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HYB: AIS: Trial Garden Idea Redux

In a message dated 8/29/05 8:54:56 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
ChatOWhitehall@aol.com writes:

<<  I may have something more to offer on my own  idea about people 
registering to trial in their own gardens--this in response to a couple of notes I've 
had from folks who know more about the world of hybridizing and how it really 
works than I. >>

I have been told that to fret oneself that some hybridizers are not achieving 
"gardenability" is to miss the point entirely, for 'gardenablity," especially 
"gardenability" over a broad geographical area, is not among the goals shared 
by the preponderance of them, who are breeding for new breaks of color and 

I am told that competition is very fierce, that the big money and big glory 
are at the cutting edge, and there is a limited window in which to get a new 
introduction onto the market; accordingly, culling and trialing must happen 
largely in the hybridizer's own garden. If other trialing is wanted, it is likely 
to be done by a trusted colleague, a fellow hybridizer, who can offer 
sophisticated insights. I understand that it may even be possible that in some 
quarters the experience of gardeners around the country may not considered relevant 
to the goals being persued, or even very interesting. 

Of course, this is what one thought was probably the way things work, at 
least in some hybridizer's gardens at the cutting edge. Certainly all indicators 
pointed to it  being the case. And why not? If the hybridizers are doing all 
the work, they certainly also get to follow their own vision, and pick their own 
goals, and customers who share these goals will support them. And it is not 
like the preponderance of new iris introductions are duds, although some appear 
to be unassailably mediocre.

Is "gardenability" even a workable goal when irises are complicated and 
gardeners vary so much in their expectations and their skills and none of us are 
gardening in Eden? Can we even agree on a definition?

Is it all, inevitably and forever, to be a crap shoot on a sliding scale, 
with the greatest excitement and cost, but also the most unproven cultivars and 
hence the greatest risk, financial and otherwise, found at the cutting edge, 
and less risk, but also less excitement, not to say boredom, in growing the more 
familiar, or market-proven cultivars? And is the aftermarket doing all the 
meaningful testing?  

Just ruminating...

Anner Whitehead
Richmond VA USA

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