This past weekend I wasn't quite in the mood to actually tackle any of the projects around the house or garden...and was looking for an excuse to get out of town...and if I could make it plant-related, so much the better, right? As luck would have it, I somehow remembered that Schreiner's Iris Garden was having their open garden events right now. I somehow tricked Norm into going along for the ride ;-)
OMG...first off, I should probably apologize for the ridiculous, over-the-top, unbridled gushing of this post. I know it's long and sort of out-of-control...but I can't help it! To be honest, although I like Iris enough (loved them in my younger year), I haven't given them much though over the past few years...until recently. I think since I inherited so many when we bought this house, they were the last thing I wanted to add more of!
This spring, however, I really enjoyed the show that the few remaining Iris gave...and it sort of reminded me of how much I really like them. Also, my dad is a HUGE Iris fan/collector...so I figured that if nothing else, I could find a few new Iris to send him for his Birthday in July.
Leave all skepticism at the door when you go to Schreiners...it's an all-out extravaganza of bloom...an orgiastic celebration of color! I have to admit, I was only expecting something akin to the Woodburn Tulip Festival...where it's just fields of flowers. Oh no...these are display gardens...and they are overwhelming. I honestly just kind of stared at first...not even sure where to point the camera.
Of course, in the end, I ended up just taking as many photos as I could...and trust me...there are A LOT. The weather on the day we went kept changing, one moment bright and sunny, the next slightly overcast...so there's quite a bit of variation in the photos...I kept trying to wait for the clouds cover to reappear...but in the end, just decided to shoot and hope for the best.
I've seen a lot of different Iris varieties in my life, but even I was amazed at some of the different forms/colors on display...like these coppery-red ones.
Of course, as many of these photos prove, my favorites are still the deep purple ones...so beautiful!
This was one of my faves...the deep, rich purple with the contrasting orange beards...so striking.
I love the vibrant lavender-purple of these...especially in such flattering light.
Almost as numerous as the Iris were the varieties of Lupine...one of my absolute favorite spring blooms. I've never seen them as big as they were here...it was pretty humbling. Then again, I think I have some of the shorter hybrids...I need to find some room for one or two of these big bruisers!
Some of the bicolors are surprisingly beautiful. I remember seeing this one as a single stem earlier, and not being impressed. Seeing a clump of them out in the garden, however, they proved to be quite striking.
Another reddish-purple Iris...just love these, especially backlit, with the petals glowing.
While most of the plants were in the height of bloom, the delphiniums were just getting started, adding their cooler blues to the palette.
While I have to admit, I didn't catch the names of most of these Iris, I managed to take a photo of the tag on this one so I'd remember it later. I has the distinct trait of having buds that contrast with the actual petals...which I found quite striking.
You know I love me some Alliums...and there were THOUSANDS blooming...here are some of the buds, just prior to opening.
I hardly need more pink in my garden...but this one is pretty tempting...so fresh-looking.
Even though I'm more drawn to colors on the cooler side of the palette, these rich golden ones were pretty breath-taking.
More glorius Lupines!
And more Alliums...sigh.
Backlit Lupines...the bees love them as much as i do.
Oh my...so much to love.
The simple beauty of a single Lupine stem.
Another striking bicolor...love the combo of shell-pink and mulberry-purple.
I just love the simple charm of this single-color peach Iris.
This was a huge table of Poppies for sale near the gift shop.
Bright red Poppies (probably 'Beauty of Livermere') give a splash of warm color in a sea of cool.
Another shot of yellow in this bicolor Iris lights up a dark corner of the border.
The only real downside to all this spring bounty is that once everything is done blooming in a month or so, there probably isn't much left to see...
...but again, this is a display garden...and really meant to show off their specialty to it's best...so let's just enjoy it for what it is!
After all, how often do you get to waft, waist-deep in sheer floral splendour! If you get a chance, and are in the Portland area, head down to the Schreiner Iris Garden...you won't be disappointed!
Oh...even though I had no plans of buying any for myself...I did end up buying a few Iris in the end...I'll let you know what they are when I get the shipment in July ;-)