We have had a collection of beautiful little Miniature Tall Bearded Iris for about 2.5 years now and this year we are doing so hybridising, just for fun to see what we can cross and create, if anything. We have some unknown hybrids from last year that have bloomed, but they are temperamental things and from 3 pods of about 6 seeds each only 4 have survived. They will take about 4 years to bloom and then they may be the ugliest thing we’ve ever seen, who knows! We are expecting surprises.
The deliberate hybridising has been done initially with Frosted Velvet and Ace
My partner in crime with the Plant collection has studied hybridising as part of an RHS Diploma, I am simply following instructions but inputting ideas for crosses which is fun, to think of the plants in a different way, their pros and cons and what might emerge from certain blends. One can see where some of the other varieties have come from and the need to have the species becomes more focussed!
Once the cross is made it is bagged to stop insects contaminating it all, though this is not exactly a wholly static cleansed environment….as I said we’re expecting surprises!
Many more budding flowers have been identified for sampling and crossing, whether they actually get done is another matter as this is one of the busiest times in the year. At least 4 crosses have been done and we now realise how much passion and determination it takes to breed new plant varieties, PBR’s may, IMHO, have a place!