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RE: HYB: Using good plants

	Just out of curiosity, which part of what the judges look for in a "good"
iris do you think needs to be adjusted?  I have heard quite a bit on this
subject and would be interested in hearing from everyone about this.  For
instance, describe a "good" tall bearded garden plant and we can compare.

Buds - quantity and placement - I want a minimum of 7, and I want the clump
to stay in bloom for at least two weeks, would prefer 3 weeks, but need even
higher bud count for that, and they shouldn't all open at once, stretch that
bloom time out.

Branching - quantity and placement- Two branches are a minimum, got to have
someplace to put all those buds. I would prefer that they do not overlap and
interfere with each other.

Stalk - Height - I want the stalk tall enough to get the flowers out of the
foliage, so that I can see them.  I also want it tall enough to carry those
branches without being crowded.
Stalk - Strength - I expect the stalk to stand up to normal weather.  I hate
going out and finding things laying on the ground
Stalk - Size (proportion) - I like the size of the flower and the size of
the stalk to balance.  I don't want a beautiful small flower on a 42" stalk
or a club

Flower - Form - Although I like some of the old varieties I prefer the newer
forms.  Rounder falls, wider hafts, some ruffles
Flower Size (proportion) - back to stalk size, I like balance and proportion

Percentage of bloom vs increase - I like between 25 and 75% bloom vs.
increase fans.  Less than 25% and why bother?  More than 75% and you risk
loosing the plant to bloom out.

Quantity of increase - I want at least 3 increase per year but would prefer
4 or 5.

Foliage - Nice, healthy, green, upright - right??

Healthiness of clump  - I hate to walk out in the garden and find a clump
looking poor and pitiful when all its neighbors are happy as clams.  Wish we
could do like tomatos and breed in leaf spot resistance, and rot resistance

Dana Brown
AIS Region 17 Judges Training Chairperson
Director TBIS
Malevil Iris Gardens
Lubbock, TX
Zone 7 USDA, Zone 10 Sunset

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-iris@hort.net [mailto:owner-iris@hort.net]On Behalf Of John,
Sue, & Brianna Foster
Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2003 1:50 PM
To: iris@hort.net
Subject: [iris] HYB: Using good plants

Usually I'm content to lurk here. Just like irises so I don't generally have
much to add.

Seems to me that a great garden plant is what the judges should be looking
for not a mythical perfect flower that fits neatly into categories.

If a plant is good and it grows for a wide range places and people then it
will spread and be bought and be shared. The show people are few. The casual
gardener is many. If an iris only behaves in San Diego then you aren't going
to sell many to Idaho, Michigan and Maine.

I'm just a little south of Ellen. Not sure why but I think I might even be a
tad bit colder. The first iris just opened today. It's a historic NOID but
one rhizome planted last summer is now a decent blooming clump. If I
remember right it came from Arkansas certain it was significantly south of
me anyway. These are the irises that the masses want. Plants that come up,
increase and perform no matter what.
Really I'd love to have some of the flouncy ruffled modern pretties but few
I've tried do well here. The few moderns I have are also NOIDS that grew and
multiplied until people were sharing them all over the place. The fussiness
of iris scare many gardeners away.
Batik is a wonderful example of iris for the common man. It lives, blooms
and grows just about anyplace. More of these kinds of iris would get more
people hooked on them. In the long run it would mean more money and
recognition for the hybridizer. You don't think those $200 daylily intros
got to that price because of a few odd collectors. Lot of people longing for
them. Many pay the high price and even wait on a list for years for them.

No such thing as bloom-out here either.

I don't usually loose any iris to winter. Most of mine are lost to cold, wet
springs. Not just iris but a lot of other plants as well. Generally I have
enough snow cover to compensate for prolonged subzero temps.

It would probably be to the iris hybridizers advantage to send  a new plant
to several "foster" gardens when debating introducing/registering it first.
What it does in California may be very different from what it does in NH.
Lot of the daylily people do just that.

Worrying about performance more and what class less would do the iris good.

sitting on a small soggy moutain in NH

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