Irises forum: Seeking Bernice Miller Iris Introductions

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Name: Gerie Biffle
Killen, AL (Zone 7a)
Tall Bearded Iris by Bernice Miller
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Gerie
Oct 1, 2014 5:04 AM CST
I'm Bernice Miller's granddaughter. Grandmother was very much into tall bearded iris hybridizing between the 70's and 90's. Unfortunately her garden has gone into ruin and her records are lost. I am attempting to re-buy and collect her introductions. I have managed to re-purchase many of them. However, I'm not even sure if I have a complete list of her introductions and there are many I know about that I have not found to re-purchase. All help is appreciated.

Most of Grandmother's introductions are re-bloomers. She specialized in reds. Her main goal was to produce southern climate reds that bloom prolifically and re-bloom. I would say she was very successful. I have quite a few prolific re-blooming reds. Some bloom more than two times per season.

Thank you! Gerie Killen, AL

Oh, all tips on raising great iris in clay type soil in the south is appreciated.

Also, oh. Successfully marking my clusters is driving me crazy! Any tips for economical, extremely tough, plant markers?
Thumb of 2014-10-01/Gerie/b9d945

Here is a photo of Bernice's Legacy. It is her last introduction (actually introduced by her dear friend Dave Niswonger for her, as she became disabled.) I would say it is her crowning achievement as it has all the traits she strived for.

~Gerie, Killen, AL
Bernice Miller's Grandaughter
On a mission to recollect Grandmother's iris introductions
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Oct 1, 2014 6:18 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Gerie said:I'm not even sure if I have a complete list of her introductions and there are many I know about that I have not found to re-purchase.


There are 17 of them in our database. Smiling

http://garden.org/plants/group/irises/search/?submit=Search%...
Name: Gerie Biffle
Killen, AL (Zone 7a)
Tall Bearded Iris by Bernice Miller
Image
Gerie
Oct 1, 2014 8:03 AM CST
Dave! Thank you so much for doing the search! Thank You! I have most of them but a few I don't have and some I didn't even know about! The pictures help so much, too. As I have been recollecting them, I have realized that I must be very careful to make sure what I have received is actually Grandmother's iris. For instance, I bought Uriah the Hittite from two suppliers and they are two different iris that could fit the description. When I google Uriah the Hittite, I get results for both. I still don't know which one is correct.

I found All Things Plants just yesterday. It seems awesome. I hope to post more pictures of my iris, soon.
~Gerie, Killen, AL
Bernice Miller's Grandaughter
On a mission to recollect Grandmother's iris introductions
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Oct 1, 2014 8:39 AM CST
Another source for photos is the American Iris Society wiki database. It is an online listing of all registered irises. They have many photos that are not in the All Things Plants database. Good Luck! Smiling
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Oct 1, 2014 8:47 AM CST
Welcome! to the iris forum Gerie! Hope you are successful in your search. Many of the members of this forum are great at finding information!

That photo of Bernice's Legacy is lovely!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moiris
Oct 1, 2014 8:54 AM CST
Gerie,

This website makes reference to Coronation Of David. http://springtimeinthefall.com/rebloomnotes.php

By contacting them you may be able to track one down. If you send a list of the irises you do not have we may be able to help locate some for you.
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Bee Lover Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Composter
Annuals Dog Lover Cat Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Moiris
Oct 1, 2014 9:18 AM CST
C and T Iris Patch has several of the irises your grandmother created:

Angelic Wings
Coronation of David
My Friend Jonathan

They are open through October 20th so if you wanted you could still place an order with them.

Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Oct 1, 2014 11:46 AM CST

Moderator

[quote="dave"]

There are 17 of them in our database. Smiling

]http://garden.org/plants/group/irises/search/?submit=Search%...

There are probably more. Back in the 70's, AIS didn't list the hybridizer's first name, just the initial. Dave fixed many of those for us, but I don't think Mrs. Miller was among them. If you search for B. Miller in the database (how did you get the search results to show in your link, Dave, I can never get that to work?), there are another 47 irises that all appear to be hers.

Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Oct 1, 2014 11:52 AM CST

Moderator

Gerie said:


Oh, all tips on raising great iris in clay type soil in the south is appreciated.




