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Re: AIS: Educating the Educators

From: HIPSource@aol.com

In a message dated 1/14/99 1:05:02 PM Eastern Standard Time, MARKM@tc.gc.ca

<<  Here's a thought for those who live in areas where there is a school of
 horticulture -- volunteer to do one lecture on iris.  Are there any AIS
 judges who this?  This hadn't occurred to me and we do have a school of
 horticulture in town. >>

I have an intuition about this, for what it is worth.

I believe anyone who tries this must address the issues from the greater
horticultural perspective. By this I mean don't see this as an opportunity to
chat up the Society angle, or the showing or hybridizing angles which often
dominate such lectures. I've never run into a professional horticulturalist
who thought that way. 

Start with the assumption that for these people irises will definitionally be
part of larger garden schemes. Approach the issues botanically and clarify the
different groups of irises and their individual cultural requirements with
clear and candid assessments of their strengths, their weaknesses, and their
range utility as plant material.  Address managing predictable problems, come
down hard on prevention rather than cure, and be very informed and informative
about responsible use of modern chemicals, and the alternatives, and about
environmental issues. You might use an AIS judge, but that in itself is not an
adequate qualification in itself, I don't think, if that judge is not a well-
informed gardener in tune with what's happening outside the iris patch.

Anner Whitehead

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