Monday, September 10, 2018

Our Future Iris Hybridizers

by Ginny Spoon

Who will carry our iris hybridizing program into the future? One way we can insure new varieties of irises in the years ahead is to nurture our young members of the American Iris Society and teach them how to hybridize.  As a retired professor, Don still enjoys teaching, and he finds time to teach anyone who wants to learn to hybridize an iris along with a genetics lesson as well.

Don Spoon (left) teaching Ray Jones to hybridize in May of 2007.  Photo by - Ginny Spoon

'Kaw' (Ray Jones 2014) Photo by - Ginny Spoon

As you can see, that lesson was well taken. Teaching them to make careful records of their crosses, how to mark the cross and how and when to plant the seeds is also important.

From the left: Don Spoon, Ramon Jones and Mac Shawe. Photo by - Ginny Spoon

Ray and Mac may not be our youngest members, but they inspire others with their enthusiasm to learn.

Kristen Lang with her mother. Photo by - Ginny Spoon

Kristen Laing, who is now 19 years old, became our youngest garden judge in Region 4 at age 12. She also does some hybridizing. 

 Colin Campbell first learning to hybridize in 2012. Photo by - Ginny Spoon

Colin became and AIS judge at age 15 and he has been teaching other youth members how to hybridize. He has also registered and introduced his first irises at age 19. Anyone who has met Colin knows how enthusiastic he is about irises. 

Colin's first introduction, 'My Missus Carter' 2018. Photo by - Colin Campbell

No, the fairies don't make crosses, but sometimes an insect can pollinate it. These young people inspire us.  Photo of Winterberry Gardens with our local dance troupe. Photo by - Ginny Spoon

Ross Eagles (left) and Don Spoon enjoying the irises in the rain. Photo - by Ginny Spoon 

Ross Eagles came with his family to visit us one day and caught the iris virus. Don taught him a few things about hybridizing and now Ross has his first seedlings. One of them garnered an EC and Best Seedling at the spring show in Fredericksburg, VA.

Here is the iris that was Ross' Best seedling and EC winner. Photo - by Ross Eagles

Our youth members at work. Photo by - Ginny Spoon

No matter what your skill, be sure to teach our young people what you know. They can't learn everything on the internet and our world will be all the poorer without the skills being passed along.

No comments:

Post a Comment