Thursday, July 24, 2014


The Greater Rochester Iris Sale is this Sunday. It will be held from 10-2 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County, 249 Highland Avenue, Rochester, NY.

Lots of great bargains will be on hand from Mid-America Gardens and Keith Keppel Irises.  Also there will be locally grown rhizomes and great advice in planting and growing irises.

Friday, May 23, 2014

SDB 'Bumpkin' by Marky Smith 2012

This spectacular flower opened yesterday in my garden. A purchase from our club sale last year, it has three good increases and one bloom stalk with three buds.  What a beauty!   (Betty Schnellinger)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ear to the Ground

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Happy Good Friday! A short one this week.
  • This looks like a great show at the NYBG: Weird, Wild, and Wonderful—"In homage to the beauty of the botanical world's most bizarre flora, the Garden invited members of the American Society of Botanical Artists to participate in a study of the eccentric, creating works of art based on visually unusual plants chosen by the artists themselves. View the results of their efforts—46 captivating paintings and illustrations of exotic specimens—on display in the Ross Gallery." In addition, the evening of May 29 will feature personal appearances by Elizabeth Gilbert and Amy Stewart for An Evening of Women, Art & Botany.
  • Our friends at Twin Oaks Landscaping just won a NYSNLA Environmental Beautification Award! See why. Did you win one too? Let me know!
Image courtesy Mikell Herrick
Suntory's 'Senetti Blue Eye' pericallis
That's all for this week! Have a wonderful Easter weekend, if you celebrate, and if you don't, have a wonderful weekend anyway.


Friday, April 18, 2014

HIPS: The Historical Iris Preservation Society

A Request from the Historical Iris Preservation Society

The HIPS database is currently being rebuilt without the benefit of the majority of the previous files, as we've not been able to salvage more than 2 dozen member lists. Even if you have sent your list of historic varieties from your garden before, please do so again.

simple list of just the names of the historics you grow is the easiest to add to the spreadsheet.

Contact Brett at:   

Brett Barney
320 Lincoln St.
Sterling, NE 68443

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

First Iris of the Season

The iris reticulata is always the first iris  to bloom in our area.  A bulb iris, it's diminuitive size (3") leaves it mistaken for a crocus at any substantial distance.

Not a Pretty Picture... Yet

Trying to Bud
There are many frustrating times in the garden, but this is perhaps the most testing in my area.  The snow has melted, but in the course of its melt, refreeze and remelt, the ground is so saturated with water it looks like it will never dry out.  Rhizomes succumbed to frost heave and have to be tamped back in. Many of them look so sad that one's hope in their recovery is weak.

Mud and Heaved Rhizomes
 The softened ground weakened the anchors of this trellis.

Fallen Trellis
Even St. Francis could not withstand the winter

Fallen Francis
Cock-eyed Bird Feede
Despite liberal applications of "Liquid Fence" two weeks ago the deer and/or rabbits were not deterred on these tulips.

Eaten Tulips
 The rhizomes that Jim and I potted look pathetic, but alive!

Potted Iris
 The tools of the day: Besides a foot to reinsert rhizomes, these will help clear leaves before the foliage buries them from view.

Tools and Leaves

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Public Sale / Member Pre-Order = SAVINGS!

Our Public Sale is scheduled for July  27th at the Cooperative Extension.  While many of those rhizomes offered for sale will be from members, we do plan to order from hybridizers again this year. 

Mid-America Gardens introduces the new cultivars from Paul Black and Thomas Johnson.  Mid-America provided us with a great selection and at wonderful savings in 2012.  We are also ordering from Keith Keppel who has agreed to include some Barry Blyth introductions.

While we cannot count on specific rhizomes, these orders always include new introductions which we can offer at significant discounts. The specific savings are calculated when we receive the orders.

As a benefit of membership, you get first pick of the club order.  To assure a larger selection, we ask that you commit a pre-order amount.  

Whether it is $10 or $200, please make a check payable to GRIS, bring it to our April 13 meeting, or send it by April 30th to:

GRIS c/o Neil Houghton, Treasurer
3873 Rush Mendon Road
Mendon NY 14506 
If you have not paid your dues, please include $10 to maintain your membership. You’ll more than make up that in savings if you pre-order $20 or more!

This is a great chance to add exciting new introductions by multiple top award-winning hybridizers to you garden!