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Re: Re:proposed AIS Awards Ballot

  • Subject: Re: Re:proposed AIS Awards Ballot
  • From: "loic tasquier" <tasquierloic@cs.com>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 19:30:11 +0200

Well Chuck, i must say that the irises i've ordered from warmer countries have
been very disappointing...

If i divide my Australian bill by the number of survivors, they must reach
more than $200 a piece...!
Same with the Californian bills, even if they have been kindly replaced( and i
really am thankful for that ), the year after, same thing, they die!

When a couple of years have passed, out of 20 irises in a bed, there are only
5  very healthy survivors, that look very lonely in their almost empty bed.
I would love to find a database of the 'Southern Beauties' that manage to
thrive in the cold and wet North...but doing the try out myself, i give up!

  The SDB and IB seem to do a little better, the demand, the pressure for 'new
things' is less, so they are not as consanguineous.

For non specialists, it's very hard when you look at a catalogue to know where
the irises come from.
Even when you have the name of the breeder, how many know where Keppel,
Sutton, Black, Chapman, Kerr, Ghio, Blyth, Bianco, Cayeux, live!

I agree with you that something should be done, because so many people must be
put off from growing irises:
 In Holland, i never see a bearded iris anywhere.  Irises have such a bad
reputation that no one grow them. When people visit the garden, they cannot
believe their eyes, but i tell them they must really be careful with their
If even I  intend not to buy anything coming from warmer countries anymore,
even with the passion for irises i have, imagine Mr. Lambda....who knows
nothing about this plant !

Yes, something must be done, because, for the moment, the only solution i see,
as far as I am concerned, is a 100% boycott!


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: irischapman@aim.com
  To: ris-species@yahoogroups.com ; iris@hort.net ;
  Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 5:36 PM
  Subject: [iris] Re:proposed AIS Awards Ballot

  There are biases towards TB with Dykes  as these are more popular, and
  more importantly, biases towards the warmer climates where there are
  more judges. Thus there have been top awarded bearded iris in past
  (including Dykes Medal Winners)  that are good growers only in warmer
  climates, and not the rest of the AIS regions.

  As a commercial grower in a colder climate (colder part of Southern
  Ontario, Canada) I often see new iris enthusiasts selecting iris based
  on the awards they have received. I also would expect some of these
  plants to not do as well for them as others that are more suitable for
  their climate. I do try to steer people away from plants that are not
  suitable for their climate. But there are many sellers of iris, and I
  suspect that there are a few enthusiasts in colder climates that get
  turned off iris when the "Best" as determined by AIS award system do
  poorly for them.

  I have suggested in the past that there be some sort of Region
  requirements for awards. I was invited to present some ideas to the AIS
  board of Directors, but decided that the time was probably not right.
  If there was a ground swell of support for this sort of idea, then it
  could be organized and presented.

  If there was some sort of Region requirement (such as weighting region
  votes) then more of the  award winning iris would be suitable for a
  larger number of growing climates. This would also translate into
  retaining more iris ent
  husiasts, and make the award system a more
  reliable method of selecting good cultivars.

  One manbs opinion.

  Chuck Chapman

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Sandy Ives <rives@rogers.com>
  To: iris-species@yahoogroups.com
  Sent: Sun, 29 Mar 2009 9:01 pm
  Subject: [iris-species] Re:proposed AIS Awards Ballot

