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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year ending July 1, 1921
Vol. LI (1921)

Kenning, T. A.
The peony and the iris,   pp. 169-180 PDF (3.0 MB)

Page 169

T. A. KENNING, Minneapolis, Minn.
(At Summer. Meeting, Racine, August, 1920.)
(From Reporter's Transcript.)
Usually when a man or woman starts to grow flowers, they
want to grow all the kinds of flowers that they see between the
covers of seed catalogues. Each one seems more lovely than
the other, and the catalogues present them so attractively that
they want them all. They try a good many of them, and they
find that some are not adapted to their particular locality; that
some are rather finicky, and need especial care; some are not
hardy, and some grow like weeds and look like weeds On the
other hand, they find that some are adapted to any locality, and
respond handsomely to whatever attention is given them. Now,
such flowers are the peony and the iris.
When a man or woman gets bitten by the peony or iris
bug, so to speak, they want to talk to somebody else about
it, and they want to learn more about it themselves, and they want
to get a good collection of peonies and irises, and they want
other people to grow them. So they hunt up other enthusiasts,
and then they decide that the best way to disseminate the knowl-
edge of and love for their particular flower, is through an or-
ganization. Thus it was that four or five men gathered together
in Minneapolis about five years ago this last June, and organized
the Northwestern Peony and Iris Society. There was an Amer-
ican Peony Society, but they held their exhibitions in the east,
and it was hard for the growers and enthusiasts of the northwest
to exhibit in competition with those- who were nearer at hand.
Among those men who organized this society were the late Rev.
C. S. Harrison, C. J. Traxler, of Minneapolis, A. M. Brand,
of Faribault, and W. F. Christman.
It is a curious but sad fact that two of those men subsequently
became blind. Rev. Harrison before he died became blind, and
one of the last things that his gaze rested upon was one of
Brand's peonies, I think it was the Mary Brand; a very fine,

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