MIS Logo
Median Iris Society
Bennett C. Jones Award
2020 Recipient: Donald Spoon

The 2020 Bennett C. Jones Award for Outstanding Median Hybridizing went to Donald Spoon of Virginia.

Don’s accomplishments over the years are too many to count, and most have been done quietly and without fanfare. To date, Don has more than 130 median introductions — 28 BBs, 8 IBs, 1 MTB (“Maslon,” which won the Williamson-White medal), and more than 90 SDBs, not to mention 14 MDBs. Granted, this is not quite as many as his tall bearded introductions, but this ratio is a testament to Don's focus, not just on a single class of iris, but on the entire spectrum of median irises.

Of Don's SDB introductions, several are reliable rebloomers, including “Teagan,” “Rosalie Loving,” “Jack Loving,” “Moss Spot,” “Senorita Frog,” “Wedgewood Blue,” and “Winter Embrace,” to name a few. “Teagan” not only provides rebloom, but also maintains healthy clumps that bloom for weeks on end. It also has true turquoise coloring and blooms nearly as long in the Fall as it does in the Spring.

Don's biggest ambition has been to teach. To help in that, he writes. Some of his articles include: “Colorful Median Rebloomers” for the Spring 2006 issue of The Medianite, “Reliable, Cool Climate, Dwarf Bearded Rebloomers” in the Spring 2013 edition of The Reblooming Iris Recorder, and “My MDB Rebloomer, Trimmed Velvet” in the Dwarf Iris Society’s Newsletter in the Fall of 2013.

Don never turns away from a chance to teach. Providing hybridizing clinics for youth members and opening up Winterberry Gardens for their use, he teaches these children, our future, not only how to hybridize but how to select and judge seedlings. And he does not stop with children. Don takes the time to teach as he walks with people in the garden, sharing his passion for irises. He supports the efforts of the local iris groups, and has encouraged many people to take the plunge into hybridizing. In short, he is dedicated to teaching the next generation and instilling the love of irises into everyone he meets.

Congratulations to Don on winning this award, and for all of the work he does on behalf of median irises.

Nomination forms for this award are due each year by the end of February. To make nominations, click on the link below to obtain a copy of the Nomination Form (PDF).

>>>    Nomination Form   <<<