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Re: Re:proposed AIS Awards Ballot

  • Subject: Re: Re:proposed AIS Awards Ballot
  • From: Jeffrey Walters <jeffwiris@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 06:18:51 -0700 (PDT)

Loic,

Climate and its effect on plant adaptation is a very complex isue. The Sunset Western Garden Book lists 15 different climate zones for California alone.

As Mark Twain famously said "The chilliest winter I ever endured was the summer I spent in San Francisco".

When I grew iris in Utah, which has a dry summer/ wet winter climate comparable to the Central Valley of California (although the winter temperatures are colder and the precipitation is less, since Utah is further inland and at a higher elevation), irises bred in the Central Valley/Sierra foothills, such as those from Rick Tasco/Roger Duncan, Ben Hager, and George Sutton performed very satisfactorily, while those from Joe Ghio, who lives on the coast at Santa Cruz (in the same climate zone as San Francisco) did not do nearly as well. Irises by Bill Maryott when he lived in San Jose, which is only 20 miles from Santa Cruz, but in a different climate zone, did quite well for me, too.   

Jeff Walters
in upstate South Carolina
(USDA Zone 7b)


--- On Mon, 3/30/09, loic tasquier <tasquierloic@cs.com> wrote:

> From: loic tasquier <tasquierloic@cs.com>
> Subject: Re: [iris] Re:proposed AIS Awards Ballot
> To: iris@hort.net
> Date: Monday, March 30, 2009, 1:30 PM
> 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
> choice.
> 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!
> 
> Loic
> 
> 
>   ----- Original Message -----
>   From: irischapman@aim.com
>   To: ris-species@yahoogroups.com ; iris@hort.net ;
> iris-photos@yahoogroups.com
>   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  ;-)
>   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
>   removed>
>   B
>   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
>   internet.
>   B
>   All the information concerning the iris awards is
> provided in the
>   Handbook for Judges and Shows that is available for sale
> from the AIS
>   website.B
>   B
>   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).
>   B
>   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
>   public.
>   B
>   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
>   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.
>   B
>   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>.
>   B
>   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
>   permanently.
>   B
>   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.
>   B
>   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).
>   B
>   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.
>   B
>   The medal winners become eligible for the Dykes Memorial
> Medal.
>   B
>   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.
>   B
>   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
>   garden.
>   B
>   Regards,
>   B
>   SandyB  Ives in Ottawa
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
>    =2
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