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RE: HYB: Garden Value & hybridizing goals

Thanks John, Betty & others for thoughts about garden irises.  It got me
thinking some more about my hybridizing goals.

When I first started pollen daubing, all I wanted was more kinds
(colors) of tall bearded irises that would actually bloom for me, in my
own particular awful growing conditions, instead of mostly being frozen
out every year.  I didn't care whether or not they were modern or
historic, whether they had high or low bud count, branching, etc & was
absolutely delighted with the row of various shades of blue I. pallida x
"everything with pollen" seedlings that bloom profusely every spring.

So that took care of the blue/purples.

Then I got annoyed with them being so tall and falling down in heavy

In the mean time, continuing to grow 'good' irises that won't bloom for
me for our local club sales, I kept buying and swapping, hunting for
more tough mamas.

My other goal was to have more irises that would bloom in the summer, or
that would bloom more reliably in the summer than IMMORTALITY & SIGN OF

So I've done with IMMORTALITY what I first did with I. pallida - IMM X
"everything with pollen".  SIGN OF LEO has been less cooperative about
producing pods.  Too soon to know whether I will get any everbloomers
from all this entertainment, but have a few rebloomers now.

This year, I had such a wonderful bloom season, I got distracted by all
the gorgeous blooms on less reliable "better" irises & am finding a lot
more fault with my seedlings than in the past.

My primary goals, are the same, but in chasing after more colors, I have
wandered off into trying to 'improve' on a whole batch of other traits -
haft width, reducing 'messiness' of hafts, flower ability to hold up to
rain without collapsing or shattering (some very modern irises that are
stiff tend to shatter in rain - when it quits raining, I will post a
photo for those who don't have much rain/hail), more branching, higher
bud count, more consistent stalk & flower size in my conditions...

Realism is clearly not a part of the program yet <g>

My favorite 'garden value' iris this year?  Lou Ercke's LOU PEACH.   A
Region 7 iris.

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
online R&I <http://www.irisregister.com>

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