Friday, July 13, 2012

The Late Summer divide

It's been vile weather for Iris this year here in Blighty (what an appropriate horticultural nick name for this year!) mild with drought, drought, drought all winter followed by cool, rain, rain, rain in spring and then positively cold with yet MORE rain through summer and it is STILL raining.

Needless to say we have been challenged with leaf spot, even after spraying twice it was rife. It's not like they crammed in together either, leaf by jowl so to speak, as it's their first year after transplant so pretty generously spaced. But it's not plant threatening, just ugly.

A byproduct of all this rain is prolific weed growth. A normal year would see weeding tailing off after May as the heat burns off the annuals and the perennial weeds have been hand weeded out in the main but not this year. I am still weeding at least twice a week which is a big drag!

Of course the iris are shooting up big fat glaucus fans in response to all the water, none has succumbed to rhizome rot as yet but I am expecting bad things in the winter if the wet continues.

On that jolly note (!) I have begun to acquire more plants in different classes, Standard Dwarf Bearded in the main but some Intermediates and Borders are creeping in as well as more Tall Beardeds. More to bread with is my story and I am sticking to it ;)

Hybridising this year has had mixed results, many more have failed than taken, the early season crosses took much better and I hope to have about 5 pods (crosses) to work with through the winter.

I am in desperate need of an organising and recording strategy so that I can simply plant out seeds/seedlings and record without having to rethink numbering, positioning every time. Any hybridisers out there who have a simple but effective system please PLEASE get in touch!

A month or so ago I filed inappropriately i.e. 'lost' my book recording all the crosses and behaviours of the iris. I was slightly frantic by week 3 of the loss, realising it really wasn't going to 'turn up', not to mention the scraps of tatty paper with scribbled iris notes on, now needing a permanent home. The day I began a new note book, having resigned myself to the loss, I found it, well the dog found it actually. She was chasing a biscuit into a re-useable hessian bag with nothing in it.....except my bright pink iris ledger ...GOOD DOG!


  1. Great blog and photos! What a great idea to keep a book of recordings. I am new to gardening so maybe it is more popular than I thought. Do you just write in it or do you add pictures of progress? Thanks.

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  2. Hi Beth, thanks for the nice comments, always good to know someone likes the blog!
    The Iris book is really because as a collection holder I am required to keep records but that said I have found it very useful to go back to. For the garden and general growing I have gotten into the habit of using a diary - I usually by a page a day one in the sales when they're cheap as chips :) - then in there I write on the actual day that something happens or is done. I'm going to write a blog post about the book thing and record keeping because there's quite a bit to share.


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