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RE: Re: CULT: Bearded iris myths
  • Subject: RE: Re: CULT: Bearded iris myths
  • From: "Kelly D. Norris" <kellydn@frontiernet.net>
  • Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2011 19:25:41 -0600

Hi Linda,

In response to your concern, I'm not being entirely fair here as I'm not
posting the dialogue in the chapters that follows each of these questions.
Certainly, I'm not trying to suggest that all bearded irises will do well in
all places (in fact quite the opposite--we too easily accept in the hort
industry that by default "all plants shall grow well in all places" by
decree).  What I am trying to do, encouragingly, is put aside the notion
that bearded irises are difficult plants to grow (for the majority of
gardeners in this country) while being completely honest about the facts you
address--regional selection and regional cultural information being

The fact that you and others in your part of the world, after careful
selection and good cultivation, can grow (and even hybridize!) bearded
irises supports the point I'm trying to make--gardening with bearded irises,
just like any other plant, requires a sound knowledge of cultural facts and
the cultivars you choose to grow.  This 'myths' chapter comes just after the
introduction and sets the tone for how I write about the art, love, and
science of bearded irises in the rest of the book.


Kelly D. Norris
Farm Manager, Rainbow Iris Farm
Editor, Irises: The Bulletin of the American Iris Society
Bedford & Ames, IA 
Zone 4b/5a
Read my blog at: http://www.kellydnorris.com


Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2011 06:39:19 -0500
From: Linda Mann <lmann@lock-net.com>
Subject: [iris] Re: CULT: Bearded iris myths

Kelly, I'd be careful putting this one in the myth category.  Depending 
on climate (both macro and micro), soil & cultivar, this is not a myth 
in certain locations, and will cause the rest of the list to lose 
credibility for many readers.

For example, cultivar selection is a major issue the hotter and wetter 
the climate (i.e., Florida), not to mention here in what Keith K calls 
iris hell & Neil Mogensen named the Vale of Despair.

There are a lot of experienced gardeners in this area who have ordered 
collections of irises from reputable sellers (i.e., Schreiners) only to 
have 2/3 of them not bloom and/or die.  Our club orders collections of 
fairly new introductions every year to grow for sale in subsequent years 
so we can promote what we sell as being proven to do well in our general 

The ones that survive definitely make this a myth, but there are many 
more that make this one true.

> 3. Bearded irises have a lot of problems and are hard to grow.


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