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RE: HYB:101: ( was Best of the best)

Neil, I agree with you.  I use the electronic
checklist for one more bit of information.  It
will nail down the year registered when you begin
your search.
Char, New Berlin WI

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-iris@hort.net
[mailto:owner-iris@hort.net] On Behalf Of Neil A
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2005 1:52 PM
To: Iris-talk
Subject: [iris] HYB:101: ( was Best of the best)

I'll add a little to what Betty suggests-which by
the way, I whole heartedly agree.  When she says,
"buy the R & I's", I'll modify that and say, get
the *Check Lists*, and add the *R&I's* from 2000
to the most recent, 2004.

The *Check Lists* collect together and sometimes
correct the annual *R&I's* into ten-year blocks.
Much of the more recent data from the *Check
Lists* is also available in a single electronic
list on-line with a $10 annual fee, very much
worth it.  Don't buy them all at once unless
you've got money to burn.  The more recent two or
three will be the most use.  The older ones are
fun resources if you get interested in historics
or want to dig deeply into pedigrees.  The oldest,
the 1939 and 1949 are difficult to interpret and
use a very different system,  They will be
woefully difficult at first.

I happen to like hard copy and tend to use the
books more than the on-line, but for some purposes
the on-line version can do what the books
cannot--such as a search for the decendants, for
instance, of a particular variety, of those that
include a particular name in the pedigree.

The on-line can also pull out a list of the
registrations and introductions from a particular

I have a preference list of TB breeders whose
annual introductions are studied carefully.  I'll
list those in my own, very flexible, order of
preference, partly a matter of prejudice or
friendship, partly a matter of experience of who
puts out quality varieties that may grow
especially well in my border-south climate and

Keith Keppel
Joe Ghio
Barry Blyth
Rick Tasco and Roger Duncan at Superstition
Fred Kerr
Larry Lauer
Paul Black
Mike and George Sutton
Don and Ginny Spoon
Terry Aitken

When it comes to SpaceAgeIrises, I quickly add
Burseen and Vince Christopherson to that list.

It's hard to put an order on that list.  Some
years one or another rise
higher than others.   It all depends on who, who
is following what lines of
development in which I'm most interested, and so

I also have a short list of particular parents
used that I watch for--strongly in order of

children and grandchildren of SILVERADO
IMPULSIVE and QUANDARY, both from Ghio's 88-180P X
Keppel or Ghio recent pinks ROMANTIC EVENING

That list grows out of my breeding objectives and
what I observe as quality offspring, so far, and
is in constant flux, of course.

Any one person will quickly find a particular set
of qualities, types, and specific varieties that
are ones which one finds especially attractive or
appealing.  Those are the lines and the types to

Also, as one studies pedigrees, some particular
facts may become apparent. For me, it is that of
the several in my list of varieties, nearly all
have emerged out of strong out-crosses between
unrelated or only remotely related lines.  That
says something!  In the history of modern iris
development the benchmark breeders have nearly
all, if not *all* come from strong outcrosses.

Not all outcrosses, however, produce "benchmark"
breeders.  It is the rare ones that do, but if one
picks irises--like, for example, Joe Ghio did in
his early years, from two or three highly
divergent origins and combines them, great things
can result.  Ghio used New Snow, Chivalry, Black
Forest in one cluster of development, and Denver
Mint and Moon River to create PONDEROSA, most
certainly a "benchmark" breeder in his work, but
one which few others appear to have used (to their
loss and his gain!).  Ghio's foundation work
include several other broad combinations which
have worked wonders for him in his breeding

Denver Mint, itself, is only a few generations
away from a similar jump forward through outcross
in the work of Melba Hamblen, where she used Hall
pinks crossed with top quality blues, then crossed
back to Hall pinks. Those crosses are in the
background of a large proportion of modern pinks.

Moon River, also, is from strongly outcrossed

In more recent times, Schreiner's SILVERADO is
from an astonishing two or three generations in
succession of wide outcrosses, the one
grandparental line a combination of pink and
orchid breeding, remotely related, but separated
by several generations of development, crossed
with the Schreiner black-line then with a widely
different white from a different line of breeding
than they themselves had followed.  Silverado has
proved to be a spectacular breeder.

Keppel's WISHFUL THINKING and FOGBOUND is similar
in including blues, pinks and more of several
interwoven lines, HONKY TONK BLUES being one of
the parents of Wishful Thinking.  HTB is of fairly
complex ancestry itself.

These examples do *not* say "Go forth and make
outcrosses!"  They *do* say that *some* outcrosses
between high quality lines occasionally produce
giant benchmark steps forward in quality.  An
awful lot of compost has been created in
generating these several examples, I should

A beginning breeder will find himself or herself
very discouraged if all he or she produces are
basically, junk, or "just as goods" but not better
than what's already out there.  The best possible
start, were I starting from scratch today, is to
take the best of the best, especially from some of
these proven breeders, and use them.  The results
won't be spectacular, perhaps, but they will be
solid, good crosses.  The adventuresome wild
outcrosses will suggest themselves as one learns
what works, what doesn't, but they are not
(usually) the recommended place to start.

Two cents and a little experience worth,

Neil Mogensen  z 7  Reg 4  western NC mountains

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