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RE: CAT: iris addiction

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: RE: CAT: iris addiction
  • From: "Mark, Maureen" <MARKM@tc.gc.ca>
  • Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 08:09:02 -0600 (MDT)

Anner, you explain it perfectly.  Given our limited space, and Sandy's
desire to try more species, our TB collection is going to be reduced and
limited to two beds.  One bed will be part of a border and will contain
old favourites.  The other bed will be to try new varieties that might
replace old favourites.  This bed also currently contains Siberians,
Japanese and species which will be expanded.  Another bed has been
overtaken by medians.  Arils have been introduced into the one garden
bed that had no irises.  Even the vegetable beds now have iris (Sandy's

It is an annual struggle every catalogue season.  What are we going to
dig up and how much more lawn will be dug.  When Ian Efford visited, he
did comment that we did have a little bit of lawn left to dig.

Maureen Mark
Ottawa, Canada (zone 4)

> ----------
> From: 	Henryanner[SMTP:Henryanner@aol.com]
> Reply To: 	iris-l@rt66.com
> Sent: 	Wednesday, May 27, 1998 9:13 AM
> To: 	Multiple recipients of list
> Subject: 	Re: CAT: iris addiction
> Tammy King asked:
> <<  I do have a question though, for the listers about this. I'm not
> trying to
> be tooo nosy here, but those of you who are just starting out, do you
> find
> yourself with a huge list? Am I one of those "I want it all, and I
> want it
> now" types and alone, or is this normal? >>
> I think it is normal, Tammy, but not necessary inevitable, or
> necessarily the
> path to greatest long range enjoyment. 
> In the last analysis the things that will determine how many irises
> you have
> in your garden will be your space, your cultural conditions, your
> pocketbook,
> and your sustained level of interest. When the bug hits folks they get
> crazed
> and want everything and lots of it and want it all now. Some folks
> with the
> resources continue to buy in this manner, or mooch in this manner, but
> for
> most of us reality intervenes, or we begin to realize that not all
> irises are
> equally lovely or interesting, and we begin to slow down, and look
> more
> closely, and select more carefully. As in any aesthetic enthusiasm,
> there is a
> period in the life of a novice--hopefully--in  which the eye, and
> mind, is
> being educated and the personal tastes refined. For those of us with
> smaller
> gardens, or other limited resources, the lessons are learned earlier.
> And this
> is a fortunate thing, because we then pass out of the phase where--and
> I am
> going to crib from the late great Henry Mitchell, garden writer of
> dear
> memory--the phase where we feel that life will be nothing but one long
> agony
> if we cannot manage to fit another three hundred irises into the
> garden right
> this very instant.
> I would say this to you, because there are plenty of others who will
> tell you
> to just go hog wild and I don't think that is the way that leads to
> really
> deep enjoyment. First, there is a great deal to be said for seeing the
> iris in
> bloom before you add it to your collection. This is not always
> possible, and
> one does like some surprises and some new introductions, and catalog
> pictures
> and copy are seductive, so order some stuff. But realize you don't
> have to get
> them all at once, and, indeed, while you are learning it may be better
> to move
> carefully until you get the hang of actually growing them. And realize
> that
> you can enjoy things without having to grow them all yourself. Visit
> gardens
> and shows and look and be delighted there. And above all, remember
> that the
> season is fairly short, so grow several typs, and never grow more that
> you can
> give your best attention to.You will want to be able to spend some
> time with
> each plant when it is in bloom and enjoy its uniqueness, and you will
> want to
> have only so many as you can care for lovingly and well throught the
> growing
> year. They deserve no less.
> I surprise even those who know I have a small space by saying I intend
> to get
> it down to the best and most beautiful three dozen bearded irises,
> give or
> take, not counting some new stuff which will certainly come and go.
> But this
> is true. My garden, you see, would hold more, and lots more if I took
> everything else out of it. But not all irises are equal, or necessary
> to one's
> happiness, and pursuing quality not quantity is also a perfectly
> viable course
> for the passionate iris lover to take.
> Anner Whitehead, Richmond,VA  USA Zone 7
> Henry Hall   Henryanner@aol.com

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