well.

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