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Re: CULT: HYB: Good Irises

In my post I gave one reason why test gardens dont work. But I said I thought they were still a good idea. There have been lots of other reasons provided for why they dont work but I still believe they can work. Many years ago when AIS had test gardens sometimes they worked and sometimes they didnt. But when they did they provided information that would not have been there otherwise. Considering how poorly documented our Iris history often is, these bits of information that seemed weak at the time are now treasures. A project like a test garden needs people that really want to do it, for it to work. If there are those people, it can be a success with their persistence, but often it is easier to be critical of efforts. If there arent those people no matter how much we kibitzers say it should be done it wont succeed.  People who originally have some enthusiasm can be daunted by those that think a project will fail and ultimately it does with the discouragement of those around
 them. I personally know individuals who have guested Irises and sent back detailed reports to the hybridizers. Some of these have been youth members. Unfortunately this data would be more valuable if published, at least for those being introduced. If one looks at trial gardens of other plants it seems they are usually most successful when done in conjunction with institutions such as botanical gardens and city parks. In these cases it may be a group that does the work and not just one person. I agree that individuals can make a difference and certainly it is simple to do something on ones own. But It does not preclude the possibilities of organized efforts working well. Probably the two most well-known and successful trial gardens for Iris are the Italian garden in Florence and the gardens at Wisley England. Irises are sent for trial and evaluated by distinguished panels of judges. The great value of the English trial is that each Iris that is recommended from the trial also is
 thoroughly described. Their descriptions make our descriptions that we have with registration look rather pathetic. I guess my point is that there are all levels of trial gardens and it is the people involved that make them a success or failure. If enough people think that they are useful they can be done. If most people say they cant be done then it makes what happening only harder to succeed.

ChatOWhitehall@aol.com wrote:In a message dated 8/25/05 1:04:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
rpries@sbcglobal.net writes:

<< Years ago AIS had test gardens around the country. There still is the 
Loomis Test Garden. I suggest that this is still a useful idea. The Cornell 
Plantations produced the Austin Sands evaluations that have served as history 
descriptions of the irises of there time. Even if one needs take growability with a 
grain of salt I think the resulting written, published reports from test 
gardens have proved valuable. >>

It is my understanding that the official AIS trial gardens were discontinued 
because the hybridizers allegedly did not support them. I have heard no 
suggestions as to why that support was not forthcoming.

Anner Whitehead 
Richmond VA USA

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