About Cascadia Iris Gardens
Margaret and I started our iris collection in 2004 with just a few varieties purchased at the King County Iris Society’s beardless iris sale. Our collection grew quickly–so fast that we opened Cascadia Iris Gardens in 2008. By 2011, our iris collection outgrew our 1-acre property.
We gave up our custom-built home that started us on our iris journey to find a larger piece of property. After months of searching and one real estate agent change, we found the perfect property: about 5.1 acres of mostly flat, clear land. Approximately 1 acre is forested, and the house, display garden, and garage sit on about 1 acre; that leaves us with 3 acres for growing irises. Unfortunately, the house leaves a bit to be desired, but that is another story…
We bought the property in the fall of 2011 and began moving irises the following spring.
Initially, it was a struggle to get our irises acclimated to the new property. We lost many along the way. We have come to terms with our soil and, thanks to many good friends, are back to growing top-quality irises. Our collection of Japanese irises is now one of the best anywhere, both in variety and quality. Our collection of rare and unique 40-chromosome Sino-Siberian irises is unsurpassed in the United States and perhaps anywhere in the world.
I’m still hybridizing. My focus is on Japanese iris, but I also dabble in the 40-chromosome Sino-Siberian irises. 2018 found me in the Garden Siberian (28 chromosomes) patch spreading pollen around. I made what I hope are some really great crosses. Even Margaret was excited about a couple of them! We had good success at area iris shows with a couple of Carla Lankow’s seedlings. This year’s new introduction, Sino-Siberian 'Miss Margaret', won Best Seedling at the Greater Portland Iris Society Late Show. Next year’s introduction, Cal-Sib 08CS-012D, won Best Seedling at the King County Iris Society Show.
Margaret and I are continuing to develop our display gardens.
My stated goal (in an effort to convince Margaret this is a good idea) was to showcase our beautiful irises with a wide variety of other plants to demonstrate how they would look in your perennial beds. The real reason is because I have become so enamored with all the flora we can grow, I want to try them all. But let’s not tell Margaret. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt me.
We are adding collections of many different plant species. We received an excellent collection of spring ephemerals from Carla Lankow: trilliums, erythroniums, arisaemas, and the like. We have 50 or so peony varieties, and we have just started what we hope to be one of the largest collections of lilacs around.
We are also working diligently to provide an environment that attracts and supports the resident and migratory bird life in our area. See our Birds & Bees page to see Margaret’s photos and read a few stories.
Please come for a visit. Whether you live locally or plan to visit Seattle for a few days, Margaret and I would love to meet you. Come alone or bring your entire Garden Club; we can tailor a visit to meet your needs. Check our Open Garden Days on our Iris 101 page or contact us to make an appointment.
Patrick & Margaret