Welcome to Cascadia Iris Gardens!
Thank you to everyone who came to our June 6th Open Garden event. It was exciting to see so many people enjoying the beautiful flowers and I really enjoyed the conversations I had with each of you. I particularly enjoyed those of you who asked for a demonstration on hybridizing. I hope the hybridizing bug touched you and that you show me the results of the crosses you make in the future!
Due to the unusually hot weather we have had this spring; our irises are all but done blooming. Cascadia Iris Gardens will still host the open garden on July 5th from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Our Daylilies (over 100 varieties) are in peak bloom and we have many other plants of interest performing nicely. If you plan to attend, please plan for the weather. It is always hotter than Seattle out here and is supposed to be 95° on the 5th. There is no air-conditioning on site, but we will have cold water and other refreshments available.
We also have an Open Garden scheduled for July 19th. Please keep checking back on the website for updates regarding this date. We will let you know the status of flowers in bloom.
Our Japanese Iris were in peak bloom by mid June this year and and put on a glorious display. These moisture-loving irises have a huge range of forms, colors and patterns. From cute little 3 inch species-like flowers to 10 inch dinner plate size flowers, there is a Japanese Iris for every flower loving person. With a little extra care, these irises will be the show piece of your perennial beds. They are available for purchase now, with ship dates coming in just a couple months.
Please also mark your calendars for July 19th. Weather depending, we will have our gardens open to the public during the Puget Sound Daylily Society’s Regional Convention as an optional tour garden. We have over 100 daylilies on the property that will be in peak bloom to go with the late blooming varieties of the Japanese Iris.
Some of you who visited last year met our new garden planner, Terri Bates. She is spending the bulk of her time creating and documenting the display gardens around our house. She is revolutionizing the place. Her new projects for 2015 include Erythronium hybridization and ramping up our social media presence - like us on Facebook to track what's flowering throughout the year. She also spends a great deal of time attempting to keep me on task, which is not an easy thing to accomplish. In simpler terms, she is fabulous.
Many people commented that they enjoyed the stories of our wildlife on last year’s homepage, so I thought I would give an update.
Our killdeer are back from what I presume was their warm winter holiday. For the first time they nested in a polite, out-of-the-way location. Terri found them and warned me where they were. I completely misunderstood her and managed to scare them out of that location. Now they are nesting right in the middle of a row of irises. June 16th update -- four healthy killdeer chicks have hatched!
Our pair of red-tailed hawks had only one baby last year. I missed fledging day due to my pesky day job. I did manage to see something equally amazing, though – diving lessons! Mom and dad were circling overhead and calling to Junior. Junior must have known what was up and was reluctant to join. Eventually he joined in and all were circling higher and higher. Finally, mom tucked her wings and dove toward the ground, opening her wings at the last moment to glide gracefully away. Soon after, Dad followed suit. It took junior a short while, but after much coaxing from mom and dad, he tucked wings and dove. A little later than I was comfortable with (I assume it was uncomfortable for him too!), he opened his wings and somewhat less than gracefully, glided away. Wobbled is probably a more accurate description. I think Junior had enough for one day as the family lazily glided off to the south and did not return for a few hours. As is nature’s way, Junior has moved out. Mom and dad remain, and I look forward to this year’s antics.
Our family of mourning doves overwintered here. We have feeders up and they seem content. The contrast in sound from the noisy killdeer and the gentle cooing from the doves is pleasantly discordant. Our scrub jays are constantly frustrated with the doves. It’s fun to watch something so completely uninterested in the pompous attitudes of the jays. The doves have frustrated me as well. They have decided to make a habit of roosting in a particularly annoying cottonwood tree I was planning to remove. Now I don’t dare remove it for fear of upsetting them. Such are the dilemmas I am forced to contend with.
As always, thank you to all who have supported us over the years.
Patrick & Margaret
We are located in Lake Stevens, Washington, and except for our public Open Garden Days, 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.
Learn more about iris:
If you need a speaker for your horticulture club, let us know. We offer basic and advanced iris programs. Margaret is a prolific photographer so there are lots of pretty pictures to ooh and ahh over. 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 seeking.
Patrick Spence's 2015
• Pierce County Iris Society
• Snohomish Garden Club
• King County Master
• AIS Siberian/Species
Convention on "Growing
Species Iris in the
• Oregon Trail Iris Society
on "Japanese Iris"
In addition to the June Open Day, the following groups have arranged tours in 2015:
• Bear Creek Garden Club
on May 14th
• Northwest Perennial
Alliance on May 17th
Patrick's 2014 speaking engagements:
• Central Valley Garden Club, Silverdale
• Redmond Garden Club
• Hardy Plant Society, Seattle