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Archive for May 18th, 2008

Smaller iris, but awfully cute!There was a brief respite from grading yesterday, and also a brief respite from the rain [the state of the lawn, we will not discuss it]. What you’ll see in this post isn’t in my garden. Our first stop is Rebert’s Iris Haven, where Doris Rebert provided a lovely show of historic and modern iris varieties, along with a lovely lunch. Members of the local iris society ambled about like drunken bees, buzzing happily about what was blooming, what was on the way, and what was in their own home gardens.Iris and a golden cypress hybrid at Rebert\'s Iris Haven

I confess, I was a little homesick when I walked through the shade garden areas; the tall evergreens, the lush hostas and deciduous azaleas… I can’t help feeling that there was a gardening cohort that started out 60 years ago, and I was lucky enough to be the guardian of one of those gardener’s creations for a while. Now I have to start my own from scratch and memory. Looking through the evergreens at Mrs. Rebert\'s iris gardens

Some days the challenge is uplifting, but at other times I wonder whether I’ll get to see the place at Elsinore ever look as settled and grand as this. Of course, these gardens are also, I suspect, the full-time committments of these gardeners. One of the iris beds at Rebert’s was reserved for their “Queens of the Show” — iris that had won regional or national awards. Those weren’t in bloom yet; I may just need to travel out to see them some season, considering how gorgeous everthing else was!

Oh, and who wouldn’t love a little dedicated gardening shed, out away from the house? I know I certainly would. And if we could run power out there so my woodworking equipment could run without endangering the rest of the house, even better.

But there’s one more stop on the tour: Draycott Gardens [see also here]. Carol Warner was at the Rebert’s garden and kindly provided maps and directions to her place, since so many of us had made the pilgrimage out to Doris’ place. Talk about garden over-achievement: she participates in the iris, peony, and rhododendron societies, a level of splendid plant-geekiness which I guess one can indulge more easily if you’ve got 9+ acres to play with….

I’ve got enough of a challenge with the space I’ve got! This summer, I do hope to get some raised beds in for my rhodie scions, when they come back from Van Veen’s. As for the peonies, I prefer scented flowers in my yard, which means apparently I’m not a customer for the latest and greatest peony varieties. Ah well. Perhaps that will mean the ones I get will be cheaper?

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