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  • Subject: OT-BIO
  • From: Alexander Craghead <abcraghead@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 10:05:12 -0700 (PDT)

Hello, everyone, you've acquired a newbie!

My name is Alexander, and I live in Oregon zone 8, the
northern portion of the (don't tell anyone!) beautfiul
Willamette Valley. We have a half acre suburban lot of
horrendous alluvial clay which is just great for weeds
or low yeild iron ore mining but hell on a garden. 

With a garden this larget we take a laid back
approach: little or no soil ammendment or fertilizer,
no spraying of any kind (yet). We HAVE done SOME soil
amenment in what we call the Upper Garden, as area
about  25ft x 35 ft. But other than a little here and
an occaisional Miracle Grow binge, we leave things as
they are. The only care we lavish is water in those
short hot dry spells we get in the summer, and
prunning, which is a constant chore especially in

The largest category or iris we grow are modern
Beardeded types. However, I have found in the
neglectful and difficult conditions we make them stand
up to we get inconsistant results from some,  so we
have only about a 50% success rate with them.

As a result I have become more and more enamoured with
Heirlooms. We allready had a few of these from my
grandmother's garden circa 1940, and sicne then we
bought a selection of herilooms from Schrieners with
Anas, Wabash, Pallida, Mme Chereau, and Quaker Lady.
These have perforemd exceptionally and consistantly,
and are just at the end of their flush right now.

In the near future I'd like to dip into Siberians and
Japanese; we have a few wet areas draining the house
that's be perfect for the last bunch.

MY PERSONAL passion, tho, is for the native Pacific
Coast Iris. I have grown (tortured) both species and
hybrids of PCIs, and found the douglassiana and
Hybrids iron tough and orchid beautiful if planted
properly in the proper location. These are just
gorgeous! WE have 7 in bloom right now and each plant
had at least 5 and sometimes 12 blooms! (We only
planted them last spring) I have a 3 year old plant
that gave about 14!

Anyway, that's my story... hope it's enjoyable. Any
other PCI/PCH or Antique Bearded growers out there?

Alexander Craghead

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