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Re: Getting the Blues

In a message dated 96-06-27 20:33:32 EDT, you write:

>But we have two southern listers who don't have it falling over.  One in
>Tennessee and one in ?Texas? Oklahoma? Arkansas?  If we have a violent
>everything in bloom falls down.  And I have yet to see HONKY TONK BLUES
>very well in a garden.  I wonder what Zurbrigg has to say about these two in


I have no explanation for how VICTORIA FALLS may be performing in the states
you mention, but my point is that any iris that is prone to toppling over,
especially in the hybridizer's own garden, really should not be in commerce.
Hybridizers may choose to use it, but one should expect this trait to surface
often in VF's offspring. This is not really a trait that we should
incorporating into the genetic base of tall bearded irises. If you had seen
what I saw in Schreiner's Gardens, you would certainly have to question the
wisdom of introducing such a plant to the public. It was about the only clump
of irises in the 3-4 acre display garden that was falling all over itself,
and needed staking to remain upright. There was no wind nor any rain the week
I visited their garden twice. With all the superior blue iris that
Schreiner's have in commerce today, there are many that are great including
HONKY TONK BLUES. My four year old clump is now so large that it will have to
be divided next month. The most outstanding blue iris seen at Schreiner's in
'94 was YAQUINA BLUE. This is a very large, globular medium blue with
outstanding ruffling, color saturation, and growth habits. Equally as good
was their newer DELTA BLUES '94. DB is a light to medium blue with impeccably
formed flowers and stalks. Ruffling is second to none. The very best clump
seen at Schreiner's was their beautiful BLENHEIM ROYAL. Never have I seen a
clump so large and blooming so prolifically, and not a stalk fell over. Most
who saw it were awestruck! 

Sorry to be so negative on VICTORIA FALLS, but I think all the other
Schreiner blues are really terrific and vastly superior. Those mentioned
above are the ones I would choose to recommend to others. Add to that list:
all top flight introductions.

Here in Maine we are in the final stages of tall bearded bloom. Still
blooming well as of this date are DUSKY CHALLENGER, CHARISMA (a much
overlooked, rock hardy iris), DARKSIDE, EXTRAVAGANT (Hamblen), ADVENTURESS
(Hamblen), FEATURE ATTRACTION (Schreiner), and REDEFINE SHINE (Burseen).
REDEFINE SHINE is the most intense yellow gold that I've ever seen ( and that
includes all the Schreiner's golds). I first saw it in Dave Silverberg's
garden in '94. It stopped me dead in my tracks. In addition to the
outstanding color, it is heavily laced. Plant habits on RS are robust. 

Japanese iris bloom on my father's seedlings is just beginning to break out.
We have about four plants blooming on a self cross of HATSUKAGAMI (hope I'm
spelling this right, Clarence). It looks as if we will be right on schedule
for our Maine Iris Society's JI and Hosta Show on July 13.

Ted White          Minot, Maine          USDA Zone 5          AIS Region 1

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