Awarded the British Iris Society's Foster Memorial Plaque (2010) and their Hybridisers Award (2016)
Awarded the American Iris Society's Hybridiser Award (2019)
Jan 25, 2022
I was again extremely tied up in 2021 for reasons that I won't go into. As a result I wasn't able to get to work done on this website until recently. It also meant that once again, work that should have been done in the garden (as well as other projects), didn't get done. All of the "Must Do's", such as hybridizing, and seed planting did get done. COVID meant of course that I didn't get to Holland and Paris in 2021, and also won't be going in 2022...
Welcome! This website shows my work with Reticulata Iris. I have created some truly amazing new colours and patterns that were never imagined possible. A large amount of my success is as a result of plant collecting in Turkey in 1985, and in successfully collecting a diploid form of Iris danfordiae, as well as Çat ANMc2175, along with Frank Kalick kindly providing me Iris sophenensis in 1987. I didn't know it at the time, but all three are 2n=18, and hybrids between them are fertile. It turns out that Halkis, collected by Norman Stevens from the Halkis mountains in Turkey, is also 2n=18 (I originally thought it was 2n=20). Being pure species, initial crosses were very uniform. Its only in subsequent generations that things open up. The most amazing thing is, you don't know what is possible until you see the resulting creations. It would be nice if the hybrids were bigger, and if they had normal standards (an additional canvas for nature to paint), but the tendancy for small size is due to diploid danfordiae and Çat being naturally small. "Hairs" for standards are a result of danfordiae's standard being a bristle. Nothing is so perfect that it can't be improved upon. For a number of reasons I have invested in the conversion of Reticulata Iris into polyploids (e.g. tetraploids, and octoploids). Tetraploids appear to have 15-25% larger flowers, along with slightly sturdier stems and very slightly thicker petals. I've been warned that octoploid flowers can be smaller; perhaps due to slower cell division (mitosis). Ideally at the tetraploid level 2n=18 and 2n=20 Reticulatas could be crossed and remain fertile (i.e. 4n=36 x 4n=40 would give 4n=9,9,10,10 children; and these could cross with each other and remain fertile giving a new lineage). Similarly, at the tetraploid level we could have a fertile Katharine Hodgkin -- I'm not expecting a huge range of expession from Iris histrioides and winogradowii, but you won't know unless you try.
I've opened up a whole new world. Let's see where it takes us.
It takes 5 years to go from a seed to a flowering bulb. It then takes 12 years or more years to go from that one flower to 50,000 when potentially sales can start.
It's a matter of luck, understanding science, a bit of intuition,
...plus lots of patience!
- Click the link By Year, etc. here or at the lower left to see my hybrids ordered by the year they were hybridized
- Another good place to start is The Big Picture
- Try exploring the links. See the parents, and grandparents of a variety. In a number of cases you can even see a hybrid's children. For example Storm (98-NP-2)
Some Of 2021's Wonderful New Hybrids
Where to Buy (2021)
Large-scale sales of a few of my hybrids are under way. It takes over 12 years to multiply 1 bulb to 30,000. It would be nice if some of the amazing 2016 and 2017 hybrids were available now, but you have to be patient -- there was only 1 flower of each variety in the whole world in those years. In the meantime there are many amazing hybrids available now, such as Eye Catcher, Sea Breeze, White Caucasus, etc., with many more to come. In coming years you can look forward to: Holland Glory / Holland's Glorie, Lilac Beauty, Wow, It's Magic, Pièce de Résistance, and more.
Reticulatas are a welcome pick-me-up to the end of Winter / start of Spring, blooming right as the snow disappears. Even better yet, you can enjoy a small pot indoors while snow swirls around outside, reminding you of all the wonderful things that will soon be blooming outdoors.
I look forward to bring you more of my unique creations, as together, we show Dutch bulb growers as well retailers around the world, that there is a strong demand for them.
Dutch Bulb Grower:
And fine retail nuseries: Broadleigh, Pottertons, and Rare Plants
(Click photos to enlarge them)
10-AY-1 x 09-BH-1
97-BG-2 x 98-NP-2
06-BV-1 x 05-EP-4