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CULT: Picks and Stomps

Merrily said:

<< At the C&P reblooming show this past Saturday (and very  nice it was,
too), ... The one thing everybody agreed on was that a good way to reset
rhizomes heaved out by freezing is to step on them.  I really liked that
 approach, since I had been doing it anyway. >>

Stomping? I got a stompin' story my friend Dennis Hager told me I needed to
tell you all some time.  

I found a very cool country woman who had some bearded oldies I was
interested in and I stopped by this year when they were in full bloom to
effect a little transaction of mutual benefit. We walked her rows and she
carried a pickaxe with her. It was now or never. None of this sissy business
of discussing the optimum time to divide and reset; by that time the fruit
and tomatoes would be in and needing putting up and she wouldn't remember
which clumps were what anyway. So, I pointed at the ones I wanted and she got
the point of the pick up under an edge and wrested off chunk, lifted it aloft
by its bloomstalk and shook the dirt off to peer at the rhizome. Satisfied,
she stomped on the remaining plant to resettle it. If too much came off she
dropped the pick into the ground in a likely spot, tore out a hunk of bright
red clay, dropped the chunk of iris into the hole, stepped on it, and walked
on. A real revelation, let me tell you! She had some good stuff, too. No only
the oldies but also some newer irises. CODICIL was looking fine and she had
the best OVATION I've seen in middle Virginia. Of course she said it was
looking crummy since the kids kept cutting all the increase off and carting
it home. Mostly all TB"s, but she had found a Japanese somewhere and had set
it in a special bed with oriental touches and somone had given her some roof
iris. Buys all her stuff from Schreiner's or Cooley's, and has for thirty
years. No interest in Societies or shows or anything else along that line.
Can't remember the cultivars names, but has all the orders she ever placed
and can get you the name later when she has time to look at them and think.
Of course, some belonged to family and grandma didn't know the name either.
Sells rhizomes, takes the money and orders herself a few more. Likes to get
herself a flashy new fortydollar one some years. Wants to see what they look
like. If things don't make it over the long haul, that's farming. 

The stuff I bought? Well, they are all here, and looking pretty good,

Anner Whitehead, Richmond, VA Zone 7- where the first frost did not
materialize last night but may well tonight. 
Henry Hall henryanner@aol.com

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