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Re: [iris] Re: TB: awards - Decadence
  • Subject: Re: [iris] Re: TB: awards - Decadence
  • From: Betty Wilkerson <Autmirislvr@aol.com>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2012 10:28:20 -0500 (EST)


The way I see this, awards are simply a numbers thing. Decadence and
other irises mentioned grow and prosper in mild (er) climates than
mine. I suspect the mineral makeup is different, also. People in those
climates spend more time gardening--because they can. This results is
more gardens and more judges. By virtue of their numbers, the irises
they like win the most awards.

Many years ago at a Region 7 meeting, a popular CA breeder made this
comment, "When people quit buying irises for their blooms, I'll quit
breeding for the bloom!" (a summary) This was in response to
complaints about iris fans and (maybe) branching. It made sense to me.

>From a personal view, people are not going to buy my irises if they
don't appeal to the masses. It made sense to me to find out what type
of irises are currently trending. I've spent many hours doing the
research. I don't work on lines that I do not personally find
attractive or enjoy, but other than that anything TB is possible.

I've done my research and know which things may be tender here. If a
new iris dies without blooming, so be it. If I'm crazy about it, I'll
have it replaced. If it blooms and everything else falls in place,
I'll use it. I may grow them in pots until I get several rhizomes, OR
I'll add some extra lime in the planting hole. (Blyth limes each year
so it's just possible his irises need more lime!)

I'm loving the effects of Decadence, Treasured, Romantic Evening ( & 18
of it's children) and others in the seedling bed, but I won't introduce
anything that doesn't live up to my critera. I work to breed out, or
around, the weaknesses.

If you don't want to take the chances I take? Buy irises from local
suppliers. They have already taken the chances.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Betty Wilkerson
Zone 6 KY

-----Original Message-----
From: Linda Mann <lmann@lock-net.com>
To: iris <iris@hort.net>
Sent: Wed, Jan 11, 2012 6:56 am
Subject: [iris] Re: TB: awards - Decadence

Excellent point, Chad - although I disagree that it applies to ALL TBs.
The reason I started breeding TBs is because - about 2 out of 10 that
I was purchasing would live long enough here to bloom for me. I still
grow about a dozen of the hundreds of 'new' irises I bought 30+ years
ago. Have never gotten rid of a survivor, tho many have died along the
way. The vast majority of those long term survivors are Zurbrigg
introductions, which is why I have chosen to use them as the foundation
for my breeding program.

I think the awards system currently works pretty well for
identifying/rewarding irises that are significant to the iris world,
which usually means they are important in advancing excellence in some
way. Not all Dykes medal winners have had a major impact on future
generations, but many have, and, as Betty pointed out, DECADENCE sure
looks like it's going to be one of those irises.

It's up to breeders in more marginal growing areas than Oz to combine
those award winning genes with irises durable in our crappy climates &
produce the more durable garden plants. Not something that can easily
be done in one generation, but I'm starting to see it in the 2nd and
generations. Maybe using some of its more durable kin than the award
winner itself.

Changing the award system to promote the most durable PLANTS would
certainly slow down the evolution of all the fancy new colors and
patterns and forms that come from Oz, CA and OR (i.e., iris heaven).
that really what anybody wants? As more than one iris breeder has said
to me, most gardeners aren't trying to grow irises for the foliage.

I still think promoting the popularity poll (and somehow getting more
people to participate) by <regions> would serve AIS well for helping
general public make selections of irises that are more likely to do
in their gardens, which in turn might spur membership. Also promoting
most popular HIPS selections by regions as well.

On 1/10/2012 4:22 PM, chad schroter wrote:
> The complaints I hear about Decadence could easily
> be applied to ALL of the TB Iris in general.

Linda Mann iris hell, east TN USA zone 7

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