HERITAGE IRISES YEAR IN REVIEW 2011
The bloom season for me in 2011 was erratic and many New Zealand growers reported a bloom season that came late by 2 weeks. At home, not only was it late, it all came at the same time for the Standard Dwarf Bearded and Intermediates, Dutch and English Irises and early flowering Tall Bearded. Then the strong Nor-westerly winds of up to 140 kph wasted the iris bloom several times during the season, and about half the Irises did not bloom at all, so all and all a disappointing bloom season.
'Heritage Irises' measured success and the many Google #1 page ranks it has received for subject matter has been achieved without links from Iris Societies web sites making visitor numbers accurate and avoiding 'Iris Churn' also Google does not track my own page views. Referring sites are almost all search engines.
The Internet is not the "be-all-and-end-all", nor is it going to be, it's a telephone party line, a broadcasting medium, an Archive, a Library, a Botanical Garden, a Public Park and the Garden Centre. Sure, it puts a digital spin on each of those things, but it's fundamentally the same, not fundamentally different. I don't have, facebook, twotter, squidly or any other of the try hard so called 'social media' bunk, if you want social networking, go to a cocktail party, a community barbecue, a street party, or try and overthrow a government.
My awards this year are somewhat like the 2011 European Economy, on negative watch sprinkled with a small amount of positive.
Time for the Awards
BEST IRIS PUBLICATION, Bulletin or Journal for 2011 (That I receive, and I receive a few) goes to 'Tall Talk,' for its 'Content', 'Content' and wait for it,'Content'. Its a great read. Now I do not want to encourage another deluge of emails on this subject but, 'Just how is it that there seems to be more content in some Commercial Growers Catalogue's than in some Official Iris Societies Bulletins???'
MY 'I DONT THINK SO AWARD' for 2011 was a copy of a report sent to me regarding a Iris Website which included the following point of interest, "If the society were to pay for a site like this it would be spending between $5,000.00- $10,000.00". Now having visited the said Web Site I cannot see where one thousand dollars could have possibly been spent on it let alone ten times the quoted value. Web Sites are so Static and when will some web-masters get to understand that unless its new and informative and current, visitor numbers will just fade away.
THE 'LETS COMPLAIN SOME MORE AWARD' goes to a editorial comment which is a bit of an old chestnut actually, and no doubt you have heard it before. It goes something like this, "send more information and photos after all this is your bulletin blah blah blah." I always smile when I read these articles and you may hear me mumble "What's the big deal??? Write a Blog you have to do it all yourself !!!"
THE IRIS LIKEJACKING AWARD for Tricking users of a social media site, especially on Facebook, activated by clicking a “like,” “fave” or “thumbs up” button goes to the AIS Facebook Page. To view the American Iris Society Facebook pages the Welcome page message currently reads "The American Iris Society. Please click, "Like," above, to get started, then go to the Wall tab to browse around. Thank you for visiting."
Just how do you know you are going to like it?? you haven't seen anything yet !!!!! They count these 'likes' as members!! Gives the facebook page a 'Please like me I'm really desperate' look.(Almost got my 'Worst of the Worst' award as well)
WORST OF THE WORST AWARD, goes to selling Irises on the internet for a 'Trade Me' listing of a common garden Iris Pallida hybrid listed as "One (1) Rare Spring Flower Lilac Blue Bearded Iris" I mean what is rare about it?? not sure if it is just a selling point or the seller needs to get out more often or just lives in a plain old fantasy world. The majority of Iris listings on Trade Me are most likely to be genuine but sellers who use photos that are not theirs to use (Its Called Theft) always makes me think that maybe the iris they are selling is not what they say it is, and after all the purchaser is going to have to wait until next bloom season to see if they are genuine or not, why take the risk!!! It never ceases to amaze me the amount of coin some people spend purchasing Irises on 'Trade Me' when they could buy the same Iris for many dollars less from a Commercial Grower and in most cases get a better rhizome with a guaranteed name.
MY 'RECOVERING LUDDITE FOR 2011' would have to go to a Publicity Chair who recently labelled members without a computer as "Internet Challenged" and insulting the members who made observations regarding the error of his ways by informing them that "complaining is their art form not producing results".
Reading the latest NZ iris clubs 2011 booklet, (I do this so that you don't have to.) the club has lost its editor and does not have a replacement, so potentially there will be no publication, and will anyone be sure if the membership will notice.
While we are on the subject of the NZ iris club I received anonymously in the mail a few days ago a complete set of the last seven years of NZ iris club booklets. My first thought was that I could wrap them up for the office Secret Santa, but that just seemed a bit cruel for the potential recipient. It took me awhile, but I figured that they where sent to me as a sort of 'Chain Booklet' so I added the years 2001 to 2002 to the parcel and sent them on to someone I am sure firmly believes that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden and so its quite possible that he might try and see some merit in the parcels contents, but I'm not holding my breath.
Anyway Merry Christmas to all of you, and thanks for your visits to the blog, for your understanding when I have my rants and raves, thanks to the comment makers, also to those who don't comment but often visit to read, Thanks to the Worlds Iris Hybridisers both past and present for whom I have the utmost respect,to the contributors of Photos, and also to the International readers and contributors.
All the Very best for 2012 and may your New Year be full of family, Irises, laughter and love.
See you later and thanks for 2011.