Monday, January 11, 2021

An Iris Journal Entry from Down Under!

By Mel Schiller

The sting of summer is about to hit Southern Australia. At this time of year it is important for us to water our garden beds as things dry out very quick. We have not had decent rain for weeks, but we also have not had excessively hot weather either, which is a blessing! 

The iris are doing really well. We are so ever grateful that our business has thrived in these unprecedented times and people have been using their time to get out in the garden and move on and forward with life. Iris are a fantastic plant to have in Australia for their hardiness and the fact that they do not require massive amounts of water. 

As we go into January 2021 we look ahead at the work that is yet to be done to complete the 2020 iris season. With 40 plus degree Celsius days (104 F) for the next 3 months, usually next to no rain and the ground becoming rock hard, we reserve our early evenings to dig orders, and get them washed ready to ship out. 

Tasmania and Western Australia require a special permit to allow rhizome into these states, and through Covid shut downs we had a delay in receiving our certification. Onward and upwards we are currently digging these orders and preparing them for shipment. 

We are also walking the fields daily to check for seed pod ripeness. Once we see cracks appearing on the pods, we collect and split open the pods to let the seed dry out. These will be planted in April. 

A week before Christmas the roses were dead headed and the garden beds have a general prune and tidy up with a spot of weeding as well. We do not go over the entire field and remove the dead iris bloom stems, as this is too time consuming. This will be done at replant time at the end of February. 

Bailey is studying chemical engineering at the university and Mel works a 30-hour week in hospitality.  Time management is a must to achieve everything we set out to do. Our love of iris drive us forward to reaching our goals. 

                                                    'Magic Madness' (B Schiller 19) TB

We are starting to look at the iris which will be introduced next season, and those that will be included in the next seasons catalogue. Bailey works on the catalogue that we produce between Uni studies. 

We successfully imported iris from America in September and look forward to them coming out of the Australian Quarantine Facility sometime in the next 6 weeks.  They are looking fantastic!

The field replant will begin in March with some iris being taken out of the field and planted elsewhere to recover and other varieties being added for sale next season.

We sincerely hope 2021 is super kind to everyone and that we all grow and evolve to achieve our own goals. We thank you for taking the time to follow us on Facebook and thank Bryce for allowing us to be part of his blogging team. He does such a wonderful job of keeping us updated and organized. 

Here is a sneak peak of what we are thinking of introducing next season. Mel and Bailey x



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