Monday, February 15, 2021

A Trip Down Memory Lane - Part One

By Maggie Asplet

Well, what else is there to say? COVID19, you have a lot to answer for, in particular my not being able to travel back to see my friends in Salem and Portland, Oregon for at least another year.

Usually, at this time, I am busy planning my next visit back, which is hard to believe especially the horrific weather conditions happening in Salem (and elsewhere) right now. It is hard to believe the destruction I am reading from Facebook posts.

So here we have it, unable to travel, so this is going to be a serious and humorous look at my last trip in May 2019.

One of the things none of you will be aware of is the time we leave home (midnight) to begin our travels, which leaves us sitting for hours waiting to check-in for our flight. Here I am with my traveling companion Wendy Begbie, who has the largest iris nursery in New Zealand.

Our first stop was Hawaii, meant to be for a 3 hour stop over, but due to a problem with our tickets we missed our next flight and to our shock (tongue in cheek) and horror, had to spend a night in Honolulu.  What are two girls to do but go and explore, which we did.  In the mall we came across this amazing stand where you get to make jandals (New Zealand name for flip flops) to your hearts desire.  Never seen anything like it before.  

It might look as though I didn't indulge, I did.  My granddaughter now has my pair.

Due to our unforeseen stayover, I think it is fair to say that a couple of nights in Honolulu would not go amiss, just to see the magnificent gardens and parks.

Taken at the airport, this is sure an indication of some stunning flora and fauna to see next time.

We finally arrive at Mid America Iris Garden and Sebright Gardens just about in the middle of the night.  First thing on the agenda is to wander arounds the house display gardens, and what a picture they always are and to heck the irises, here and down the road a couple of miles in the paddock (New Zealand term for field).


Irises at last

Beautiful display gardens

Irises, yes there were plenty of those.  Here is a selection of some of my favourites.  I guess this list would sure change once I can visit again.


These are some of the SDB irises that I used and will finally get to see what I have achieved this Spring (October 2021).  In the second set of photos the unnamed image is Basket of Goodies - Black '15.

One of the chores that I like to help with was feed the chickens and visiting the fantastic peacocks, especially the white ones - just stunning.

Sebright Chickens


By arriving prior to the main tall beard irises flowering, it gave us spare time to go visiting.  One of our favourite places is Schreiner's.  How can you not love their display gardens.  Just so inspiring with the companion planting and then returning when in full bloom.

Schreiner's Display Garden

The exterior of the delightful souvenir shop - check out just how the walls of the shop are made????

THEN, we finally get to full bloom season, what a picture the place is.  Given the size of the nurseries that Thomas has, when you see if for the first time, it is rather gobsmacking awesome.

As there is still so much to show you from a wonderful trip, I am going to finish this - part one - with a photo of us (the two New Zealanders with their Australian friends) enjoying the hospitality of Iris Royalty - to me they are.

We are very fortunate to have mentors like the Schreiner Family, Thomas Johnson, Paul Black, Keith Keppel.  Fabulous times together - now we wait until we can do this again.


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