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Re: CULT: non-performers

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] CULT: non-performers
  • From: "Margie Valenzuela" <IrisLady@comcast.net>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 21:12:48 -0700

~ part of an original message ~
Always before, when an iris didn't do well for me, I was assuming there was something wrong with *me.* 
Neil (or anyone),
I'm glad you said that!!!  For years I've always thought that too.  :-)   Until .......... by replacing certain varieties  2 or more times - - I realized that no matter where I planted them, or how good of a bed they were in  - - they behaved in the same manner. 
Of course, somewhat related to this idea, I've found that there were some rhizomes that were sent to me that I (now looking back)  presume were unhealthy plants to begin with.  Too weak to go on.  So when I reordered to replace a couple of those iris from a better source - -  I found those to be healthier.  Since they had a healthy start - - they then continued to grow well and do well for me.  (Or - - after I've had the sickly ones struggle for a number of years - they are nursed back to health and then they perform as they should.)
Correct me if I'm on the wrong track, but do you think it's possible that some iris (like animals or people), which are not getting the proper nutrition or care - - can grow to be considered in "poor health" or "run-down", and therefore their increases when sent out will have a hard time growing/performing - due to induced poor health?  (Even though they have the genetic make-up to do well, but have become too weak to do so)  I'm not talking acclimation here.  
Margie V.
Oro Valley, AZ.
Zone 8/9
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2004 4:45 AM
Subject: [iris-photos] CULT: non-performers

I'm sure glad people speak up and say "it just melts away" or "I've had it three years and one...[less than decent] stalk..."
I know these aren't quotes--but I'm really glad to see remarks like these, especially from folks who are good, knowledgable growers and caretakers.  Always before, when an iris didn't do well for me, I was assuming there was something wrong with *me.*  It never occured to me that maybe the variety itself was mal-adapted to my climate, or didn't have the innerds and muscles to compete with aphids and moles, let alone excess rain or none at all, or whatever else it ran into.  Or just melted away for no reason at all.  This is year three for DYNAMITE, and in that time I've had one stalk that tried to bloom but froze, and one increase.  That one went to middle TN to see if Abby could grow it better.  Mine just sits there.  One fan.  No bloom.  No increase.
Some old diploids, Blue Rhythm and Wabash seem to thrive everywhere.  Why many others aren't like them says something about the way we go about selecting things to name and introduce, let alone to what we vote top awards.  We all agree these need to change.  They don't.
I've been hearing this same complaint for over fifty years.  There've been miffy performers ever since I first remember.  Then there were some that grew like pigweed everywhere I've been.  I think I can safely assume it wasn't *my* growing, it was the iris, AM or DM or not.
About half my new seedlings last year died during the deluge from just plain rotting off at ground level.  Linda Mann tells me the weather did me a favor--it weeded out the weak ones before I saw them bloom.  I sure hope she's right.  The ones left are a tattered remnant of my hope.  It's a short distance to the compost pile if they fall short now.
I think I'll make some crosses this year from Blue Rhythm.  I've been threatening to do this for several years and just never followed through. 
Fifty years from now my grandchildren are going to be looking at FOGBOUND growing in some corner and thinking the same thing.  "This year, I'm gonna make some crosses from Foggy."  But they won't.  They'll use the latest fat and sassy ones that are being introduced at $250 each and think they're worth it.  I suppose they will be.  At least if they survive to bloom.
Neil Mogensen  z 7 western NC in the world's second worst climate for TB's (Linda Mann has number one).
Boy! Did I ever get up on the wrong side of the bed.  Maybe I better go back and try it again.  At least this time I've got the coffee hot.....beautiful photos, Bill.  More!  More!

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