Re: Iris breeding
How about some examples of these improvements?
I'm not sure what an "iris tourist" is. I've been growing irises of all
sorts since 1955. At present I use only a handful of proven TB varieties
because my garden has grown somewhat shady over the years. Also, I find
that Louisianas, Siberians, etc. simply do better in conditions where they
have to mingle and compete with the hundreds of other species of plants
that interest me. I find that most of the TBs I try cannot stand being
crowded by other plants in less than optimum conditions. In our warm humid
summers, foliage diseases like bacterial and fungal leaf spot take a large
toll. Not so with, for example, Siberians. The other border plants have
to be protected from them!
If the "improvements" are discernable only when the closest examination is
made, are they really "improvements" or as I said, "refinements?"
I don't want to come across as anti-bearded, after all I had a beard myself
for 23 years! I'm just saying that the focus on TBs as the be-all and
end-all of iris gardening may be a dead end. What were those membership
loss figures for AIS last year?
Best wishes, Bill
William A. Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943 USA
phone (804) 223-6172
FAX (804) 223-6374