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Re: CULT: HYB: Good Irises

Concerning gardens willing to guest an iris for evaluation, Betty W.
comments, "A good option in theory.  Not so great in practice."

Betty, it sounds like you've had some experience with this.  Are you willing
to say more?  I think a number of us might be curious.

One of the places the AIS could serve its hybridizing members would be in
polling gardens and gardners who would be willing to take on at least a few
promising seedlings for trial.  I've done this in a very limited way, and
give the plants a hard work-out, as this location is hardly the ideal one
for bearded irises in our wetter years, such as the last two have been.

Out near "Iris Heaven," when I lived in one of the more mild parts of Idaho
NW of Boise on the Oregon border, just the opposite was true.  Except for
particularly tender irises, such as many of the pure oncocyclus, the area
could grow almost anything tolerant of neutral to alkaline soils with high
lime content.  That ruled out JI's but few others commonly available.
Bearded irises thrived with a vigor I would now hardly believe, had I not
seen it myself.

For about three years in the early 1960's I maintained a Regional Test
Garden for Region 11, and guested quite a few products of the regions
several breeders.  It gave our thinly scattered judges opportunity to see
and evaluate seedlings and varieties they would have otherwise had to travel
many hundreds of miles to see.  The task was virtually effortless there.

Were I to do something of that nature here, the work would be horrendous,
and I have great sympathy with those who would flatly refuse.  The few
"guests" I do grow are given a tough workout, faithfully reported back to
the breeders from time to time.

I look forward to hearing more about your experience with sending out, or
not sending, guest seedlings for trials should you choose to share your

Neil Mogensen  z 7  Reg 4  western NC mountains

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