Saturday, October 22, 2011

Growing Siberian Irises

I don't know about you, but if I had a choice, I would live in two places. I would of course stay here in the Southern California area, but my second place would be at a location where I could grow Siberian irises. I just love them. They are so delicate and so different than their tall bearded cousins.

'Shaker's Prayer' growing in Southern California (click for larger view)
Being in a warm-weather location has limits to what I can grow, and we don't get that cold punch that many iris growers talk about. Even though I have tried to grow Siberians, they do grow and bloom, but very poorly compared to other areas of the country. I've noticed that the stems and blooms are smaller, plants are less floriferous, and they require more water than I'm used to providing to the rest of my garden. In any case, I have grown a few, but with dissatisfying results.

Here comes the good news, in 2012, the Lansing, MI area is hosting the Siberian and Species Iris Convention, called 'A Capital Idea.' Click here for more information. I think it's going be a wonderful event to attend because of the many Siberian and iris species many of us would never have a chance to see.

'Ginger Twist' growing at Salt Spring Island, BC as tall as TBs
Here is some of the information on this convention next year:

Lansing 2012 – ‘A Capital Idea’      

Siberian & Species Iris Convention

Convention headquarters:  Causeway Bay Hotel and Convention Center located in Lansing, MI.



Above picture, the organizers: left to right: Bob Bauer, Judy Hollingworth, John Coble, Jill 
Copeland, Jim Copeland, Bob Hollingworth. John Kaufmann


Thursday Evening, June 7 
"A Capital Welcome‟ 
Reception at the Convention  Center
Light snacks and beverages
Slide show and Information session
Sponsored by: Connoisseurs of Michigan

Convention Gardens on tour:


Ensata Gardens located in Galesburg, MI is home to more than 180 Siberian varieties, about 450 Japanese varieties, and a host of daylilies and hostas.  After viewing the guest Siberians and Species enjoy a stroll through their relaxing gardens and be sure to check out the koi in their ponds.

Siberian Iris Seedlings
Jim & Jill Copeland‟s garden is located is Lawton, MI.  They have a beautiful winding ribbon of Siberian & Species iris waiting for you as you enter their garden.  After viewing the guest iris, those who are adventurous should checkout their seedling garden on the backside of their property or a bit closer is Jill‟s restful shade garden.

John & Jean Kaufmann‟s garden located in the Lansing area houses the TriCounty Iris Society‟s TB iris in addition to John‟s experimental herbicide plots.  There should be plenty of bloom for all to enjoy.Bob & Judy Hollingworth‟s gardens are also located in the Lansing area.  The guest bed at the Hollingworth‟s home was originally laid out as a block S for an MUS welcome, but more beds were added  for greater ease of viewing and the block S has become hidden.  The Hollingworth‟s will also have a good display of hostas and Japanese primroses for all to enjoy.

'Ships are Sailing' growing in Salt Spring Island, BC.
Very tall 'Ships are Sailing' plants
In addition, there will be a tour of Bob & Judy‟s farm where Bob‟s seedlings are growing. I'm so looking forward to attending this convention. I can hardly wait. For more information go to the Society for Siberian Irises website. 
Photo credits: Group photos by Deb Diget. Siberians by Andi Rivarola.

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