I agree with both you and Chuck, BJ.
As a rookie gardener, I ordered an entire Dykes collection in the early 80's
and they all died. Figured it was just me, so I ordered them again the next
year. Dead again.
Luckily that same year, I discovered an unknown dwarf iris blooming in a pot
at a local nursery, and I immediately fell in love. Now I have quite an
extensive collection of the dwarfs and medians, and quite a few historic
TB's, which seem to fair better here in the cold of Manitoba. I've been
trying various species iris in the last few years, as well as testing out
some spurias, mostly all from Chuck. Siberian irises do very well here too.
El, near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Z3
MIS & DIS Display Garden
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 11:11 AM
Subject: Re: [iris-photos] Re:proposed AIS Awards Ballot
> Good morning, Chuck and all.
> I have to say that I agree with you 100%. I was one of those cold climate
> growers that started with TBs and quickly became disillusioned when
> nothing survived our -40 to -50 C winters. In fact, I almost stopped
> growing iris altogether in the 90s (except for the old standby's that you
> can't kill with a stick). The someone (and you know who you are out
> there) put me on to the medians and the rest is history! I guess that is
> why there is such a flurry when something other than a TB wins the Dykes.
> I have to admit that when looking to add new iris to my gardens, I do
> check the awards they have won. Now I also check where they came from and
> where that does not guarantee it will survive and grow in SW MB, I'm going
> in with my eyes open.
> And, I for one, am very glad that you steer people away from unsuitable
> for their area choices. I remember with Starship Enterprise (which I
> absolutely, positively had to have) that you wouldn't sell it to me as a
> new introduction until it had proved itself in your garden. I think I
> ordered it three times before you finally agreed to sell it to me and I
> only got it once you had told me you couldn't guarantee its performance.
> Well, that one did survive but took 5 years to bloom and once it had,
> started to go down hill. I doubt it will be back this year. At $25
> Canadian it was an expensive lesson and I promise to listen to you more in
> future years.....hopefully. :) Your honesty about performance and not
> just trying to sell everything to everybody is appreciated out here!
> BJ in SW MB, Canadian Prairies, Zone 2b CDA/3 USDA
>> There are biases towards TB with Dykes as these are more popular, and
>> more importantly, biases towards the warmer climates where there are
>> more judges. Thus there have been top awarded bearded iris in past
>> (including Dykes Medal Winners) that are good growers only in warmer
>> climates, and not the rest of the AIS regions.
>> As a commercial grower in a colder climate (colder part of Southern
>> Ontario, Canada) I often see new iris enthusiasts selecting iris based
>> on the awards they have received. <snip>
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