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Re: CULT: Trial Garden

Paul - I guess I am a <little> bit crabby <g> after spending so much
money over the past 35 yrs on irises unsuited to my growing conditions.
Plus the current misery in the Gulf Coast is working on all of us.  Much
"easier" to be grouchy about iris performance when one feels so helpless
in the face of such devastation.

At this point, I don't have energy to put into planting and caring for
guest plants much less a formal evaluation of iris performance at the
level of detail you are envisioning, so no, would choose <not> to
participate.  Even at the level of died vs lived for more than half a
dozen or so cultivars.   But 20 or even 10 years ago, I would have
jumped at the opportunity.  So I do think it's an excellent idea.

I am still buying irises that won't live here, including some new
introductions the last few years.  The most I hope for from <most> of
these newcomers is to be able to get pollen from them before they die.
This year, I am also experimenting with Betty Wilkerson's method of
growing them in 4 gallon pots of 'dirty perlite' to see if that will
help keep 'pollen donors' alive a bit longer or help them produce viable

But established hybridizers tell me that once I get my own lines going
(assuming I live long enough!), I probably won't be adding many
cultivars from outside my own breeding program very often.  If you look
at pedigrees of irises from established hybridizers, you can see this is
pretty much the case.

We have been joking about the 'vale of despair' and my old title as 'rot
queen' on this forum for nearly a decade - I forgot not everyone here
has been part of that discussion.... dark humor.  I had bountiful bloom
this year when a lot of other folks on this forum did not and I think
Neil has taken my title this year as Emperor of Rot.  Not much despair
here in recent years re: the survivors from 35 yrs of experimenting plus
seedlings.  I order pretty much exclusively from pedigrees and shared
information from other growers in my general region.

Where are you located, Paul?  Helps to understand points of view when we
know more about local growing conditions.

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
online R&I <http://www.irisregister.com>

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