Re: Variety, not Homogeneity, is the Spice of Life
This is from a few days ago, sorry!
To Lloyd Zurbrigg, I would greatly appreciate trying some of your older
iris. I have a special section in my garden for older iris.
Sandy Rigby, Region 14, zone 9.
At 09:05 PM 11/27/96 -0700, you wrote:
>At 07:16 AM 11/27/96 -0500, you wrote:
>>In a message dated 96-11-26 20:37:58 EST, you write:
>>> I agree totally that more hybridizers should
>>> send their seedlings BEFORE intro to all parts of the country. But,
>>> since time is important to the hybridizers, and time doesn't put food on
>>> the table, don't expect many of them to offer. >>
>> In sending their seedlings out, the hybridizers
>>are seldom concerned about losing sales of new introductions...quite the
>>reverse. They are far more interested in getting wide distribution, and
>>therefore usually seek to send them to AIS judges who they know will
>>contribute increases to local and regional auctions after the iris has been
>>Clarence Mahan in VA
>I'm totally fascinated by the expectation that all new iris introductions
>are expected to be fully tested and bare the stamp of approval from all
>regions where it might be purchased and grown, prior to their introduction.
>This sounds like U.S. government mentality - "make it safe and reliable
>enough for everyone to grow" or "an iris in every pot (or flat or 4-pack)"
>(sorry for the political simile). My point is that I grow irises for the
>challenge and I expect that some varieties just won't perform well for me
>and I make adjustments or take my lumps. If all irises grew perfectly in
>every part of the country where would the challenge and excitement be? It's
>surely disappointing when that lovely and expensive thing, you picked out of
>a catalog line up, UAD's (Up and Dies), but this is the process of natural
>selection and capitalism at its worst (or best, depending on your frame of
>reference)or maybe just Murphy's Law at work.
>My suggestion for other iris beginners, like myself, or frustrated
>experienced iris growers, is for you to pick up an iris catalog, with no
>pictures, preferably from a local grower, and sit down and read over the
>lists of the types of irises in which you're interested. MEMORIZE the names
>of the hybridizers with several varieties still listed that are more than 5
>or 10 years old. It's my reasoning and assumption that these hybridizers
>are the ones with a proven track record of breeding something that will
>perform well and survive in most gardens in your area. I first look at
>rebloom potential, hybridizer secondly, and color and description last.
>Next, fill out an order with the bulk of your selections for the year and
>send it in to this local grower to support her/his "test garden". You'll
>probably get lots of nice extras, too.
>Now, you're ready to pick up the glossy catalog with the irises that will
>knock your eyeballs out, but may not perform to your expectations or be
>perfectly suited to your area. You then choose the two (or more depending
>on how much money and luck you have) most gorgeous and flamboyant irises or
>whatever suits your fancy. If catalogs listed new iris introductions by the
>month of introduction your selections would have to be the ones introduced
>right before the catalog went to press in order to assure freshness and the
>highest novelty and envy factor among friends in your local iris society. :)
>Next write up the order and the payment,seal the envelope well, apply
>postage, and give it a kiss before you place it in the mailbox. You'll
>receive your two "lottery tickets" in the mail at the appropriate planting
>time for your area. :)
>You have now gone a long way toward assuring that you'll get many "sure
>things" that give good results, plus you will have a taste of the new and
>unknown and the adrenalin rush that goes with it. Moderation is the key.
>Of course if consistency, predictability, reliability, dependability, and
>perfection is what you're after I would recommend that you try a newly
>introduced TB named MAYTAG RED (Ripley, 1996). It has been known to grow
>equally well in climates ranging from frozen tundra to steamy swamps and has
>never been reported to rot. It's a geranium red, extremely fragrant,
>everbloomer with impeccable foliage habit. It has a perfect 50% ratio of
>bloom stalks to fans. It forms perfect clumps rapidly (so rapidly that
>weeds can't even grow next to it) and should be divided once every three
>years. Lastly, it's self cleaning so it never gets borer infestations. Oh, I
>forgot to mention that it's a steal at $55.00 (U.S. currency), but the
>grower that sells it only accepts cash or money orders. :) :) :) Other
>intros from Ripley include SPOOFED YA, BELIEVE IT, OR NOT, READ MY LIPS,
>GEORGE BUSH, DEVIL MADE ME, DO IT.
>-Donald (Forgive me for being full of myself tonight)
>AIS, HIPS, SPCNI, IRIS-L
>North Augusta, South Carolina, USA
>On the South Carolina and Georgia Border
>First avg. frost date approx. Nov.15th
>Last avg. frost date approx. March 15th