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Re: Cutting back fans?

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@Rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: Cutting back fans?
  • From: Lois Rose <lros@loc.gov>
  • Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 08:35:44 -0400 (EDT)

On Fri, 21 Jun 1996, Dennis Stoneburner wrote:

> BUT, since that was back in the 50's and 
> early 60's, and alot of hers were oldees, me thinks that has something 
> to do with it.  Many modern varieties- you need to almost get on your 
> knees and offer daily sacrifice. (not in my garden) As I look around at 
> the gardens with oldees, they look great, and many have not been 
> seperated in years(ssss).  "Newer is not always better!"

I have a theory that back in the 50's and 60's, even the 30's and 40's or
any other era, they had their own "modern" varieties that simply wouldn't
grow.  Those varieties are no longer around.  The oldies we have around
that are so vigorous and hardy, surviving at old home sites with no care
or separating, are still around because they proved to be the hardiest
varieties of their generation.  The others did not survive the test of
time.  Thirty or forty years from now, some gardeners will be growing
hardy oldies from the 80's and 90's.  Then we will know which of today's
"modern" varieties have withstood the test of time.  I may be way off
base, but that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

I hope I have 25-30 good gardening years left in me, but with passing  
years I'm going to have to find simpler ways of doing things.  (Gees,
what am I saying--I need to do that now!)  So perhaps I will start a
"hardiness" test garden.  Let the grass and weeds invade, rarely dig and
divide, mow them off the with lawn mower.  And keep detailed records over
the next 25-30 years about which ones can take it.

Back on topic, I cut back diseased foliage if I have time.  But I would
never trim healthy foliage.  My irises have to survive a lot of benign
neglect.  Some can take it, some can't.

Lois Rose in Central Virginia, where my JIs are just past peak

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