Re: CAT: Favorite Sources
In a message dated 1/25/1999 12:34:50 AM Central Standard Time,
> ANYWAY.... I'll start. My 5 favorite iris sources (no particular order)
I've not ordered anything from catalogs that have started up in the last 3
years, and since I mainly grow TBs, with some intermediates thrown in, I've
not bought much from specialty catalogs. This is basically a critique of
those catalogs that carry TBs. If I decide to replace LAs and Spurias, I will
have to go to other catalogs. (Shepard's for Spurias and I'd have to research
for LAs as I don't have a favorite.)
Perhaps, a short description of the 'system' I use for ordering irises would
be in order.
1) I make a list of what I need or want. This may sound simple but it isn't.
If I'm ordering for the show bench, I have to consider branching etc. If the
iris has been around for 5 years or so I can go to the AIS Bulletins and see
if it's been winning on the bench. Otherwise, I have to trust the hybridizer
or others to describe the branching, bud placement etc. Terminal buds are
important here too. So I have to read--catalogs, bloom reports etc. I also
need to know if it grows in my area without an artificial microcosm.
If I'm making the decision for hybridizing, I make selections based more on
the reading I do in the R & Is. I have a full set of R & Is, including the
1998 (Nancy, thanks for the speedy service and the notice that the 1998s were
ready per my request! Great job.) My hybridizing program has changed some
over the years, but this is where I track parentage. If I add newer
rebloomer, I will have to combine these two to find out which irises are
likely to rebloom here--R & Is and catalogs and articles. (Now that my space
is greatly reduced I need to remember to check for friendly pollen donors in
my area. Over 300, many of the newest and best, live in the local display
garden in Bowling Green. And, YES, they accept donations from hybridizers if
anyone is interested!)
2) Once I've compiled my list, I start looking at catalogs. Here I am
concerned with several things, though not necessarily in this order.
A) Who carries the iris.
C) Past history with the company=survival of plants, dependability (proper
name tags, and replacement.)
D) and BONUSES. When everything else is equal, I like BONUSES from my
Having said all this, my list is:
1= Schreiners = all of the above
2= Maryotts =introductions have qualities I want to include in my lines and
they are VERY good at replacing those that don't live.
3= Stockton Iris Gardens = All of the above and I like many of the newer
things coming from their program.
Since I believe in supporting those who support Region 7, I will also
4) =Rockytop Gardens of Phil Williams at Eagleton, TN
5)=Miller's Manor of Linda Miller in Noblesville, Indiana.
ALSO, if you're buying newer introductions, it's a supportive move to buy them
from the hybridizer, if they sell personally (especially if they are in your
region). They don't make much money off of these things.
I love Keith's irises and would include them in a heart beat, but many of them
don't like my neighborhood. I can't afford $$$ to take the chance. I'm
especially fond of his oranges and his blacks with red beards.
Unfortunately, Superstition is one of the catalogs I've failed to order from
so I am not casting shadows. I just don't know.
If another catalog comes to mind, I'll amend the list. It's hard for me to go
by someone else's recommendations because their needs are usually different
My hybriding program is at a stage, if I continue it, where most of my work
is with my own seedlings. The few outcrosses I'd planned were to Schreiner's
irises for strength and to Maryott's irises for form. This was the result of
over ten years of research, but it still only makes them my conclusions.
If what you're doing works for you, don't mess with a good thing!
Betty from B. G. . . .
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