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Mrs. T.B. Only - In the eyes of Mrs. T.B. Only, there is only one type of iris... tall beardeds! She is of course a garden judge. She doesn’t grow anything but tall beardeds and doesn’t read anything about other types of irises and has never voted to give an iris an award if it failed to be a tall bearded. Mrs. Only once had a nervous breakdown at an iris show she was judging with two other judges. Outvoted, she could not endure the tragedy when a standard dwarf bearded iris was chosen as Queen of the Show. She has never fully recovered from the pain of this event. Mrs. Only hates rebloomers and space age irises. She considers both these types of iris to be "against nature". She refers to Japanese irises as "those freaks" and calls Siberians "those dinky wild things". Some years ago when BROWN LASSO, a Border Bearded iris won the Dykes Medal, Mrs. Only wrote a letter of resignation to the iris society. Upon second thought, however, she tore up the letter instead of mailing it. No, she felt herself duty bound to stay in there and maintain the standards of the organization. And that she does. In any group of people with whom Mrs.T.B. Only associates, it is likely that similar views will prevail. After all, Mrs. Only will not associate with anyone who disagrees with her views, which she received through divine revelation.
Mr. Hi Quality - Mr. Hi Quality only grows 20 iris cultivars, and they are always the newest, most expensive and of course the highest quality. No inferior iris would ever be allowed in Hi’s garden. How sad, Hi believes, that others grow such old inferior things. If you tell Hi that you like a particular pink iris, be prepared for him to tell you all its many faults (unless it is the pink one that he is currently growing) For Hi, there are only three hybridizers whose iris are worthy of growing. He would not even consider growing an iris by some other hybridizer. Hi is also a judge. He does not believe in giving firsts to irises that are not in his view, the best. Thus a perfect specimen of last years Dykes winner, which Hi did not vote for or approve, will never get a first if Hi can prevent it. Hi has never grown VANITY. As Hi will be quick to tell you, "That iris will never get within ten miles of my garden".
Mr. I.V. Gotyou - Hi
there everyone, I'm a new hybridizer. I joined the AIS at the local mall
last year when there was an iris show and I really like iris. I planted
some seeds from a pod last year that my Aunt Bee sent me. Well they all
have come up and I've got names all picked out for them. Isn't that great!
They all flowered except one and they are excellent irises I'm sure. I
mean my whole family came over to see them and they told me so. They can't
be wrong can they? Anyway I sent in to the AIS for their papers and can
hardly wait until they are registered. They are all siblings, seven of
them, How tall do iris have to be? Can't wait until next year when I'll
have even more seeds to plant and introduce.
Miss Phulla Woe - Phulla Woe is destined to failure. Her trials and tribulations know no end. They are of monumental proportions. No one has ever had such infestations of iris borer (and she has them every year!) And the iris borers who come to Miss Woe’s garden are not of the ordinary size or typical constitution. They are so large that they could easily be mistaken for boa constrictors. They drink Cygon cocktails for breakfast and only grow larger. Although Phulla Woe lives on the east coast where scorch is virtually unheard of, her garden is periodically beset by this ravenous disease. Every year’s bloom is worse than last year’s. Rot is always rampant in her irises. It is a special type of rot that has escaped from the iris beds and attacked her old oak trees. Fungi and blights peculiar to Central Asia have somehow made it into Phulla’s garden. There are of course, no cures for these rare diseases. When one visits Miss Woe’s garden it is always immaculately maintained. Her irises are always grown to perfection. No one has ever seen a trace of rust on a leaf or a hole in a rhizome. A sickly plant? Not likely. Every year Phulla Woe wins the Sweepstakes Award at the local show and her den is wallpapered with Best Specimen rosettes. Obviously, her iris diseases and pests are invisible... which makes them even more difficult to combat. Alas, next year is sure to be even worse.
Mr. A. Chievement - Mr. A. Chievement has been breeding and introducing irises for a number of years. He introduces lots of irises. And he has never introduced one that was short of being the best in its color class or a break of great significance. A typical description of one of Mr. A. Chievement’s irises taken from his catalogue; WHITE RAINBOW RIBBONS (Chievement 1994) Tall Bearded, gorgeous, heavily ruffled, unique in new shades of white with highlights of blue, red, purple, cranberry, apricot, primrose and orange. Heavy wax-like substance and magnificent classic branching. There are 15 to 18 buds per stalk. Incredible vigor and rapid increase. Perfect in clump and show bench. Multicolored haft markings are distinctive and add to the overall effect of this outstanding color break. This is the best of the whites. (unnamed seedling x sibling) $40.00 Alas, those of us who bought Mr. Chievement’s last introduction which was also advertised as best of the whites (an iris called ALMOST VIRGINAL) are now behind the times. ALMOST VIRGINAL is now passé. Of course, it never bloomed for me in the two years that I grew it. Did not increase. Was beset with rot. And has long since disappeared from my garden. Yes, A. Chievement will be sure to introduce another best of the whites next year... and a best of the yellows, best of the reds, etc.. These irises will not win any awards from the AIS because as Mr. Chievement explains, "the judges don’t like me". He is actually quite a pleasant fellow.
This above material originally appeared in Newscast, the AIS region four newsletter. Also it has appeared in the quarterly CIS Newsletter as a series running in the January 1996 and April 1996 issues.
Era of Iris Hybridizing Comes to a Close
And that's all for now,