Iris Country Garden
Sara and Reba Martin
2202 Austin Road
Geneva, New York 14456-9118

Dana Borglum Wins Randolpf-Perry Award for 'Ally Oops'
by Dana Borglum

The American Iris Society by popular vote of its qualified garden judges awards the hybridizer of the most outstanding Species Cross Iris with the Randolph-Perry medal. In 2010 the iris 'Ally Oops' was voted the best Species Cross amongst those eligible for the competition. The award was presented at the American Iris Society yearly Convention which was held in British Columbia, Canada in spring of 2011. Since Dana and Sylvia Borglum could not be present at that convention, Dana asked Donna Lowry of American Iris Society, Region 2 (New York State) to accept the award on his behalf. This she graciously did.

Ally Oops

It is with great gratitude that we (Dana and Sylvia) accept the award, even though the hybridizing was accomplished by our Lord's resident Bumble Bee. Therefore, we thank the good Lord for smiling on our feeble work in the garden and forever recognize that what is thought by man to not be possible, anything is possible with God. The determined parentage of 'Ally Oops' is supposedly not likely to occur, but who is going to tell that wonderful bee! 'Ally Oops' makeup has been tested and is a combination of a Siberian iris and a Pseudacorus iris. The plant loves water and grows well, but is sterile and therefore not invasive.

'Ally Oops' is a rare comb

ination of parentage - one of Dr. Currier McEwen's older Tet. Siberians x Pseudacorus. It is thought to be an unlikely cross, but God's bumble bee wasn't clued in as to that likelihood. It shows its parentage in its growth habits and bloom. Should have named it 'Gift from God', however, it was discovered in a display bed by a customer who wanted to purchase "that yellow Siberian with blue veining on the Falls with blue Standards." Never having heard of such a Siberian, I quickly checked it out and found it to be a volunteer seedling from naturally spilled seed. I transplanted it behind the barn for it to be safe and it grew like a weed.

After a few years, I sent it to the Portland AIS Convention for the three (3) years prior to convention. They had a very wet few years during which many plants did poorly, but come convention time 'Ally Oops' had grown out of sight - from the few leaves/rhizomes I had sent, it had grown to over 2' in diameter in all three gardens showing. It loved a wet condition, although, it also does very well in dryer conditions, too. Therefore, it requires frequent division or it crowds itself to stunt-hood. It is infertile, no seeds, unless we find an industrious bumble bee sometime.


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