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Re: OT-bio

Merrily A Smith wrote:
> Hello!  My name is Merrily Smith and I have a small iris garden in Washington, DC.  I first learned to love iris
> as a child when one of my jobs was to pick the spent flowers from my mother's iris garden in St. Paul, MN.
> She had over 100 varieties, most of them given to her by her mother, whose garden in New Jersey
> abounded with them.  They grew like weeds in the relatively uncultivated prairie soil and the back yard was a
> mass of color in the spring.  Each flower had its own particular fragrance, which I loved to sniff.   I remember
> the three seasons when she entered stalks in the amateur competition at the local iris show.  We were out
> there at the crack of dawn, meticulously inspecting each bloom, cutting the best ones off at the base, and
> sticking them in glass milk bottles to transport downtown.  The few ribbons she won in 1957, '58, and '59
> only added to the thrill of visiting the show after the judging was done.
> That garden is long gone, and only about thirty varieties made it from the old house to a new garden at a new
> house in 1965.  These had long quit blooming as encroaching trees and bushes had gradually shut out the
> sun and my mother became less able to care for the garden.  About four years ago I decided to try planting
> some of these old iris in a garden of my own.  I thought it would be fun to see them blooming again -- sort of
> a family tree of flowers.  So far, ten of these historic irises have bloomed, each one a pleasure and a
> challenge as my mother (now 84)  and I work together with old garden maps and catalogs to identify them.
> We have spent many wonderful hours on the project, which has enhanced my love of iris even more.
> I'm glad to have discovered kindred souls on the Iris-l and look forward to getting to know you all and to
> learning from your experience.  Maybe you can even help me identify names for a few of those frustratingly
> similar white flowers.
> Merrily Smith
> Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

Merrily -- Welcome to iris-l! Shades of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn -- an
iris garden on Capitol Hill! I think it's great that you and your mother
are able to indulge in this nostalgic enterprise. If you haven't yet
joined the Chesapeake and Potomac Iris Society, please do so. You're
located smack dab in the heart of it. Our membership chairman is Mac
Shaw, whose e-mail address is macshaw@erols.com. We have a great
year-round program of irising. Hope to meet you at one of our events.

Griff Crump  jgcrump@erols.com

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