Greeting from Cascadia Iris Gardens!
We are in the process of updating our website for 2014, including our new introduction. Our 2014 order form is available, and our photo gallery has been updated. Our catalog will be available soon.
To those of you visiting our website for the first time, welcome to Cascadia Iris Gardens. For those who know us, welcome back.
Margaret and I had a great 2013. We began the year recovering from the move to our new property. We spent most of the growing season spreading compost and fighting weeds. It seems when you plant new ground, every weed in the universe tries to move in. After an epic, season-long battle, I think the weeds and I are enjoying the winter break (the weeds more than I since they are still growing!). As I look out in the beds, I am itching to renew the battle with many devious methods to eradicate the little pests. I will keep you posted.
As the year progressed we found that our new property is wonderful habitat for local wildlife. In addition to the common rabbits, snakes, and birds, we were treated to some less mundane fauna: a family of quail, a doe and her fawn, mourning doves, and killdeer nesting in my iris rows. There is a bald eagle that lives just north of us. But since I can see it flying almost daily, I claim it as mine.
My favorite day was when the two fledgling hawks had their first flying lessons. Their parents took them, branch by branch, down the length of our property. At the end, Mom and Dad flew back to the nest and called for the babies. Back and forth they called, but the children would not come. Finally, mom flew to them and branch by branch, back they came. Let’s just say the weeds won the battle that day. I was so enthralled watching, I accomplished nothing. It was off to work the next few days and by the next weekend, they were flying like old pros.
And, of course, we have our ant hills. I know it's strange, but Margaret and I love them. We have two established hills of what we know as farmer ants. They are one of the reasons we fell in love with the property. I have the hills fenced in to avoid accidentally disturbing them—little ant sanctuaries if you will. We can find them out and about harvesting from this tree today, that group of shrubs tomorrow. But the bottom line is… we have very few aphids and slugs on the property. Amazing!
After the 2013 season, our good friends Ralph and Fran Walster of Walsterway Iris Gardens retired and closed their doors forever. Ralph was an inspiration to us, mostly because weeds were afraid to grow in his garden. If only I had that kind of respect! We bought Ralph’s collection of Japanese Irises and moved them home. I will give them a year or two to settle in, then they will be available to you as well.
We visited Michigan for the Society for Siberian Irises National Convention. There we saw many beautiful new irises. We visited with old friends and made many new ones. It was a great trip and we look forward to the next one.
On to the business at hand…
For the first time, we are offering a small collection of bearded irises. We have some from every class, dwarf to tall. Keep an eye on the descriptions. Many of these re-bloom regularly for me. It's a real treat to see them bloom a second time in the summer or fall. Keep checking back as I will continue to post photos as these come into bloom.
Please check with us prior to ordering any Pacific Coast Iris. We had a long, bitter cold spell and they look a little ragged now. They are tough and will likely rebound without any problems. I just want to be certain before I accept any orders for them. I will update this post in the spring to let you all know how they are.
We are also offering a new introduction from local hybridizer Ann Booth. It is a delightful little Miniature Tall Bearded (MTB) iris. It has a peachy orange flower with a hint of red on the hafts and styles. It grows vigorously for us but maintains a tidy clump. It's a “Must Have” for anyone with a perennial garden.
Please enjoy your time on our site. There are many beautiful pictures (Margaret is to blame for these) and informational articles.
We hope to hear from you soon.
Patrick & Margaret
We are located in Lake Stevens, Washington, and we are open by appointment only. So, if you are in the area and would like to schedule a visit, please contact Patrick at Patrick@CascadiaIrisGardens.com or give him a call at 425-770-5984.
Patrick has been invited to speak to several Washington plant groups in 2014:
• Central Valley Garden Club, Silverdale
• Redmond Garden Club
• Hardy Plant Society, Seattle
If you need a speaker for your horticulture club, let us know. Patrick loves to hear himself speak and it gives him another excuse to leave the weeds in peace. If Patrick is not the right person, we can connect you with someone who has the knowledge you are looking for.