Bennett C. Jones Award
2012 Recipient: Marky Smith
The Bennett C. Jones Award for Outstanding Median Hybridizing this year went to Marky Smith of Yakima, WA, in recognition of her many contributions to median iris hybridizing.
Marky Smith is considered one of the leading experts in the field of median hybridizing and has had a major influence on not only newcomers to irises but also on contemporaries in hybridizing.
Marky has worked diligently over the years in several areas to improve medians, with more than 100 introductions at present count, and to expand on the available colors and patterns in median irises, including: luminatas (SDBs ‘Gemstar’, ‘Blackcurrent’; IBs ‘Oblivion’, ‘Blitzen’), warm plicatas (SDB ‘Firestorm’), cool plicatas (SDB ‘Starbaby’; IB ‘Starwoman’), near-black plicatas (IB ‘Orca’), bitone plicatas (IB ‘Sailor’), glaciatas (IBs ‘Ming’, ‘Harmonium’, ‘Elysium’), fancy plicatas (IBs ‘Delirium’, ‘Scrivener’), orange/pink plicatas (SDBs ‘Pilot’, ‘Helmsman’, ‘Mosaic’), red-bearded blacks (SDB ‘Minidragon’; IBs ‘Banshee’, ‘Dragonmaster’, ‘Cayenne’), bright colors and contrasting beards (SDBs ‘Marksman’, ‘James Bond’, ‘Photon’, ‘Plainsong’), unique spot patterns (SDBs ‘Tahoma’, ‘Denali’; IB ‘Bering Sea’), unique colors (SDBs ‘Yearling’, ‘Quartzlight’, ‘Muse’, ‘Shallows’, ‘Extraterrestrial’) and even aril-bred medians (‘Nefret’).
Marky has won an impressive array of awards for her median irises, including 18 Awards of Merit, 3 Cook-Douglas Medals, 3 Sass Medals, and the 2008 Dykes Medal for ‘Starwoman’, only the second median iris to have ever won this top award!
Marky is also very active in local, regional and national society business, contributing generously of her time and effort — as RVP and as an AIS judge, performing convention positions, giving multitudinous Judges’ Training sessions and hybridizing lectures in her region and elsewhere, and writing articles on medians and median hybridizing. She is also very generous in sharing plant material for others to use, and has done quite a bit of direct mentoring in her region. Her enthusiasm and passion for irises shows through in both her speaking and writing. Along with her critical, keen eye for quality, she also exhibits joy and passion in her work with irises.
Congratulations, Marky, and thank you for your many contributions to the improvement and advancement of median 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).