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Re: OT: Garden Magazines

From: "R. Dennis Hager" <rdhager@dmv.com>

> >The garden magazines dedicate heaps of space to roses. Very rarely do
> >they have an article on irises.
> Try to sell a magazine article on irises here in the States, and you get
> "Oh, we did iris last year."

I think we've beat the garden magazine issue before, but this is a
slightly new twist. Granted, irises do not get much space, but if you
watch closely, neither do many other plants. 

Roses are much more popular than irises. Deal with it. Growing roses can
be labor intensive and ecologically unsound, but I've seen fine
specimens BLOOMING in Washington state, the Florida Keys and on Cape
Cod, as well as in greenhouses peppered all over the northern temperate
zones. Roses have a more universal appeal and the lore to go with them.
Gertrude Stein did NOT pen "an iris is an iris is an iris"! When is the
last time you heard "an iris by any other name is still an iris"?

If garden magazines are to have mass appeal, they need to have a
moderate presentation. Emphasis on landscape and mixed borders provides
that mass appeal. I have noticed that more irises are sneaking into the
borders that are featured in garden magazines--and that's a big plus for
us iris fanciers.

If we really want to promote irises, it should be done in small doses,
especially to the "lay" public. We have created this aura of how iris
gardening should be done--we've developed new forms that don't grow
well. In effect, we've made iris gardening difficult. If you are not
growing to show, iris gardening is VERY easy. The challenge is including
them in the landscape to make the entire garden look good for 12 months
of the year. When we are able to do that, we will see a lot more irises
in the garden magazines.

I'll get off my soapbox now.

R. Dennis Hager
on Delmarva

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