You may need to make raised beds out of coarse compost, sand, and/or something else that improves drainage. Soft rot during wet periods in the summer is likely to be your biggest challenge. Anything that improves drainage will help with that.

Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Oct 1, 2014 1:16 PM CST
I agree with Kent. I have clay here in NC so I made raised beds that are filled with a combination of topsoil, compost, and garden mix. This creates better drainage and is also a mixture that won't get hard as rock during the hot summer months. Just don't use manure in the beds because that will increase the chance of rot.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Oct 1, 2014 1:17 PM CST
Gerie,

I'm in the Dallas area and have mainly clay soil. Kent's suggestion of coarse compost works best for me. Sand tends to make brick--with this clay, at any rate. Big Grin For new plantings, after I have broken up a section of the clay, bags of Hapi-Gro Landscaper's Mix from Lowes are mixed in. At $3.50 per bag, it is fairly economical to use and is made up of bark fines, peat moss and perlite, and will work as a mulch, too. Most people will say not to mulch Iris due to the hazards of rot, but since it breaks down more quickly than the usual mulch, I don't think it would be a hindrance to lay it on for the first year, anyway. Using it as mulch will help the soil, as well. I mulch EVERYTHING going in the ground because we rarely ever have enough rain for soggy soil rot to be a problem, but your area might be different. Adding to that process, sometimes, I dig in the leaves that fall from my big ol' Cedar Elm in late season (and blow in from all the neighbors' trees); sometimes I let them lay around and decompose by themselves. My property has a slight slope side-to-side which helps with drainage, but previous owners tried to make a flat area out of most of the front yard. When I plant on there, I try to mound the soil up enough to slightly raise the Iris above the main soil level, again to make sure they don't sit in water. You also might check with your county extension agent for more information on planting in clay. Let us know how you get on with this project!

Debra
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Oct 1, 2014 1:18 PM CST
Cross posted with Leslie. Big Grin
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Oct 1, 2014 2:02 PM CST
KentPfeiffer said:

There are probably more. Back in the 70's, AIS didn't list the hybridizer's first name, just the initial. Dave fixed many of those for us, but I don't think Mrs. Miller was among them. If you search for B. Miller in the database (how did you get the search results to show in your link, Dave, I can never get that to work?), there are another 47 irises that all appear to be hers.



Kent, if you look at the last few posts in this thread, that may answer your question about search results. I think. Maybe.
The thread "Search results" in Plant Database forum
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Oct 1, 2014 2:11 PM CST

Moderator

I've seen that, but can't figure out exactly what Evan did *Blush*
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Oct 1, 2014 2:21 PM CST
Hope you collect more of her plants. I met her at AIS conventions a couple times & she was a lovely lady. some of her biblical names will show here irises when they are listed under B. Millar.

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Oct 1, 2014 2:22 PM CST
Hi Gerie! Welcome!

There are a lot more of your Grandmothers irises listed here. I hope you're able to gather them all. So Bernice's legacy can live on through future generations.
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Oct 1, 2014 2:33 PM CST
Welcome, Gerie Welcome! .........Arlyn
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Oct 1, 2014 2:42 PM CST
I will post the welcome sign as well. Welcome!
Name: Gerie Biffle
Killen, AL (Zone 7a)
Tall Bearded Iris by Bernice Miller
Image
Gerie
Oct 1, 2014 2:54 PM CST
Wow! I'm overwhelmed. It will take me a long time to read all of your responses. Thank you so much for your help and your well wishes in my success of creating a legacy garden of my Grandmother's iris. Thank You!
~Gerie, Killen, AL
Bernice Miller's Grandaughter
On a mission to recollect Grandmother's iris introductions
Name: Gerie Biffle
Killen, AL (Zone 7a)
Tall Bearded Iris by Bernice Miller
Image
Gerie
Oct 1, 2014 2:55 PM CST
Wow! I'm overwhelmed. It will take me a long time to read all of your responses. Thank you so much for your help and your well wishes in my success of creating a legacy garden of my Grandmother's iris. Thank You!

FYI, I'm starting my fall divisions and reorganizations. I've started putting my extras on ebay. My ebay name is agbif.
~Gerie, Killen, AL
Bernice Miller's Grandaughter
On a mission to recollect Grandmother's iris introductions

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