Irises forum: A Record Year

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Name: Brad
iowa (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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ARUBA1334
Dec 28, 2017 11:56 PM CST
Hi Everybody wanted to say Happy Holidays to all of you and hopefully the group had a good year and a wonderful bloom season this past spring Smiling Winter has found Iowa it was very late this year we had 50's through most of December so construction here kept going at a record pace and we worked all through it, but Christmas Eve brought the 1st snowfall and the cold with it the current temp is a 4 degrees with snow on the ground and work outside has come to a halt quickly the weekend forecast calls for lows of -20 for multiple days Crying I was ready for a break but negative temp's are terrible especially when they come on so fast.

I had a very disappointing bloom season at home to put it mildly and to complicate things there was a national convention in Iowa this year D'Oh! Grumbling sometime early February after returning from vacation I realized that many years worth of seedlings and plants did not make it through the worst of the winter..I lined out 4000 + seedlings last year and not 1 of them made it through the winter... that has to be some kind of a record Crying mother nature shows no mercy here through the winter months. I wrote a friend in March asking for advice knowing that the season was a goner, very few people know what it's like to line out 3 acres of plants, weed and maintain them for years and to have them all die with bus loads of people coming to see it. A very numbing feeling is the only way to describe it to have years of work gone in a couple months..

I was going to leave some rows of seedlings thinking there may be a chance that there will be some starts come off the sides and I could save some of them but after digging a few and seeing the extent of it I decided against as I would of drove myself crazy walking around that field and did not want hundreds of people traveling for a national convention looking at acres of rotting bulbs. I had the entire field plowed and seeded with a fast growing hay/alpha mixture in April except for 2 rows that had convention plants and I remember looking at them thinking if half of them wake up I will be lucky. The grass grew quickly and mission accomplished in a short amount of time was surprised how many of the convention plants actually took off and grew then bloomed for the tour so that was a plus but then a few days before the tour we got hit with hail and 60mph winds D'Oh! that knocked over a bunch of stalks amazing I had anything for them to look at so definitely a season to forget at home.

I'm so glad we planted a 100 or so of my favorite seedlings in the gardens in the back of the house mixed in with other plants because they all made it and surprisingly not a one of them showed any signs of rot in the spring while very few of them bloomed what did was much appreciated this year Smiling I didn't have much for people to look at on convention but there were some nice compliments on the few I did have blooming Smiling so all was not lost but mother nature culled a lot more then I could of ever imagined.I didn't move any of them this year should finally get to see some of them in 2 year clumps after many years waiting.. I really enjoyed the look of my berms at our previous home so for the next couple years will go back to growing them close to the house and around the berms in stead of a wide open field setting. It gives me a lot less space to work with but a lot easier to maintain Smiling

Here are some timeline pictures of my year in the gardens ..

Spring 2016 / Early Fall 2016
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Late Spring 2017/ April 2017
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/93a9eb Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/fb1c64

May 25th and what is left of the field for the tour
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/f56d62 Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/7c103d
What 300 + people look like in the garden Smiling
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Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/11ee27 Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/3b08b9
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/556ffe Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/8c78ee
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/6b7cc9 Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/051b92


Name: Brad
iowa (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
ARUBA1334
Dec 29, 2017 1:06 AM CST
Here are some pictures of favorite Seedlings from this year that bloomed got to see very little of some of them as the hail and wind broke some of them off but Thankful I still had some of my own to enjoy and work with Smiling

(Double Platinum x Pagan Knight) 13-63A
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(Just Witchery X Magical) 13-50A
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/0865b9 Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/1b25d6

B..
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/02794b Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/f4cf6b

(Friendly Advice X Ride The Waves) 13-102A
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/ac41ce

(Just Witchery X My Beloved) 13-49
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/23094c Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/d28712
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/d185a2 Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/23c76a

B.
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/a255eb Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/4fb2c2

C.
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(Jealous Guy X Iconic) 13-24 A
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/41976e Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/f20877

(Comes The Dawn X Superhero) 13-10A
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/c565a8

B.
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/c77f52

(Kiss Of Passion X Ballerina Queen) 13-15A

Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/9293de

(Electric Candy X Haunted Heart) 13-78
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/245edf

(Decadence X Brilliant Idea) 12-34
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/9468b0

(Terracotta Bay X Raging Tide) 12-20
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/eabb6d

(Terracotta Bay X Bejeweled) 12-17
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/ebefac

(Smart Money X CHestnut's Roasting ) 13-86
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/704af2

Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Dec 29, 2017 4:41 AM CST
That sure had to be difficult to watch all of your work being destroyed by Mother Nature. I thought I had a bad thing with the hail storm, but it was nothing in comparison to your losses. Not only the loss of your time and effort, but the financial cost of the irises as well. Good thing you are young and resilient.

