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Maryott and Commercialism in judging?


I attended the region 14 judges training also and this is partly what I
came away with. Are YOU listning Bill? 
 One of Bill's initial questions was: Are we judging to improve iris as a
perennial plant or we judging to sell iris? To improve the plant we would
judge for hardiness, disease resistance, rebloom etc. While for commercial
reason we would judge for flower size, shape, color,number of blooms and
position of bloom on stalk etc.  The species iris he felt had all the
qualities that made iris hardy perennial, we as hybridizers added
commercial appeal but didn't add much to to the overall quality of iris as
a hardy perennial. In fact by our line breeding we decreased the very hardy
perennial qualities that made iris so desirable in the first place.

He gave example in his commercial garden of how the public will choose a
plant that is blooming out but has great flowers over say Silverado. He
asks who are we hybridizing for? Other members of the the Iris Society who
he hardly ever sees in his garden or the masses of public who spend $$$$$. 

It was interesting later when Ray Shreiner gave his presentation and
mentioned that they sell to wholesalers all the seedling that don't make
the grade. All the pretty colors with weak stems, 2 blooms per stalk and
rot like crazy. You all know what I mean.  The public want pretty colors
and our job it seems is to try to prevent commercialism from destoying iris
as a hardy perennial.
(My opinion) I can see much truth in what Maryott was getting at. At a
judges training he wanted us to accept the commercialism and by accepting
that it has been part of iris judging from the start to consciously move in
the direction of making iris a better garden plant.
 Karin Hinsen
Central Coast of California
Mild summers
Wet winters










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