Monday, June 7, 2021

A Trip Down Memory Lane - Part Two

 By Maggie Asplet

Gosh, it seems like only yesterday and I was writing part one.  So, on with the rambles from an old lady.

Part one had us visiting other places and not just spending all our time at Mid-America Iris Gardens.  Mind you, we didn't mind not leaving, but just so many irises to see and you can never look at them too many times.

A beautiful sunset from the paddock down the road from where Thomas & Kirk live.
(Paddock is Kiwi speak for field.)

The learning experiences, the sharing of knowledge, or perhaps I should say listening to the experts knowledge, is just so invaluable, and just shows you how "so little I know".

Something that some might thing rather trivial can be of great value to another person.  Photos do make explaining yourself to someone else so much easier.  During my last trip I took particular notice of the watering system Thomas used and what connections etc.

Watering system at Mid America

My watering system.  The fitting are much the same and I must say having the picture from my trip sure made it easier when trying to explain what I wanted.

For me, the very best part is learning from others.  Others that were always so willing to share their knowledge and experiences.  

First, I will look at the work of Lynda Miller and her work with MTB's.  They are stunning, just such a delicate bearded iris on such elegant stems.  I think it is fair to say that these are perhaps my favourite of the bearded irises.

Lynda discussing irises with Bailey (from Smokin Heights, Australia)

Here we have 3 of Lynda's seedlings

One of Lynda's registered MTB's.

A sight to behold, watching Keith Keppel evaluate his irises, then discussing with him why he makes the choices he does.  So very talented when it comes to hybridising.  Those years of experience tells him just what the outcome "may be" like, whereas I am still in the category of not knowing at all.

His iris patch, although it decreases in size each time I visit is just amazing.  If it were me having to make a choice of which seedling to keep, I think they would all be staying.

Photo on the left is Keith evaluating his seedlings
One the right you have Wendy (NZ) and Melissa (Australia) taking photos in Keith seedling patch.

I feel that to stop speaking about these different people is like not acknowledging them at all and there are still more that have had an impact on my irises and what I am trying to achieve.  I feel like there is a part 3 coming, as I would also like to just talk a little about attending the Regional meetings.

Each trip that I make, I always try and attend the Regional meeting in Oregon as there are many people there that I met in my first ever trip in 2015 when 23 New Zealanders went to Convention.  So many great friends were made.

From these friendships and from one person introducing another, we had the privilege of Patrick and Margaret Spence coming to our convention (Gisborne, New Zealand) in 2018.  Such a great time and then great to catch up with them again in the States.

While Margaret was here, she liked a top I had and wanted to know where I got it.  To cut the long story short, she now has a top the same as mine.  I had packed mine, never told Margaret - Guess what happened at the Regional Meeting.

I'm the one wearing glasses, oh we both are.  I'm the one with the cell phone in my hand.

This now leads me into the attending Regional Meetings and as this will be expanded quite a bit, I think this will be a good place to end.

SO, Part 3 it will be, covering some of the other amazing people and the Regional Meeting.

It is my great hope that 2022 will see the return of us from down under.

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