  This is a precis of a precis I sent to Diane privately.B  I have
  truncated the original, and there are quibbles that everyone can make.B
  I have also removed some personal biases.B  ;-)
  The AIS awards are always going to be biased one way or another... in
  favour of growing irises as opposed to, say, daylilies.B  <bias
  TheseB awards are determined by garden performance in the various
  judges' gardens.B  That is a considerable improvement over a picture in
  a catalogue, over a spike in a show, or by Joe Blow's comments on the
  All the information concerning the iris awards is provided in the
  Handbook for Judges and Shows that is available for sale from the AIS
  First,B the hybridizer has to evaluate the seedling - does it have
  qualities that are an advancement over what is already available to the
  knowledgeable gardening public.B  This means those who will distinguish
  between the stuff you can get at Walmart vs. the stuff you can get at a
  quality nursery.B  If=2
  0so, they mayB registerB it for introductionB after
  several20years of evaluation in their garden and (especially for the
  less experience hybridizer) guesting at another garden elsewhere in the
  country/continent.B  It may then be forked into the compost or formally
  introduced via a catalogue or some other printable advertisement
  (webpages can be printed and mailed to the registrar).
  The clock starts upon that formal introduction.B  A bearded iris becomes
  eligible for the Honourable Mention upon its second year of
  availability to the public.B  A beardless iris, such as a siberian,
  becomes eligible for the HM upon its third year of availability to the
  Practically speaking, that means avid iris growers who are willing to
  pay the introduction price... and that generally means the iris judges
  (such as myself).B  Fortunately iris prices come down far more rapidly
  than daylilies, so the average gardener can buy such irises within 3-4
  years at about a quarterB the introduced price.B
  The tool used to make the determination of what wins the HM is the AIS
  ballot that is sent to all eligible AIS judges.B  There are over 800
  judges spread out over the continent and overseas, including a large
  number in the Pacific Northwest.B  All have multiple years of AIS
  membership and a considerable amount of training into what constitutes
  a quality iris.B  There are some excellent judges and some20less so, but
  the overall quality is quite high and all must retrain, both in the
  classroom and i
  n the garden,B if they wish to maintain their status.
  So when the ballots are tabulated, there are about 800-900 experienced
  voters whose opinions are counted.B  For all iris classes, the top 10%
  plus ties will receive an HM.B  If an iris does not win an HM in its
  first three years of eligibility, it drops off the ballot BUT it always
  remains eligible for an HM.B  <bias removed>.
  Once an irisB receives an HM, it is added to the ballot asB being
  eligibleB Award of Merit two years after the HM award.B  This allows the
  judges who have not grown it previously to add it to their garden for
  subsequent evaluation (or to search it out in other iris growers'
  garden).B  Again, it remains eligible for an AM for three years, but if
  it does not win an AM in those three years, it drops off the ballot
  The top 10% plus ties will receive an AM.B  At least two of each class
  will be awarded an AM, however there must be at least three candidates
  for an AM before voting is permitted.B  Therefore the less popular
  classes will see proportionately more AM awards per number of
  introductions than the most popular classes.
  So you see that the chances of winning an AM in a given year are only
  slightly greater than 1% for all introduced irisesB
  from a given year.B
  In three years of eligibility this means that around 3% of all
  introduced irises from a given year in a gi
  ven class will win an AM for
  the most popular classes (TB and SDB especially).
  Once a iris wins an AM, it becomes immediately eligible for the class
  medal.B  The top vote getter wins the medal, but ties are permitted.
  The medal winners become eligible for the Dykes Memorial Medal.
  So to answer your question concerning 'Starwoman' (an IB) vs 'Rococco',
  (a TB) the hybridizer who introduced 'Starwoman' saw qualities that
  were improvements over existing cultivars.B  Those qualities could be
  bloom count, durability, form, structure, hardiness, foliage habits;
  any number of things.B  The enthusiastic iris gardeners across North
  America who purchased it early and grew it in their gardens saw the
  same thing, or even different things (such as rebloom) and voted for it
  as a confirmation of its quality.B  Over the course of four rounds of
  voting (six in the case of 'Starwoman'), its merits were confirmed.
  All of which does not mean 'Rococco' is an inferior iris (I've never
  grown it).B  It means that 'Starwoman' has superior qualities that
  knowledgeable iris growers believe the gardening public should be made
  aware of when determining what they might consider planting in their
  SandyB  Ives in Ottawa

  0  __._,_.___

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