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Jun 6, 2020 9:29 AM CST
Name: Nancy
North Dakota (Zone 4a)
Intermediate Bearded Iris (Iris 'John')
Thumb of 2020-06-06/comgoddess/e74857

I'm interested to know how you feel about this iris. Even though it has won a couple of awards, I have no affection for this particular iris and I have a mess of them that were sent to me by mistake. Perhaps I'm not educated or refined enough in the field of iris studies that I don't appreciate the finer points of "John".

If you have this, why do you like it? Chime in if you don't like it too.
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Jun 6, 2020 7:54 PM CST
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
Well.... you asked for it... Hilarious!

I don't have it, and judging by the image (never mind that it is an IB, not a TB), I don't want it, either. The color combination is not one that I like, the color looks muddy (even in the image, which is saying something), and the bloom is not as ruffly as I would like.

Sometimes (at least in the daylily world), awards are made for "distinction". Maybe this is just such a case, the distinctive point being that it is an IB bicolor, with a certain (not seen before in IBs, at least at that time?) color combination.
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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Jun 6, 2020 8:09 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Irises Region: Northeast US Region: United Kingdom Region: United States of America
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
John didn't like it when it came out.
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Jun 6, 2020 8:13 PM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
There you go.... Rolling my eyes.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Jun 7, 2020 11:10 AM CST
Name: Timothy
NE Oregon (Zone 7b)
Disclaimer: this is my honest, respectful take on the posters request.

Opinions are the most subjective thing in the world, yet some seem to be binding and some irrelevant. Some people think THEIR opinion is binding when its actually not. Thus i believe it to be the same in the iris world.

I happen to be at peace with the color combo, since Im partial to earth toned iris - (not all, but most). Now if it had rot tendencies, or lacked vigor or hardiness, in my "opinion" -- that would be grounds for tossing it on the compost pile or the shredder. Those circumstances would be a binding opinion for me, either on the advice of others or my personal take.

My message to you is that YOU do want you want with the cultivar, based on what criteria YOU set up. Others people's take on this cultivar may give you some insight, but, please, --- make the decision to keep/throw away based YOUR experience with it, not anyone else's.

I remember a thread where I gave my non binding, personal "opinion" on the iris cultivar "Thornbird" I've grown it up until a few years ago, since visitors/customers and iris club members continued to admire it, ask for it to be at the club sale, and/or purchase it. I got it as a bonus iris from Moonshine Gardens when i ordered from them many years ago. I first bloomed it in 1990. Let's just say my "opinion" of it ran counter to nearly every one else's , including the American Iris Society which awarded it a Dykes Medal in 1997.

You've thought that i insulted the Pope, or committed an act of treason or sacrilege, that i dare give utterance to my dislike of this cultivar, but I knew then, as i do now, that what others think may matter/and give insight that i may appreciate, but isn't binding on me.

So, please do with it what YOU deem appropriate, -- appreciate the feedback given, but do what you will in the end circumstance
Last edited by TBManOR Jun 7, 2020 1:32 PM Icon for preview
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Jun 7, 2020 11:31 AM CST
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Region: North Carolina Peonies Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I had John awhile back, it was rather a cute bloom here since the minerals in our soil made it a bit brighter.

All depends on personal taste though. If you don't care for gold or brown irises (and many don't like the brown tones) then it certainly won't be your cup of tea. Keep iris that speak to you personally. I am sure you will be able to find good homes for those you don't want.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
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Jun 7, 2020 11:58 AM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
I agree with Timothy. It really depends on whether or not you like it well enough to take up space in your garden.

Speaking of brownish irises, I grow Thornbird and really like it, but I can see how others may not like it at all.


If you like your John, then keep it. Maybe plant it next to a purple one. If you don't like, then...bye, bye.... nodding
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Jun 7, 2020 12:33 PM CST
(Zone 9b)
Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
I like it and would grow it near Shampoo (which I have and like).
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Jun 7, 2020 5:29 PM CST
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
I used to grow John. I bought it manly because of its name, it was a shorter IB, and the photos of it looked cheerful. It did not have any outstanding traits that made me fall in love with it. I have some others that fit this bill also. I gave John away to an admirer as I will the other ones I grow that are just ho-hum blooms. That is my personal opinion and does not reflect on the iris.

I agree with everyone above. Grow what you love and give away what you do not. I am sure there are others who love IB John and I am glad. That may keep it from becoming extinct. Smiling

I think it is wonderful that we do not all love the same things. It makes life more interesting. Thumbs up
Thro' all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing; It finds an echo in my soul— How can I keep from singing?
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Jun 7, 2020 5:33 PM CST
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
Very eloquently put, TBManOR! Thumbs up

I responded to the invitation to "chime in" and gave my opinion, but I am in total agreement with you that we should grow what WE want to grow, and to heck with what anyone else might think.

And that "collect-what-you-want" suggestion also applies to other areas of endeavor, such as collecting minerals. (I could relate a story similar to that of 'Thornbird', but maybe I had better not... Whistling )
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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Jun 8, 2020 2:57 PM CST
Name: Nancy
North Dakota (Zone 4a)
I donated John to a worthy cause - a community garden at a nursing home. I just can't find anything redeemable about it in spite of its awards. It's a prolific bloomer and that's the only positive thing I can say about it. I have dug up a lot of different plants over the years that don't appeal to me and replaced them with something that does. Fortunately, there is always someone willing to take the castoffs so they have a new home with someone who appreciates them.

I feel the same way about Thornbird as I do John although I know there are those who love it. I'm not one who is swayed by opinions but I appreciate your feedback as I was merely curious why people are drawn to particular varieties while others aren't. As a friend says, beauty is in the eye of the beerholder. Rolling my eyes.
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Jun 8, 2020 4:00 PM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
Nancy ~ Haha...beerholder! Yes, I like Thornbird, but if one day I decide that I do not care for it any more, I will happily donate it to one that does like it.

That being said, John did not appeal to me. Some people like a broader range of irises than I do, and that is fine. I also reserve the right to change my mind.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Jun 8, 2020 9:59 PM CST
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
comgoddess said:As a friend says, beauty is in the eye of the beerholder. Rolling my eyes.


Rolling on the floor laughing
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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Jun 10, 2020 8:55 AM CST
Name: Nancy
North Dakota (Zone 4a)
evelyninthegarden said:Nancy ~ Haha...beerholder! Yes, I like Thornbird, but if one day I decide that I do not care for it any more, I will happily donate it to one that does like it.

That being said, John did not appeal to me. Some people like a broader range of irises than I do, and that is fine. I also reserve the right to change my mind.


John just didn't "spark joy" for me. (John was also the name of my last significant other so this comment has double meaning.) Hilarious!
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