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Re: Iris Activity in New England

Ellen Gallagher wrote:
>         Dorothy Fingerhood wrote re AIS activity years ago:
> >        But Ithaca was small potatoes compared to the activity
> >in New England.
>         Really? Does this just refer to Southern New England or the real
>         New England which everyone knows is Vermont, Maine and New Hamp-
>         shire? :-)
>         I did note that there was a hybridizer mentioned from Concord, NH
>         in one of the listings of `older' irises - a person named Graves?
>         Concord is in Zone 4 so I should research this more....but I should
>         do a lot of things I don't seem to have time to do. :-)
>         Happy Holidays,
>         Ellen Gallagher   e_galla@moose.ncia.net


I'll save you some trouble.  Indeed Robert J. Graves was from Concord,
N.H..  He is listed in the 1939 Checklist as a Surgeon and Amateur
gardner.  He began growing iris in 1912 and hybridizing in 1929.  Some
of the more noteworthy iris he hybridized are:  Lady Boscawen AM '48,
Helen Macgregor Dykes Medal '49 and Jane Phillips AM '52.  His protege
Edward Watkins also of Concord won the Dykes Medal for Eleanor's Pride
in '61.  Both of these gentlemen were dedicated to hybridizing a sky
blue iris.  I guess at that time their were none of that color.  How
lucky we are today with the range of colors we enjoy.  

After Grave's death Edward Watkins introduced thru Fairmount Gardens of
Lowell, Massachuetts.  The garden of Elizabeth Nesmith, who herself was
a renowned grower and hybridizer of iris.

There were many more iris personalities of that era which I won't
mention here, as I now do not have the time.  Perhaps someone else will
volunteer to do some research?       

Rick Tasco
Central California
Zone 8.5

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