Monday, September 21, 2020

Spring is in the air in New Zealand

by Maggie Asplet

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly it comes around to my turn to write.  Just about got caught short when I suddenly remembered I need this for Monday morning. Just as well we are a day ahead of my American friends.

I must say, it has been a very troubling time for us here in New Zealand, worrying about our friends and the horrific fires you have had in some areas.  Thank goodness for being above to make phone call to check you are all OK.

I certainly hope that the fires are more under control now than they were a week ago.

As you now head towards you colder month, we are moving through Spring and towards our Summer.  Yay.

My excitement is building as this will be the first flowering of my seedlings.  This is from crosses I did mainly at Thomas Johnsons, Mid America Iris Garden in 2018.  Sadly, all the seed that Thomas sent from 2019 was destroyed by our MPI people, an error they said, so I will not have any from that work, and with COVID19 who knows when I can return.


Seedlings are putting on good growth, just in the process of putting out the watering system now.  It is starting to get very dry and our overhead water had iron in it and marks the plants badly.

These first few sets of images I will show you are Standard Dwarf Bearded (SDB's) irises, that have been successful, and I am now waiting with baited breath for the outcome.  I will post images of the outcomes in the next article for you all to see how well (or not so well) I did.

Alaia by Thomas Johnson'18

Kerpow by Thomas Johnson '18

From this cross I had only 1 seed from 22 germinate but I'm very happy to say it is growing well and hopefully will be flowering soon.

My second successful cross with the SDB's was Slightly Tipsy X Kerpow.  This cross I have done both ways and was successful with both.  It will be interesting to see the differences with the new cultivars.

Slightly Tipsy by Paul Black '18

It is fair to say, that I did many crosses that did not set any seed at all, which is probably just as well, as it would have been a daunting task planting more than what I had.

Another successful cross has been Color X Kerpow.  Interesting to note there were 71 seeds but only 2 germinated.  Two is just fine by me.

Color by Paul Black '18

I would like to point out that I spell colour differently, and have to think twice when I type the name of this cultivar.  I automatically want to correct it.  Sorry Paul.

The next successful SDB cross was Love Spell X Peppito.  58 seeds arrived and 13 germinated.
Love Spell by Paul Black '10

Peppito by Paul Black '16

Another cross using Peppito was with Stylish Miss.  This was done both ways but with success only in the Stylish Miss X Peppito.  Not a lot of seed, just 12 and 7 germinated.

Stylish Miss by Thomas Johnson '17

I then crossed Stylish Miss with Lovable Pink, again a very successful cross producing 64 seeds of which 45 germinated.  So one would hope there is something great from all of those.

Lovable Pink by Paul Black '13

The last of the SDB's that I will showcase now is a cross between Carrot Flash X Eye of the Tiger.  26 seeds, 13 germinated.

Carrot Flash by Paul Black '17

Eye of the Tiger by Paul Black '08

So, if I don't have anything of much interest from these, then I will be very surprised.  By the time comes for me to write again, hopefully it will be to show you the outcome of some of these crosses.

A very big thank you to both Thomas Johnson and Paul Black for allowing me to annoy them so much and so look forward to when it is possible to return.  I so miss seeing all my 
American friends.

Please take care at such uncertain times, stay well and stay safe.

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