Bill and I have discussed this amongst ourselves on several occasions
but at this point I really feel that someone should take up for AIS judges, the
ballot, and our voting.
with, there are a tremendous quantity of judges who vote their ballots honestly
and truly based upon garden value of iris, which I believe is what Bill
wants. I believe that award
winning iris can be likened to politicians. No matter who gets elected, someone doesn’t like them. As Smarty Jones learned yesterday,
performing at peak all the time, everywhere, is a very hard thing.
that seems to be overlooked, frequently, is distribution. When an iris is better distributed,
then more judges grow it, see it, and have the opportunity to vote for it. Lesser distributed iris are at a
disadvantage there. Guess we could
mandate that every hybridizer give a piece of every introduction, to every
judge, thus leveling the playing field.
Of course, that would mean that smaller hybridizers would never have
enough stock to introduce an iris (and don’t forget all that postage). Oh yes, and what about those judges who
don’t have room to grow all those iris every year, guess they would just have
to drop out too. Nope, that idea
won’t work, hmm…..will have to keep working on that/
grows well and performs well here and earned its AM (which it received last
year). I am very sorry it is not
up to that standard in all gardens.
It did receive the most votes for a TB getting its AM in 2003. I have seen it looking good in several
convention gardens, so I am inclined to believe it does well in other gardens
point I would like to make is that Shore Patrol, is just this year eligible for
an award. It is a 2002
introduction and appears on the ballot for the first time this year. Alas, I can not vote for it as I have
never seen it in a garden (Bill’s pictures don’t count). On an impulse, I picked up the 8
catalogs I am most likely to order an iris from. Only two of them list Shore Patrol. So, I am far from the only judge who
has not grown and therefore can not vote on Shore Patrol. I grow a lot of Walter’s things and
love most of them so, I have no problem believing Shore Patrol is a good doer. However, we go back to the point I made
earlier about distribution. Have
enough judges seen Shore Patrol growing for 2 years (meaning they got it the
year it was introduced) and can therefore vote on it, for it to get it’s HM
I, for one,
love “pipe stuffing” just as I loved showing dogs and horses. Healthy competition is fun regardless
of what you are competing for. One
thing to remember here, is that I entered one show this year but, I toured over
30 gardens. I vote my ballot based
on how well something does in my garden, and the other gardens I visit, not on
how well it looks stuffed in a pipe.
My credo, which anyone who has attended one of my JT sessions knows, is,
Grow it, Love it, but don’t vote for it unless it excels in your garden. The things we as judges look for in an
award winning iris are exactly the things gardeners everywhere are looking for
in an iris.
I am not
saying the system is perfect, I am saying that there are many of us working to
keep it it’s best and we would welcome more like Bill who would vote their
ballots based on all the correct criteria! Come join us Bill!!
AIS Region 17 Judges Training Chairperson
Director TBIS, ASI
AIS, ASI, MIS, RIS, SPIS, TBIS
Zone 7 USDA, Zone 10 Sunset