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OT-BIO: Melissa Hellen

Hello, fellow iris-fanciers. I've found you thanks to a pleasant hour
spent with Mike Greenfield (Mike, I hope I got your name right) out at
Mineral Springs over the weekend. I'm so glad I found him and you,
because as a resident of the state of Pennsylvania up to 1983 or so I
always had lots of old fashioned and a few fancy irises around the
house, but on coming to Ohio, I lost them all to a new (to me)
scourge, that (censored!) pest the iris borer. When I asked around, no
one seemed to know a solution to my problem, so, sadly, I gave up on
iris culture. 

Thanks to Mike and his helpful advice and suggestions, I do believe
I'll be getting back to having irises again--so heartbreaking it was
to watch all those fine old fashioned blues and yellows, the little
miniature beardeds and wild Ohio irises wither and die . . . 

Well anyway, I look forward to reading your archives, listening to
those of you who Know What's What and learning more about my favorite

I currently live in Chillicothe, Ohio, a place that's kind of hard on
ornamental plants with its dry, frequently snowless, but often
brutally cold winters, on a large city lot which I've struggled to
surround by eye-high hedges of lilac, forsythia, bridal wreath, korean
spice viburnum and a massive hundred year old texas quince. My little
secret garden is as secluded and garden-green as a city lot can be,
with lots of care-free acid-loving perennials and (regrettably) a ton
of poison ivy! (I've been pretty sick the last few years, I'm afraid,
and have a lot of catching up to do this year.) Lots of perennials,
yes, but you could count the surviving clumps of iris on one hand, I

I simply can't *wait* to change that. 

Thank you, iris list,  for being. I'll shut up now and start
archive-reading and taking notes.

(And thank you Mike, for everything.)

Melissa Hellen

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