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New Club

A meeting took place last night at which planted the first seeds of an
iris club for the Ottawa area.  About a dozen people turned up,
including one local commercial grower who gave a slide show, and we are
launching our club with a couple of garden tours during the next month. 
I took along four seedlings of Christy's sib-ensata crosses for each
attendee. It looks as if we have a lot of interest in the region. We
learned of individuals, who could not attend, who have over 500
varieties of bearded and another with about the same number of
siberians, etc.  One person I met specializes in gathering up old irises
from long established gardens, raising the plants, and giving 3 starts
away to young couples starting their first garden!  She feels that this
activity is the best way to introduce people to gardening generally as
the irises perform well and stimulate interest.  Unfortunately, most of
the old plants she raises are nameless - rather, she names them after
the homeowner - Mrs. Lawrences' or Auntie Sue's.  I am sure that this
will add a degree of confusion in the future!

Ottawa is having an excellent year for irises with everyone's plants
very healthy although the season is running from three to four weeks
early.  Last year, I.magnifica flowered for one week and this year,
because of the cool nights, for four.  The iris show of the Ottawa
Horticultural Society might well be after the flowers are finished.

Ian, in Ottawa

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