Monday, August 17, 2020

A Sneak Peak at Smokin Heights

 By Mel Schiller

Smokin Heights is a Bearded Iris nursery. We grow, hybridize and import Bearded Iris to Australia.

Come Spring time we chose to open our gardens in October to public visitors to view the iris and the way they are grown in our conditions. We get to interact with customers and give what we consider the best advice possible when asked!

Our main Bearded Iris field is grown over a minimum of two acres. This area is where we plant our catalogue lines for the public’s viewing. We normally choose to plant the field in the same format as our catalogue. Start one end and follow through each page of our catalogue to check descriptions and pricing.


We then have our seedling area which is spread over ½ to ¾ of an acre where we have our first, second and third year seedlings. In this area we also grow our new release for the next season as well as the stock we do not have enough to catalogue.

Over the years we have planted iris in amongst the garden beds to cater for the aged and less mobile visitors to view our garden, to wander and take in the scenery of our beautiful hillsides at every angle. We love to have residents of aged care facilities come and meander the garden or just sit in the gazebo and look over the garden area. It is a personal favourite of ours just to take in the scenery!

Our summers are extremely hot reaching day temperatures on a regular basis of 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) and our winters are generally quite cold, with day temps around 10 degrees Celsius or 50 degrees Fahrenheit. With overnights 5 and below usually hovering around 2 and below Celsius.

Mel’s love of alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily) are a huge addiction. These vibrant easy to grow drought hardy plants are a wonderful addition to blend with the iris. They have long lived flowers in a multitude of colours which blend with the iris beautifully. Their growing requirements are much like the iris requirements! Our gardens are mulched before spring to prevent the soil drying and becoming like concrete to dig in throughout summer.  

We tend to love the old fashioned English Gardens with Roses galore lots of perennials planted in no particular order. We live on top of a hill and tend to get lots of wind, but the price we pay are for the views of the country side which are amazing! 

Roses feature predominantly along with Salvia,  Australian Natives, Lavenders, Granny Bonnets, oh and the multitude of bulbs. Calla Lillies, Tulips, Dutch Iris, Reticulata Iris, Daffodil, Hyacinth, Liliums, Nerines and Freesia. To finish off our glorious spring colour palette our plantings consist of heavenly scented Double Stock, beautiful Petunia and Pansies, Larkspur and the odd Hollyhock.

Sunrise is a particular favourite time of day for us. The views are magical and we love our garden. We would love to hear what grows in your garden?

5 comments:

  1. Every single photo is 'picture perfect'! What a lovely place to be.

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  2. Agreed, Beautiful iris, other flowers and just the views of the Australian countryside. I live on a hill also and never tire of the views especially sunrise/sunset. Thanks for sharing!Randy/GA (USA)

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  3. Beautiful photography and a few of all the work you have put into your lovely irises and other plants. Thank you for sharing.

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