But our hybridizer resists the siren song and marches steadily toward the location of The Plan's cross No. 1, which is . . . where? There's no bloom. There's no bloomstalk! The damned thing isn't going to bloom! Aaargh! Cross No.1 and several others that were to be made with the same cultivar go off the list. But our hybridizer has a backup -- Plan B. Elsewhere in the garden is a parent of the slacker, also an Award of Merit winner and possessing essentially the same qualities as its progeny. Though not the ideal, it will do as a substitute.
"Cross me, cross me!", the flowers sing seductively as he passes among them, but he ignores their plaints and forges resolutely ahead to the location of the parent.
I need not inflict on the reader the hybridizer's reaction on finding that the parent isn't blooming either.
Two Award of Merit winners, parent and offspring, long established in the garden, fed and cared for as all the others,yet not blooming, while the rest of the garden blossoms merrily along. It bolsters my suspicion that there is a genetic code in irises, of which we are ignorant, that governs bloom, germination and maybe other aspects of their growth regardless of weather and general growing conditions.
Despite the failure of Plans A and B, the rest of the list goes well, providing opportunity to appreciate the maturing of various seedlings and even start some new lines. In fact, just as the hybridizer was singing the blues about the missing prime crosses, which were in the red spectrum, his attention was drawn not to just one, but to several newly maturing blues and blue/blacks.
This is 05B11, (Titan's Glory, Holy Night, Sweeter Than Wine) X Ranks of Blue. It has taken a while to mature, but is ready to go.
Next is 072022 (Stealth Fighter X Ranks of Blue), also ready,
And a passel of their relatives slated for further breeding, including sibling 072O21,
072O19, also a sibling,
and several of their sisters and their cousins and their aunts, including 962N1,
which would be a bit of "back to the future" engineering, but wouldn't it be nice to have a reblooming "black" amoena?
To further relieve his frustration at the demise of Plan A, the visiting president of another AIS chapter points out a seedling to which the hybridizer hasn't paid enough attention. It's 064C10 ((Margarita x Momauguin) x Best Bet) X Ranks of Blue, on the purple side of blue and smelling like a chocolate factory!
Now for the hard part -- finding a name!
And even though he thinks a genetic code is responsible for prime targets A and B not blooming, our hybridizer is going to move them, just in case.
-- Griff Crump