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Re: AIS: HYB: Geo. Waters' Bulletin Article

 Re: Anner & Steve's comments:

I agree with you both that the decline in 'health' is not inevitable.
(And am assuming Bob Pries is either trying to promote discussion or
joking when he says "TB's are disgustingly easy".  Sometimes disgusting,
for sure, but not generally easy in this part of the world.  The few
that do well here <are> easy, but the half that die even for meticulous
gardeners are anything but easy)

Having made the trek to see TBs in iris heaven (Portland), and having
seen my own TBs here when the weather tries its best to match iris
heaven climate, I'm more convinced than ever that much of the poor
health some of us associate with such a large proportion of todays
gorgeously flowered TBs results from two things working against each
other - (1) in order to be able to successfully hybridize and grow the
volume of seedlings needed to isolate the 'good' flower/bloom traits,
one almost <has> to be working in an environment hospitable to the
'best' TBs (witness Neil M's acute frustration and despair over the
beauties he was trying to grow, even before his health deteriorated to
the point he could no longer give his babies minimal care). (2) in order
to select seedlings that have the very best health in adverse growing
conditions, one has to grow them in such adverse conditions.  In good
conditions, nearly all look ridiculously healthy.

After the discussions we've had here, I've changed my mind about trial
gardens.  I used to think they were a great idea, but have concluded
they just aren't practical for modern irises and small hybridizers.

Convention gardens are probably as close to trial gardens as we will
come, although I do wish there were a permanent display garden for award
winners somewhere in northern Georgia, close enough for me to go see for
myself how the various lines hold up to our southeastern climate.

<am not, however, prepared to accept George  Waters' presumption that
                        selecting for aesthetic features over
generations inevitably leads to a decline in
                        resistance to  pests and disease.  Anner>

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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