After growing Siberian Iris for a few years I decided to breed my own seedlings. I believe plant breeding is the penultimate endeavor for gardeners.
I set goals when I began my Siberian Iris breeding program.
Taller cultivars above 48”
Small cultivars between 8” and 18”
Silver or grey cultivars
Lite blue cultivars
With these breeding goals I set more; read everything I could in regard to breeding strategies, Siberian Iris culture and genetics. I purchased the SI cumulative check list which lists all registered Siberians with descriptive information including parents. I found a wealth of information in The Siberian Iris, magazine of the Society of Siberian Iris, The World of Irises, published by AIS and Dr. Currier McEwen’s book The Siberian Iris.
In the spring I made crosses, prepared with knowledge, I set about acquiring practical experience. I practiced my techniques and opened my checkbook to purchase plants to fit my strategy. I also studied to become an American Iris Society Garden Judge, to hone my critical eye.
I have now been breeding for over a decade, my efforts have been uneven as my life has had considerable issues, such as nearly dying five years ago. I still make yearly crosses and I have enjoyed triumphs and failures. Each spring I see new children I now share with my bride; it’s wonderful to create something new!
First efforts, big flouncy light blues, big flowers, tall plant
|Another with darker blue shoulders, over 48" tall|
|SummerChase Advent, First intro/registration|
|Stopped with bicolored falls|
|Nothing exceptional with large yellows|
|Dwarf Siberians are on! Light blue, large flowers, 10" tall|
|Another dwarf light blue, smaller delicate flowers, doesn't it look like a Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris!|