On the bright side, you sure had some wonderful seedlings that survived, so they must be fighters! A good thing when trying to develop hardy plants for our climate. Smiling
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
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lovemyhouse
Dec 29, 2017 8:49 AM CST
It is often amazing to me how resilient is nature, but it is even more astounding how resilient we have to be when nature isn't. Every time I see photographs of your place (both old and new) I am impressed with how you have created beauty out of blah, even when it is heart-wrenching along the way. I tip my hat to you.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


Is this side of the house south-facing?
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/3b08b9 Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/556ffe


What is the fluffy-looking shrub to the right?
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It’s okay to not know all the answers.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
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lovemyhouse
Dec 29, 2017 8:52 AM CST
Oh, this one...{{melty heart}} Smiling

ARUBA1334 said: (Just Witchery X Magical) 13-50A
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/0865b9 Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/1b25d6


It’s okay to not know all the answers.
[Last edited by lovemyhouse - Dec 29, 2017 12:18 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1610072 (5)
Name: Brad
iowa (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
ARUBA1334
Dec 29, 2017 9:18 AM CST
Tom.. I was happy to see them again and so glad I planted a start of them in the back yard and your right if they live here in our climate they should do well everywhere from -20's in the winter months to 100's and dry in the summer they have to be hardy to survive here.

Deb..Thank You That side faces West and the shrub is called a Hakuro-nishiki' Willow beautiful in the spring, Schreiners has tree forms of it that they prune every year so they have a globe form they are very pretty in the spring Smiling
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer Tomato Heads
Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Paul2032
Dec 29, 2017 9:52 AM CST
Brad....thanks so much for sharing. I love looking at seedlings and their parentage. Amazing....
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a studio potter.
Hummingbirder Dog Lover Irises Region: California Organic Gardener Dahlias
Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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janwax
Dec 29, 2017 10:16 AM CST
Beautiful seedlings and photos, Brad!
VOTE!
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Region: Japan Garden Photography
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Misawa77
Dec 29, 2017 10:47 AM CST
Hakuro-nishiki

'Hakuro-nishiki' (synonymous with 'Albo-maculata'), commonly called dappled Japanese willow or variegated willow, is a more compact cultivar that typically grows to 4-6' tall (less frequently to 10' tall) and features attractive variegated foliage throughout the growing season. New foliage emerges pink in spring, maturing to variegated shades of pink, creamy white and green. Narrow, lance-shaped leaves (to 4" long) are particularly attractive in spring to early summer, but gradually fade to mostly green as summer progresses. Stems turn red (primarily the new growth stems in Zones 4-5) in fall providing excellent winter interest. All stems turn red in warm winter climates. Trunk does not turn red but remains gray.

'Hakuro-nishiki' refers to the blend of colors in the variegated leaves.
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Dec 29, 2017 10:55 AM CST
Brad, I'm speechless, your devastating loss is heart wrenching! Then to see the beauty and how peaceful your home and garden setting is, is amazing.

As always, your seedlings are stunning.
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
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
Dec 29, 2017 11:06 AM CST
So sorry to hear of all the horrible losses before convention.

I really love your seedlings. I am intrigued by how many with a colorful parent were subdued by the white parent. And I just adore the Just Witchery x My Beloved cross. Those ruffles! That subtle coloring! I am in love with it. Lovey dubby Lovey dubby

Would not have expected such a gold out of Electric Candy x Haunted Heart.

Love the striations on the falls and the color of the Terracotta Bay x Raging Tide cross.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies Cat Lover
Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
Dec 29, 2017 12:17 PM CST
ARUBA1334 said: Here are some pictures of favorite Seedlings from this year that bloomed got to see very little of some of them as the hail and wind broke some of them off but Thankful I still had some of my own to enjoy and work with Smiling
(Double Platinum x Pagan Knight) 13-63A
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/6d2bbd Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/6dd19e
(Just Witchery X Magical) 13-50A
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B.....???
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/02794b Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/f4cf6b
(Friendly Advice X Ride The Waves) 13-102A
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/ac41ce
(Just Witchery X My Beloved) 13-49
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/23094c Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/d28712
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B.????
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/a255eb Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/4fb2c2
C.
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/ec2322 Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/f4f4a5
(Jealous Guy X Iconic) 13-24 A
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/41976e Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/f20877
(Comes The Dawn X Superhero) 13-10A
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/c565a8
B.
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/c77f52
(Kiss Of Passion X Ballerina Queen) 13-15A
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/9293de
(Electric Candy X Haunted Heart) 13-78
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/245edf
(Decadence X Brilliant Idea) 12-34
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/9468b0
(Terracotta Bay X Raging Tide) 12-20
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/eabb6d
(Terracotta Bay X Bejeweled) 12-17
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/ebefac
(Smart Money X CHestnut's Roasting ) 13-86
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/704af2


"The Agony and the Ecstasy"!

