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Re: Iris breeding (was Retro Hybridizing, wind tunnel varieties)

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: Iris breeding (was Retro Hybridizing, wind tunnel varieties)
  • From: Croftway@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 5 Feb 1997 06:08:31 -0700 (MST)

In a message dated 05/02/97  02:30:23, Rick says:

 It's easy for someone to sit on the outside and make judgements. >>

I grow around 27000 plants in 350 bearded varieties dating from 1890 to 1990,
but I only have experience of them growing here. Mostly TBs (80%).
I admit I have not done any breeding work - I admire those who do.
I also agree that there are a lot of good varieties amongst those that are
introduced, and that has been one of the reasons why I have not done any
breeding work (as well as lack of time - but I am young (25) and there may be
time yet!).
HOWEVER, (and I should have qualified my original comments with this) it does
seem to me that there are onehelluva lot of varieties that are introduced
that do not possess the basic gardenability qualities that we all desire -
this comment is based on observation of my own plants growing here, and also
observations posted in the Bulletin, on this list and elsewhere. I defy
anyone to deny that this is the case. This is not aimed at any one breeder or
nursery in particular and is not intended to detract from the good new
Perhaps a problem that needs to be worked on is this -
- how do we tell what is going to be a good variety?
Are new varieties adequately trialled by their breeders before they are
introduced? Perhaps, if we could organise more trial gardens, we could get
new seedlings properly trialled in many different zones before they are
introduced to an unsuspecting public. I know that many breeders do this
already, but do enough breeders do this, and do they really get results from
lots of different areas? 
To introduce plants that are going to perform reliably will do more than any
show or society can ever do to promote the genus Iris.

Awaiting hot debate on this one!

Graham Spencer, Croftway Nursery, UK

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