Welcome to Cascadia Iris Gardens!
We are excited to announce that we will be hosting our first-ever Open Garden Days this year! Please plan to visit us on June 6th. Our gates will open at 10:00am and will close at 5:00pm. With the weather behaving as it is now, we should be in peak bloom for Tall Beardeds and Siberians, with the Spurias just ramping up. Drop by for a few minutes or bring a picnic lunch and spend the day. There will be a lot to see, and we will be there to answer any questions you may have about irises.
As a bonus feature, current secretary of the American Iris Society, Dwayne Booth, will be hosting a Judges Training seminar focusing on Siberian irises from 1:00-3:00pm. Even if you are not interested in becoming a judge, there will be a lot of very good information shared. Not your cup of tea? Plan to visit in the morning or just after 3pm. There will be many iris-loving people there willing to share knowledge, enthusiasm and humor with visitors. We are also planning open days on July 5th with the intent to wow you with our Japanese Iris flowers, and July 19th to show off our growing collection of daylilies. Stay tuned for details!
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.
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.
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
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.