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Hi, Peg; until about eight years ago, I didn't know anything about hybridizing irises--in fact, I simply hadn't realised how all the new ones that come out in catalogs every year come into existence. I have always loved irises, but just had never thought about how new ones are created.

What happened was that I had gone to buy a few new varieties at a specialist horticultural place in central France (Cayeux) and, while I was there, saw a man walking around poking at different flowers with parts of other flowers and asked him what he was doing. He patiently explained that what he was doing was hybridizing and told me that anyone can have a go at it and showed me how to go about fertilising a flower.

I am now into my fifth year of hybridizing and enjoyed the second major bloom of my new plants this year (takes three years from the time you fertilise the flower till you see the results of all your hard work). Believe me, there's a big thrill in seeing a unique new iris flower for the first time!



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