Monday, December 10, 2018

California Dreaming 4--Superstition Iris Garden

By Bryce Williamson

Both Phil Williams and I woke up early Tuesday morning, knowing we had a long day ahead of us. The Best Western did provide a breakfast, saving us the time to go look for a place in Merced. And then it was on the road again for the drive up to Superstition Iris Garden in Cathey’s Valley.

On March 22, Superstition received 5.21" of rain with 3.25" of it coming in a one-hour long, vicious thunderstorm. There was a lot of damage in the local area with many bridges washed away. As a result, we could not take Old Highway into the garden, but had to use School House Road instead; however, before we went to the garden, I wanted to see the Detwiler Fire damage so we drove up to the bustling metropolis of Mariposa. Ironically last year’s fire has resulted in wonderful wildflower bloom this spring.

Because Superstition grown medians and arilbreds along with tall bearded, there was a lot to see in the garden. As always, Rick Tasco and Roger Duncan were gracious hosts, letting us first wander around in the named varieties rows before we walked the seedlings with Rick.

Rick Tasco and Roger Duncan

I was especially excited to see some fine arilbred irises:
'Dragon's Eye' (Tasco 2015)

'On the Web' Tasco 2019

'Glow of Love' Tasco 2019

'Vivid Dream' Tasco 2019

This is one of Rick's arilbred medians and the second arilbred median is his Warrior Prince:

'Lucky Dragon' Tasco 2019

'Warrior Prince' (Tasco 2015)

In the named tall bearded iris beds, I liked:

'Ayes Alert' (Burseen 2015)

'Brighton Beach' (M. Sutton 2017)

'Desert Paradise' (Dash 2017)

'Good Morning Beautiful' (Stanton 2012)

Then Rick and Roger walked us through the seedlings and some have been named since I wrote this blog; there was more TB bloom there since the plants had gone into the ground earlier:

Boundless Beauty' Tasco 2019


Tasco 15.TB.05.09

The additional stock of Rick's 2018 introductions were also by the seedling beds:

'Ice Cream Sundae' Tasco 2018

'Secret Delight' Tasco 2018

'Spring Elegance' Tasco 2018

When we were ready to leave, Roger provided wonderful directions to John and Leslie Painter’s garden by Lake Barryessa. Those great directions saved at least a hour of time on that leg of the on the road trip.

Superstition has a printed catalogue and it can be obtained by sending $1.50 to Superstition Iris Garden, 2536 Old Highway, Cathey's Valley, California 95306 for a two year subscription. They can also be reached on Facebook or in email at


  1. Looks awesome and it is on my list of "must visit".

  2. I go every year. It beautiful with so much to see.

  3. My favorite place! Vivid Dream is fantastic. Thanks, Bryce.


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