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Re: HYB: AIS: Trial Garden Idea

Ahner: surely you know by now that I am an incurable optimist and idealist. I always believe that everyone is capable of more than they usually believe that they are. The plan based on individual communication, that you have enunciated, actually to some degree already exists. I know several hybridizers that send plants to friends they trust in other parts of the country for their opinion. The only difference between what happens now and what you are suggesting is creating a program that would be a bit more open than the closed communication that is now between the hybridzers and their friends. I am a great believer in structure. By that I mean that if a successful program becomes a part of an institution it often becomes open to a wider audience and benefits a greater part of the community. Any program suffers or benefits from the respective inaction or dedication of the individuals involved. And I would suggest the ideas can never be developed if there is no one interested in
 shouldering a task. The trick is to demonstrate the value and hope that enough good people share the vision to make it work. I have expressed goals that I thought important many times. A few have actually been taken on by others. In the same way other Irisarians have inspired me to do some of the things that I have done. For example Phil Ogilvie some years back called to my attention a window of opportunity to bring several eminent Iris scholars together. This inspired the Species symposium in St Louis that reinstated the occurrence of international symposiums on Iris ( three later symposia occurred as a result). I am sure I could have believed it too hard to bring Rodionenko and Brian Mathew together for their first meeting. Indeed I did not know it was even possible until I began discussing the possibilities. At first it seemed entirely too complicated, and certainly I only acted as a catalyst that enabled the participants to make happen an event that everyone that was there still
 remembers. It was not my idea, but all the people involved believed in it and they made it work I just stood back and kept things from getting in the way. I am sure if Irisarians would like a trial garden system it will develop to the degree that the group is willing, no more no less.  Complicated plans will be rejected if there is no support, but if there is support think how much more one is accomplishing. 

ChatOWhitehall@aol.com wrote:In a message dated 8/27/05 4:55:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
rpries@sbcglobal.net writes:

<< Trial gardens really serve two groups of people. First hybridizers in 
deciding whether to introduce a cultivar; Second gardeners who wish to know if an 
introduced cultivar does well in their area. Ahners plan would work well for 
the first. But the Second group has a need for test gardens also. >>

None of this is what I am talking about, Bob. And that is not because I don't 
get it, it is because I am rethinking the traditional presumptions which you 
have articulated, and am putting forth a new and different idea entirely, this 
towards meeting goals which are meaningful to me. 

I am discussing an idea of deliberately limited scope, which is brokering 
individual support for hybridizers, providing a simple but practicable means for 
them to obtain useful information from experienced iris gardeners, putting AIS 
members with a common interest in touch with each other, this towards 
fostering entry into the market of irises of enhanced beauty and "gardenability." 

<not just to a hybridzer but to people across the country.>>

But not in all cases. Not every piece of information is fodder for 
publication. A hybridizer gets to have some privacy, some private conversations, while 
developing his/her introductions. Nor is a person who is interested in helping 
out perforce obliged to have groups of people tramping all over their gardens 
in season, or to write reports for public consumption, or to get bogged down 
with opinionated committees of rhetoric mongers to be making a meaningful 

If you freight a program with too many goals, all of which are dependent upon 
too many folks coming through, and too many pieces falling into place just 
right, I doubt it will fly long or fly high. 

Your concept is idealistic, and there is nothing wrong with that per se, but 
it is also enormously complicated, and enormously resource dependent. My 
experience leads me to believe that simple and clearly defined goals are more 
likely to be successfully met, especially when resources--- by which I mean money, 
willing and competent manpower, and the capacity of a group to sustain 
purposeful action toward a clearly defined goal---are in real short supply. 

You are certainly welcome to promote your vision, indeed I like visions, but, 
as I said, in this instance you and I talking about two entirely different 


A-N-N-E-R Whitehead
Richmond VA USA

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