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TB: late stuf; HYB: slow year

We had an early spell of 105-degree weather this year that forced out any
blooms on the way and drove pretty much everything else into early dormancy,
so it was a lousy bloom season.  A few stragglers that avoided dormancy
(although the stalks are not very good) are Throb, Cascade Springs, Mabel
Andrews, and Fogbound.  Out of 5 new Blyth iris planted in February, three are
deforming in that distinctive pre-stalk way.

The hot weather and my general laziness (late starts, being out of work, means
the flowers saw the sun before they saw pollen) resulted in my worst ever crop
of pods.  Not counting bee pods, I have REVERE X LOUISA'S SONG; BEST BET X
that's it.  Five more tries and I still couldn't get Louisa's Song X Cloud
Ballet to take.  Oh well, I don't have room for what I already have.  Just
seems like a disgrace; I made about 60 crosses (including repeats); I have
never done anywhere close to that bad on percentage.

In response to earlier posts, I plant all the seeds from a cross, usually in
one 5-gallon pot.  The pots can get very crowded.  This is part of the process
euphemistically referred to here as "Darwinization", a sort of rationalization
for not taking proper care of my prized seedlings.  As far as not planting the
"weak" seedlings goes, not all of the seedlings germinate at the same time so
this can be an unfair comparison.  After about two years of fighting for space
in the pot, even the tiny seedlings can hardly be called weak.

I had a lot of good-but-is-it-really-unique seedlings this year.  Some of the
best were fancy plicatas from a Skipalong - Decipher cross and one cross that
resulted in a bunch of almost identical pink seedlings.  The most interesting
(and variable) crosses were bred from my own space-age plicata and luminata
seedlings.  In the second generation out of Rock Star, a decent percentage of
seedlings shook off that "short" tendency that almost all of the first
generation carried.

John Reeds
San Juan Capistrano, California (zone 9b)


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