Last week I went along with my partner 'in crime' Ali to meet Gary Middleton a fairly local, Iris hybridizer. We have heard lots of people talk about him, his name pops up on new Irises on a regular basis and as he lives all but down the road it seemed sensible to go and say hello at least.
He has been breeding Iris for about 109 years and has a wonderful selection of interesting plants. 4 were re-blooming on the day we met and we were amaze to find the 4, all pretty different - 1 pink, 1 yellow, 1 paprika and one a bit of each - were from the same seed pod!
He, like many in the Iris community, was generous with his knowledge and sharing so much info on the hows and why's not only of breeding but of registering and then getting plants into mainstream selling.
I am much more excited about the few seedlings I popped in last year no and can't wait for this years batch, about 6 trays, to be coming on. I may even try some hybridising myself next year though suspect some serious reading might be in order first.
We came away with a special treat of a newly named variety that is yet to be distributed, and it IS beautiful.