By Bryce Williamson
On the scenic drive up the Columbia River Gorge on the bus at the 2015 AIS National, I read that when Chad Harris and Dale Grams moved to what would become Mt. Pleasant Iris Farm they found the fields covered in old growth Himalayan blackberries ranging from 10 to 15 feet deep. The next three years were spent clearing the land.
Today no sign of the overgrowth is present and instead, we were greeted with long rows of well grown irises, expanses of manicured lawn, and perennial borders. Yes, peak bloom for bearded irises had passed, but after peak bloom the weather had turned cool to cold and damp to wet so there were many irises still in good bloom. In fact, I found the three days of the tour to be the best days I have ever spent taking images since the overcast weather reduced shadows and helped create good quality images.
Lynda Miller's Miniature Tall Bearded, 'Moose Tracks', was attracting attention in the guest beds. My thanks to Kelly Norris for permission to use his copyrighted image.
Moose Tracks would go on and win the Hager Cup at the Awards Banquet on the last night of the convention.
I don't know whether to be happy or sad that I live so far away from Mt. Pleasant Iris Farms. There is so much to see from very early in the spring through June that if I lived closer, I would be making a pest of myself and visiting the garden every ten days. On the bucket lists for the future is a trip up to Washington to see the Japanese irises in bloom. Chad wrote that next year the Japanese irises will be blooming on 2 and 3 year clumps and the results should be spectacular.
Chad Harris's introductions can be found at two sources: http://www.mtpleasantiris.com and http://aitken-garden.goodsie.com.
Images in this blog are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of the copyright holders Bryce Williamson and Kelly Norris.