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Letter from England re: Weeds, Weather, and Woolworths

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Letter from England re: Weeds, Weather, and Woolworths
  • From: Henryanner@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998 09:36:50 -0600 (MDT)


The mailman brought me a nice letter in from Suz Winspear in Worcester,
England, this morning and I thought I'd share a bit of it with you all. You
know Suz? She is the Historian of the British Iris Society and also our HIPS
liason in Great Britain. She and I exchange notes about this and that as the
seasons pass and she is a lot of cheerful help to me. We've never met but I
like her a great deal.

One thing from her note that I thought might interest you was the bit about
weather and weeds. I'm sure she would not mind my passing it on. Listen:

" The Dwarf Bearded season was a total washout, it rained virtually non-stop
throughout April, and the weather has been so bad that I was only able to get
down to the allotment where I grow 90% of my TB's a couple of weeks ago. The
weeds were atrocious, but the irises didn't seem at all bothered by them.
They're all beginning to come into flower now, and look thoroughly
splendid--it's the best season I've had for years, in fact, and despite the
mass of soggy weeds piled up over the rhizomes there were no diseases and no
rot, which surprised me a little. Meanwhile, the irises that I keep in my
garden have just passed their peak. ALCAZAR, LADY MOHR, and an unidentified
red DOMINION-type have all been giving a splendid show."

And the following is tangent to some issues we've touched on here before. She
is responding to some questions from me about historics in trade in Europe.

"A variegata in the G&K style labelled HELGA sometimes crops up (G&K did
register a HELGA but it was a yellow self of Caparne breeding). The little
packets of dry bare-rooted rhizomes sometimes yield interesting results. For
several years Woolworths sold these in packages labelled "Bicolour", with an
unmistakable photograph of LORELEY on the front and when planted they turned
out without exception to be MILDRED PRESBY!" 

[MILDRED PRESBY(Farr '23)--A famous American Iris which is basically white S
and dark rose F] 

"That came from a Dutch supplier as did another I bought labelled "Brown" with
a photograph of FLAVESCENS, which turned out to be a rather nice velvety brown
self c. 1960."

Interesting, don't you think? Somewhere out there is a nice velvety brown that
grows well enough to end up in little baggies in Woolworths! Wonder what THAT

Suz went on to wish me a splendid summer, and I'm sure she would want me to
pass that on to you as well.

Anner Whitehead, Richmond,VA
Henry Hall    Henryanner@aol.com 



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