Winners of Ackerman Contest Announced

Winners for the 2017 Ackerman Contest are:

For the Junior Division (ages 12 and under): Sabrina Anderson
For the Senior Division (ages 13 and above): Jake Solms

Topic Was: My First Iris Introduction

Sabrina Anderson's (Age 8) submission was:

"My First Hybridized Iris"

"Hi, my name is Sabrina.  Today, I am going to tell you about a tall bearded iris tath I hybridized call "Cherry Crystal."  It grows to height of 32 inches and the mom's name is "Angel Princess" and the dad's name is "Mr. Merlot Man."  The mom (pod parent) is a white self with a yellow beard tipped white at the ends.  It has nice ruffles on the falls.  Lastly, the mom has diamond dust covering the standards and falls.  The dad has a maroon colored falls with tangerine-orange beard and standards are the color of red wine.  The falls are white and cherry plicata.

I chose the name "Cherry Crystal" for my fist iris introduction because it has a cherry color like bing cherries.  The crystal is for the diamond dust it has on its falls that came its mom.  The beard is a yellow "ombre," tones, which is a French term meaning "shaded," or being mutilcolored going from a dark to light tones.

My friend, Bella called me on the phone and wanted to know more about "Cherry Crystal."  "What kind of iris is Cherry Crystal?" Bella asked.  I replied, "It is a tall bearded."  Then Bella asked, "What color is it?"  I said the iris is a bicolored iris.  Then Bella asked, "What colors are in your iris?"  I answered, "It is a cherry-maroon on the falls and white on the standards." The she asked, "Does it have diamond dust like its mom?"  I replied, "Yes, Cherry Crystal does!"  Then she asked, "What color are the beards?"  I stated its beard is a dark orange and with yellow at the tips.  I also told Bella that it is a vigorous grower and it has good branching with seven to eight buds per stalk.  Bella then asked, "What are the standards like?"  I said that the standards were "pure" white with a gold wire rim!  It has purple base on each stalk which puts it in the the AIS Novelty Iris category.

I have enjoyed growing my introduction for the past two years at my house in Reno, Nevado and in my grandpa's garden in Coarsegold, California.  I planted the seed in early December.  I used small 4 inch pots and good potting soil.  I kept it watered every three days.  I  did not have to water it if it snowed or rained on it.  I was told by my grandpa to keep the soil moist until the leave spouts up in early spring.  I kept the small pot in full sun. When the iris was one year old I transplanted it into my garden.  I fertilized my seedling in February, May and in September with a 6-10-10 fertilizer made especially for irises.  After being registered, I want to sell it for $45 each.  I hope people will like my "Cherry Crystal" as much as I do!

Jake Solms's submission was:

My iris introduction is a cross between 'Temporal Anomaly' and 'Cosmic Celebration' and is called 'Maze of Meadows'.  It is a tricolor plicata with a bronze with a bronze beard.  The falls are cotton what wtih caramel brown veining in the middle, dark purple dotting on the rest of the petal and golden brown edges.  The standards are bright yellow with white veining.

'Maze of Meadows' is a resistant iris with great form and excellent ruffling and it grows well in different climates.  As the daughter of two great irises, 'Maze of Meadows' can grow to a height of thirty eight inches and can get a bud count of eight to nine.  It also stays in bloom for a period of four weeks.

'Maze of Meadows' obtained the glorious purple dotting and golden brown edges on the falls with yellow standards from its mother, 'Temporal Anomaly', and beatiful white plicata center and dark purple falls with white standards from its father, 'Cosmic Celebration'.  The bright bronze beard comes from the mix of 'Temporal Anomaly's' yellowish brown beard and 'Cosmic Celebration's' bright orange beard.  'Maze of Meadows' is a disease resistant iris and it is harder for the roots to become rotten by bacteria or great quantities of water.  It has strong leaves and stem tath can support hard weather conditions like droughts and floods.

'Maze of Meadows' does not bloom all at once.  Each bud will bloom at different times in a long period of four weeks, so it will last long enough for you to appreciate its beautiful blooms in your garden.  Its unique color patterns and style will help "highlight" your garden.  It is also pretty resistant to being touched, which refers to someone accidentally touching the petals of the iris and creating a spot.  This is a very helpful feature for iris shows, and it also helps with water drops falling on the petals and damaging it.  This unique feature may also give your flower smoother petals.

'Maze of Meadows' can grow in a range of zone 3 to zone 9.  This means that the iris can survive low temperatures of negative forty degrees to twenty five degrees Fahrenheit, negative forty degrees being zone 3 and twenty five degrees being zone 9.  It grows very well on the tundra, subtropical, and semiarid climates.  It can also resist arid and mild climates.

'Maze of Meadows' is avaiable at or at the Stout Gardens at Dancingtree catalog.  The price of this iris is fifty dollars.

In conclusion, 'Maze of Meadows' is a beautiful and unique iris that will make your garden "come alive" with its majestic color patterns.  It is a disease resistant plant that will make it easy for growers from different parts of the country to grow it without difficulties.  It is a iris that got the best from its parents like the perfect ruffling, majestic colors, and strong growth, also some included features like the petals water drop and touch strength and the resistant growth on may different climates.  You can buy this great iris at Stout Gardens at Dancingtree at a price of fifty dollars.