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Re: Re: Fwd: Iris for Various Climates

If you read my messgae carefully I was not dismissing
Chuck's Idea. I only point out that this is a complex
problem. If I thought for sure that Chuck's suggestion
would solve the issue I would be all for it. But i am
not convinced there is a good solution only perhaps
something better than what we have now. I would like
to challenge growers within a region to pick strong
growing Irises they think are of great merit and then
compare how they have functioned in other gardens in
their region. I am certain you will find gardens in
which each has failed. For example George failed with
Irises that grow well for many others in his own
rgeion. Is it the matter of regional differences or
microclimates that we are dealing with. Some west
coast irises have failed many times with our midwest
growers yet Everything Plus grows like a weed. It
originated in our region. But you indicate it is
difficult in your region. I wonder whether it is thr
regions or the garden variables that make the greatest
difference. There has been no good study to sort this
out. Most often I hear people agonizing over what
died. But that is a very unscientific approach.
Records on what lives in each region are much more
informative. I have seen one gardener fail with a
plant while someone a few miles away succeed
extroadinarily well. Should the evidence that it died
be given more attention than the evidence that it
lived? Sometimes individual plants just don't grow
even though the next time you try them they may be
extraordibnarily successful. This is true of all
perennials. Tony Avent has one of the largest
perennial nurseries in the country. During many of his
talks he says he never says a plant will not grow for
him until he has killed it 5 times. I feel the same
way. I have failed with plants that others in my
neighborhood find rediculously easy. In regions were
there are fewer members the chance that you will see
any given Iris succeed is less then regions were a
cultivar is tried by more people. sometimes in a given
area some simple trick seems to solve the problem and
soon everyone is growing the plant. 

I do believe some Irises perform better in some
regions than others. But our present ways of assessing
this seem extremely faulty. Whether a Dykes medal
winner or not there will always be gardens that can
kill a given plant. But no one has compiled convincing
data on performance. 

I think I know how to grow irises also. But I have had
times when I failed two or three times with a plant in
my garden only to suddenly succeed. Good gardeners are
not afraid to admit failures but they also don't make
judgements based on a sample of only one or two tries.
The fact that a plant is an award winner is not a
guarantee only a reccommendation.

I am always willing to listen to new ideas and am
willing to back a good one when I am convinced. But I
am not certain that this will solve the problems.

--- eleanore@mts.net wrote:

> When I was a rookie gardener, I bought a special
> offer, 20 Dykes medal winners.  All but one died
> their first winter.  Over the years, I've tried a
> few other TB medal winners such as Victoria Falls,
> Acoma, Everything Plus, etc; none of these have
> survived here.  Beverley Sills, Mary Frances and
> Edith Wolford are on their 3rd and final chance
> here.  Thornbird is hanging in there, but hasn't
> bloomed since it's first year.  Needless to say, no
> more do I ever buy the newest Dyke or JW winners. 
> The old Historics do much better here.
> I have about 400 SDB's, almost 150 MDB's, and over
> 100 IB's, etc for a total of over 900 different
> irises, so I think I know what I'm doing.
> Occasionally I sell dwarf and median irises to rooky
> iris growers.  They do want to know what survives
> here; they don't care so much about the awards.  I
> don't even offer them anything that hasn't already
> survived 5 years in my garden.
> Chuck's idea has great merit, even if it seems like
> a lot of extra work.
> Eleanor Hutchison, near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
> Z3
> MIS & DIS Display Garden
> > 
> > From: irischapman@aim.com
> > Date: 2006/09/06 Wed PM 03:59:58 CDT
> > To: iris@hort.net
> > Subject: Re: [iris] Fwd: Iris for Various Climates
> > 
> >   As a seller of iris. I find many people who
> order iris from me do pay attention to the award
> system. Many people in garden centers pro ably
> don't. 
> >  They take the award to mean that it is an iris
> that is worthy of being placed in their garden and
> is a great performing iris. When time after time,
> Dyke medal winners die in their garden, they then
> stop paying attention to the awards. And as well may
> dismiss the AIS as not being connected to gardeners,
> but to a small specialized interest group, and not
> worth joining. This is indeed unfortunate.
> >  
> >  Exceptional colours etc always appeal to people,
> and they don't need awards to get their aficionados.
> But at least they know that they are taking a risk.
> When people buy based on award they are expecting to
> get a plant that does well for them, and they don't
> have the resources to evaluate where it was
> hybridized and where it does well. These are the
> knowledgeable and qualified people, some of who are
> garden writers, but not dedicated iris connoisseur
> as the people on this list. If the best plants don't
> do well in their garden, then they assume iris in
> general don't do well for them and will move on to
> some plant that does well for them, and promote
> those plants. These people (who order from
> catalogues) are often the movers and shakers of hort
> societies etc.
> >  
> >  Just some more food for thought. George Waters
> does have a point, and it does need to be addressed
> in some form. Iris as perennials in gardens is
> decreasing, other perennials are taking their place.
> >  
> >  Chuck Chapman
> >   
> > 
> > 
> > 
> >    
> >
> > Check Out the new free AIM(R) Mail -- 2 GB of
> storage and industry-leading spam and email virus
> protection.
> > 
> >
> > To sign-off this list, send email to
> majordomo@hort.net with the
> > message text UNSUBSCRIBE IRIS
> To sign-off this list, send email to
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> message text UNSUBSCRIBE IRIS

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