Thursday, May 26, 2016

Busy Times

Wow it has been a busy past couple of days. I flew out to the American Iris Society (AIS) convention in Newark Wednesday morning. Spent Wednesday afternoon and evening in NYC seeing a show and the sights.

Today the AIS convention had a tour of Presby Memorial Iris Gardens which is know for their collection of historic Iris. Also, there are guest iris beds where hybridizers send in seedlings and introduced irises three years before the convention. This is a great way to see new and upcoming Iris. My goal is to be able to send in seedlings for a guest Iris bed in two years.

Seedling Time

I did take pictures of my seedlings on Monday and Tuesday before leaving town. Unfortunately, while I have the pictures on my phone I do not have my notebook of data with me. I will be posting the pictures here and will be updating this post when I get home with the details about each cross.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

This Weekend's Blooms

I did not get to posting on Friday or Saturday night and have a bit of catching up to do.


Cross: Gnu Rayz x Doe Z Doe
Height: 9.5"
Stalks: 2
Branching: 1
Buds: 3
Increases: 2
Pros: It is a pretty delicate looking flower. It has two bloom stalks,
Cons: It was very slow to open and the bloom did not have much staying power and faded quickly.  Also It bloomed way below the foliage and you had to go looking for the flower.
Keeping: no

This is not an uncommon pattern to have on an iris and it is one that I have never been wowed by.  I do have a couple of TB iris with this pattern in my garden such as Queen Dorthy and Ink Patterns.


Cross: Slovak Prince x Autumn Breeze
Height: 21"
Branches: 1
Buds: 4
Increases: 3
Stalks: 1
Pros: Stands out in the garden, nice contract of fall color and beard, and a big bloom.
Cons: It is short and is about even with the foliage.  I do not like the shape of the falls on this iris and would be much happier if they were broader and did not droop as much.  Also, the bloom might fade faster than I like and I need to watch it and see what happens.
Keeping: Yes.  I think it has potential.


Cross: Beautiful Vision x Unknown
Height: 36"
Branches: 1
Buds: 5
Increases: 2
Stalks: 2
Pros: It was a bit windy today and this very tall iris was able to keep standing.  it is very tall and above almost everything else in the garden so it really stand out.  Also, the color is bright and it is a big flower
Cons:  The form of this iris is not good.  It has no ruffles or lace, the falls are droopy, and it is an older shape.  
Keeping: Maybe just because my husband likes it.  Not sure what I will cross it with.


Cross: Slovak Prince X Autumn Breeze
Height: 26"
Branches: 2
Buds: 7
Increases: 2
Stalks: 1
Pros: I like a lot of things about this iris.  The shape of the boom is good, it is above the foliage, I like the contrast of the falls and the beards, it is above the foliage, has good branching much like it's parent Autumn Breeze, I really like the watercolor wash of blue on the falls.  
Cons:  I wish it had more increases and that it was a little bit taller.  
Keeping: Yes

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Two Seedlings

Both the seedlings today are once again from the Gnu Rayz x Doe Z Doe cross.  Hopefully another cross will start blooming tomorrow.


Increases: 3
Branching: 0
Buds: 3
Pros: Very delicate looking and stands out in the garden being almost white.  I like the very faint blue veining.
Cons: Very delicate!  It does not have good substance and has thin petals and the flower does not have much longevity and is already starting to fade on a cool day.  Also, low bud count and no branching.
Keeping: no


Increases: 4 with 2 bloom stalks
Branching: 1
Buds: 4
Pros: Good grower.  I like the veining on the falls.  The color and pattern really remind me of one of it's parents Gnu Rayz.  
Cons: I would like it more if the falls were broader.  It just does not impress me that much as a flower.
Keeping: maybe...still thinking about it and will wait and see how I feel about it in the morning and maybe get a second option.

Monday, May 16, 2016



Another iris from the Gnu Rayz x Doe Z Doe cross bloomed today.  it is yellow and not much else.  There is a second bloom stalk for this same iris behind the one in bloom.

