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Hybridizers Edward(1889-1963) and Arthur John(1893-1974) Watkins

Concord, New Hampshire, USA

From The Bulletin of the American Iris Society No. 214(July 1974): On February 8, 1974, we were deeply saddened by the loss of one of our most beloved members, Art Watkins of Concord, New Hampshire. Art was a long time member of the American Iris Society. He became interested in iris while helping his brother, Ed, in the garden. During the latter part of Ed's life when he was unable to carryon the necessary work, Art would carry out his brother's hybridizing and garden plans. Art established the famous Watkins Iris Garden atop Fiske Hill in Concord, which annually drew thousands of visitors from near and far, who came to enjoy the iris beauty and panoramic vistas. Amidst all of this, one could always find Art, his bright blue eyes flashing, explaining proper iris culture or telling a tale of local New England color to a group of enthralled garden visitors.

After Ed's death in 1963, Art continued the hybridizing. His efforts included two tall bearded iris, "BROTHER ED" and "ED WATKINS," affectionately named for his brother. Art's other iris creations included "OLIVES PRIDE", named for his wife; "BARBARA BURT," named for Mrs. Frederick Burt, his daughter; and "ANNE MICHELLE," a pink named for his young great-granddaughter who was such a pleasure to him. Other introductions included "MISS FAIRFAX," "LAND OF PROMISE," and several others.

Edward Watkins was given the American Iris Society Hybridizer Award in 1957.


Tall Bearded: 'Adele Stearns', 'Anne Michelle', 'Barbara Burt' 1963, 'Barbara Hilliard' 1963, 'Barbara Ruth', 'Berna Derby' 1959, 'Beth Corey' 1957, 'Brother Ed', 'Charles Fowler' 1959, 'Chimes of St. Paul's', 'Christopher Robin' 1961, 'Corsage', 'Donna Marie' 1958, 'Dorothy Leavitt', 'Ed Watkins', 'Edna Patterson', 'Eff's Pride', 'Eleanor's Pride' 1956, 'Eva's Pride', 'General Mark W. Clark' 1962, 'George Fowler' 1964, 'Harry's Pride', 'Helen Chaplin', 'Inverness' 1957, 'James Eddy', 'Jean Boyd Fittz' 1961, 'Jennifer Hilliard', 'John Leslie', 'John Stearns', 'Katherine J. McLain' 1963, 'Land of Promise', 'Laurie Blakeney' 1957, 'Leola Fraim' 1963, 'Light of Perth', 'London Town' 1961, 'Major Eff' 1955, 'Mary Mason', 'Maureen's Pride', 'Melissa Catherine', 'Millie Glover', 'Miss Christine', 'Miss Fairfax', 'Mount Repose' 1964, 'Nettie White', 'Olive's Pride', 'P. J. Ritzman', 'Pearl Velvet', 'Pleasant View', 'Proliferation's Pride', 'Ruth C. Sundeen', 'Ruth Merry', 'Sarah Ashcroft' 1964, 'Sarah Fowler' 1958, 'Shadrach', 'Taryn Gail', 'Teacher's Pride', 'Tempie Dahlgren', 'Triumvirate' 1957, 'Vangie's Pride', 'Winifred's Pride', 'Wyland Leadbetter'.
Topic revision: r10 - 25 Mar 2020, DavidPotembski
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