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Re: CULT: surviving abuse was (Easter and Irises Old and New)

I don't know if there is any significance to this, but it is another
similar observation.  Years ago I had some cardboard boxes of mixed Iris
clumps and some Cacti that had been dug in the summer.  They had been dug
from the house I lived in when I was in High School.  I had been collecting
them from old farmsteads for several years, plus some were from my
Grandparents, so they were somewhat special.  However, what with the
pressures and activities of being a college student, the Iris and Cacti
were forgotten and they just laid there in the open outside with no care
most of the summer right through that autumn and winter.  That was the
coldest winter I can remember in Fort Collins (also dry with very little
snow).  The thermometer at our house went below zero many times, with the
lowest being -35F (might have actually been colder?).  As I recall, twice
there was over a week when the temperature didn't even think about getting
close to the 32F mark.  We had a water main break sometime around Christmas
(we weren't home) and it sprayed water into the subzero air outside for two
days.  That made for quite an ice castle.  Of course that ice took down the
power line, which lead to more problems (but I stray).

In the meantime the cardboard boxes of Iris were falling apart and by
spring there was just this big dried out pile of dead-looking tubers.
When I finally started the sad chore of cleaning up the "mess" in May and
peeled away the top layer, I found new roots and leaves starting to come
out underneath.  I planted the things, and they ALL lived.  For several
years there in Fort Collins I had a very beautiful Iris garden (they loved
the black organic clay of an old drained marsh).  I still have many of them
now in Albuquerque and it's been (I think) 26 years of abuse.  I do not
remember what percentage flowered that first spring in Fort Collins, but if
I remember correctly many of them did.

Tough plants!


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