The 2016 Bennett C. Jones Award for Outstanding Median Hybridizing went to Lynda Miller, in recognition of her many contributions to median irises.
Lynda Miller’s hybridizing contributions are notable, especially with MDBs and MTBs. Though they are not strictly “medians”, Lynda continued working with the MDBs when there were few others interested in doing so, working at the pumila hybrid level, and producing MDBs that were more “true dwarfs” than many of the small segregates from SDB breeding that other hybridizers were pursuing.
She also continued working with diploid MTBs while few others were doing so and works with both diploid and tetraploid MTBs now. Both the MDB and MTB classes suffered from a lack of attention and recognition in the late 1990s and 2000s, but she still continued hybridizing them. In addition to producing some excellent diploid MTBs, Lynda has been doing pioneering work in tetraploid MTBs, which only now are beginning to have the look of "real" MTBs all over, thanks primarily to people like Lynda who have persisted despite the obstacles.
Lynda has introduced a number of award-winning and innovative irises in all of the median categories - 84 as of 2016. She has also introduced 30 MDBs, including Caparne-Welch Medal winners 'Snuggles', (1998), ‘Scruples' (2002), and ‘Squiggles' (2003), as well as a number of TBs and even one siberian. Her MTB 'Bangles' is the only iris to win both the President's Cup (at Detroit in 1991) and the Franklin Cook Cup (at York in 1999). Lynda, unfortunately, left the conventions early and missed the joy of publicly receiving these awards. ‘Bangles' also won the Williamson-White medal in 2001.
Her other Williamson-White winners include: ‘Ace’ (2005) and ‘Baubles and Beads’ (2006). More recently, her striking (diploid) MTB ‘Moose Tracks’ made a stir at both the 2015 and 2016 conventions, winning the Ben R. Hager Cup for the best median iris at both conventions! Her MTB ‘Survivor’ was one of the three winners of the Hager Cup in 2010. Four of her IBs , 'Oodles', 'Parts Plus', 'Startled' and 'Up And Atom’, were some of the first space-age medians. Notable SDBs include ‘Dark Vader’ (introduced with her husband Roger), which won the Cook-Douglas in 1993, and ‘Bowl of Cherries’, which received an AM in 2009.
In addition to all of her iris contributions, Lynda has been conducting judges training sessions for many years, possibly doing more training sessions than most other AIS judges. She is not only entertaining, but she keeps the attention of everyone in attendance; students in her classes, old and new alike, always come away with more than they started with. She has also held a wide range of positions in her local and regional iris societies, donating freely of her time and effort. A good many AIS members know her from her bubbly presence at AIS conventions and regional meetings. She has always been generous to the clubs she belongs to, and is always willing to spend time helping new members get started with irises.
Thank you, Lynda, for your continuing contributions to the world of irises!
Nomination forms for this award are due each year by December 31. To make nominations, click on the link below to obtain a copy of the Nomination Form (PDF).
>>> Nomination Form <<<