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CULT:Very Best of Our Best-Another side of the coin

From: StorYlade@aol.com


It might be interesting, also, to know why the listed irises were bought.  

    Someone was giving them away free and you couldn't pass up a bargain?   
    Your collection was guided by irises that fair well on the show bench?

    Your only interest in collecting irises is their "presence" in the garden?

    Your interest is mainly hybridizing? 

    You buy irises in colors and types that you personally find pleasing?

    Many of the above?

    And why do we travel all over only to find the prettiest irises in our 
own yards?  Could it be because we buy the things we like, while others buy 
what they like?

    At first, I bought only what I liked--heavy on bi-tone blues, variegates, 
reds, blacks, browns, and red plicatas.  Local iris club (fledgling) members 
hit on hard times one spring and needed bloom stalks for their show.  My hill 
BUTTERSCOTCH BRONZE--to mention a few.  I was a charter member of the local 
club, but not active so they didn't know me.  Thus, my introduction to the 
show bench.  You could say I'm a sucker for a sob story.  

After a couple of years, a friend talked me into hybridizing.  I'd thought 
existing irises were so beautiful that I had nothing to offer until I focused 
on rebloomers.  That spring I had only one rebloomer, AUTUMN ENCORE.  The 
friend gave me pollen from ROMAN LOVER and I made my first cross.  Believe it 
or not, A1-1 produced a rebloom seedling.  That fall I began correspondence 
with Monty Byers, and I followed his advice on buying rebloomers on a limited 
budget.  Individually, I didn't like most of them all that well, but I NEEDED 

The show bench, hybridizing, and a brief business venture required that I 
purchase many irises that I wouldn't have bought normally.  Not to mention 
the dozens of freebies I got through the years.  Even though these 'orphans' 
often do well, my favorites are still my favorites.  I'm not likely to 
include muddy/greyed colors (my interpretation) or rough haft marks on my 
list of favorites.  Even if they are popular and do grow well.  Just being 
honest here. 

When I filled a third bed this year, I found I went back to my old 
loves--oranges, bitone blues, red plicatas, & rimmed bitone purples, with 
only a "touch" of pink, white, and yellow.  

And HOW could I have forgotten MICHIGAN PRIDE?  ouch!  

As those who read his catalogs know, Monty used to say that, if required to 
grow only 10 irises, he would grow two introduced irises and 8 seedlings.

If we each had to throw away all but 25 of our favorite irises, what would be 
left standing?  Just a different way of looking at the same question.  

Betty from Bowling Green, KY where the unseasonable weather (comes around 
ever 3rd year or so) is allowing rebloom despite the delayed rainfall.


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