Height: 13"
Branching: 1
Bud count: 4
Increases: 3
Pros: It is not ugly.
Cons: It is not great either.  The flower is ok but not too pretty, unique, or great grower.
Keeping: Nope

Upcoming Blooms

There are a LOT of bloom stalks coming up!  Remember my one seedling bed with four rows?  This one...

Well, the row of seedlings on the far left side are all from multiple seed pods from crossing Slovak Prince x Autumn Breeze in 2013.  They should be getting ready to bloom soon.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

First Blooms

First seedlings bloomed today.  This cross is the only one that I have of flowers that are shorter than tall  bearded (over 27.5" tall").  The cross is Gnu Rayz X Doe Z Doe both of which are intermediate iris (16" -27.5" in height).  I have given this cross the code number of 2013-02 which is the year it was hybridized and it was the 2nd one that sprouted in my fridge and got planted.  The next number to the right will be the number of the flower such as 2013-02-01.  I probably should work out a better numbering system some time or just take the 20 off the beginning to shorten it.  But this works for now.


Height: 14"
Branching: Yes it has good branching
Bud count: 6
Increases: 6
Pros: It has good branching, bud count, and increases.
Cons: It blooms below the foliage and the purple is a bit of a muddy color and not to bright.
Keeping: Probably
Future plans:  I do not have too much blooming right now to cross it with.  Hopefully Gesundheit will bloom soon and I will cross it with that.  I really like the form of Gesundheit and it might bring more yellow to the flower.


Height: 9"
Branching: None
Bud count: 2
Increases: 3
Pros: It is an okay bloom.
Cons: It blooms far below the foliage, has a low bud count, and no branching.  Also, I think that the color of the beards is ugly.
Keeping: No

Friday, May 13, 2016

Freezing Cold!

Otherwise known as the neighbors must think I am nuts.  It is to dip below freezing tonight so my seedling bed has been invaded by sock puppets.  I was just out there with my camping lantern putting tube socks on my flowers.  Thanks to my husband for the sock donation.  I did not cover all of the bloom stalks but did get the ones that were sticking up the tallest.  The bucket is covering the one that will probably bloom tomorrow.  Hopefully it does not get too cold!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hello and Welcome

Hello and welcome to my new blog.  This blog is primary  going to be about my adventure in learning how to hybridize iris flowers.  expect a lot of pictures of the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I also hope to explain my decisions as to why have crossed what I have crossed and decide to keep in the end.  Some times I cross flowers because they are pretty and/or blooming at the same time.  Other times I have more a of a reason behind it.  

I started hybridizing iris in 2012 and have planted a lot of seedlings since then.  Oddly enough I tend to have a bumper crop of seedlings every other year with the big years so far being 2013 and 2015.  Not sure why this is.  This means that A lot of my 2013 seedlings will be blooming for the very first time this year and I am quite excited about this.  Almost all of my hybridizing is done with tall bearded iris.  I do have a couple of intermediate and standard dwarf iris seedlings but they are few.  

A little bit about my gardens...  I have about 300 varieties of iris planted around my house and use mainly these iris for hybridizing.  Occasionally I will get bloom stalks from friends in the area to use the pollen from.  I live in Minnesota so the winters are cold here.  This means that I start my iris seeds indoors, sprout them in my fridge, and usually plant them when they sprout in November or December.  Once planted they sit in a sunny window until about Mother's Day when I plant them outdoors.  I live on a city lot.  This means there is not much room.  Lucky for me I have friends who live out in the country and have room for me to plant at their place.  About half of my seedlings are at my house and the other half are about 45 minutes away.  

A little bit about myself... I am not a professional gardner and this is my hobby.  I am the Vice President of the Iris Society of Minnesota and a Judge for the American Iris Society.  I have started going to the annual American Iris Society National Convention with last year being my first year attending.  I do not have an educational background in biology or anything to do with plants so I am learning/making this up this as I go.  This blog is me documenting my learning, success, and failures.  Hopefully eventually I will get to introduce some great iris to the world.  

Below are pictures of my seedlings.  The more established seedling bed are my 2015, 2013, and 2014 seedlings.  The new 2015 seedlings were planted last weekend at a friends house.  I should start having seedlings bloom this week.  Exciting times!