Brad ~ You really must be devastated about those seedlings that took so long to grow and have one cold winter destroy so many, along with the other irises that you have been growing for years! Crying
At least you had a few survive the brutal winter.

"B" is a pretty pink seedling, as are all the others.
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
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grannysgarden
Dec 29, 2017 12:31 PM CST
I read this thread at 2:00 am this morning. I turned the computer off and went back to bed.... it was sad.

Amazingly beautiful seedlings Brad, as ever, and i must comment on how you kept your spirits up through the whole loss ordeal. I may have thrown in the towel.

Thought i would make a pick from the ones you posted above...... but I can't narrow it down. You will have to start registering your beauties at some point so that they will be here for many, many years. Smiling
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Elsa
Las Cruces, New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: United States of America Irises Region: Southwest Gardening Dog Lover
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GreenIris
Dec 29, 2017 2:48 PM CST
Brad: Agree with the rest... It is really sad!!! And No I can't really comprehend your loss because I get mad if I lose just one. You have quiet the perseverance.

I know it doesn't always help when you have suffered something big, but then again, sometimes the bright side does help. Here's the bright side I see...
1) You have a beautiful home and beautiful property and what you do have planted looks amazing. To a desert dweller, all that green is paradise. To a city dweller, all that space is paradise as well.
2) You have quite the gift with your hybridizing skills.

Can't wait to see the day you introduce some of those seedlings - Amazing!!!
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
Dec 29, 2017 3:14 PM CST
Like Bonnie, I read this at the early morning hours and was torn with emotion. On one hand I was heart broken at the sight of your iris field. Sad Then I was amazed on how beautiful your seedlings and garden are.



Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies Cat Lover
Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
Dec 29, 2017 3:33 PM CST
UndertheSun said:..... and was torn with emotion. On one hand I was heart broken at the sight of your iris field. Sad Then I was amazed on how beautiful your seedlings and garden are.


I agree Crying
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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shizen
Dec 29, 2017 4:12 PM CST
brad, i read your post this morning at 1 pst, and would have been the first to reply. but i was so flabbergasted and disheartened i turned my ipad off and went to bed, i couldn't formulate words.

i am super amazed at your attitude and persistence and i was rewarded this morning with the sight of all of your beautiful crosses that survived.

i am especially intrigued and delighted by the 'just witchery' x 'magical cross' . love the form of your 'kiss of passion' x 'ballerina queen' (color too on this one), 'terra cotta bay'x 'raging tide', and 'terra cotta bay' x 'bejeweled' crosses.

thank you for sharing and posting.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Dec 29, 2017 4:25 PM CST
I'm very sorry for your losses, Brad. I've never had more than about 300 (daylily) seedlings at once, and it has hurt when I've lost some of those. I can't imagine losing 4000+ seedlings of anything, particularly when the survivors are so beautiful (one can only imagine what the lost ones looked like Crying ), and especially right before a convention!

Like others here, I can only admire your attitude, and your talent at hybridizing, and wish you the best going forward.
It's daylily season!
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Dec 29, 2017 8:42 PM CST
I am so sorry to hear that you lost so many seedlings. Crying I imagine that is worse than losing the same number of named varieties as so much work went into creating them and you never got to see the blooms.

Your (Just Witchery X My Beloved) 13-49 seedlings are stunning Thumbs up

ARUBA1334 said:

(Just Witchery X My Beloved) 13-49
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/23094c Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/d28712
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/d185a2 Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/23c76a

B.
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/a255eb Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/4fb2c2

C.
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/ec2322 Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/f4f4a5

I think (Electric Candy X Haunted Heart) 13-78 is an interesting cross. The bloom you ended up with is nothing like I would have expected.

ARUBA1334 said:
(Electric Candy X Haunted Heart) 13-78
Thumb of 2017-12-29/ARUBA1334/245edf
Name: Pam
Pennsylvania
Irises Keeps Horses Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: Pennsylvania
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Snork
Dec 29, 2017 9:03 PM CST
I don't know how you do it Brad. I think I would have given up. Really glad that you have some of your beautiful creations saved. Thanks for posting the pictures and parentage.

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