Region 14 & 15 Spring Trek (long)
From: "Lewis,Shirlee E" <Shirlee.E.Lewis@kp.org>
I have been lurking for several months. Just too much work.
What an awesome Trek. The folks of Region 14 put on one heck of a display.
The Spring Trek coincides with the SCIS major fund raiser. We have the
opportunity to sell rhizomes and meet the public at the Spring Garden Show
held at the Crystal Court in Costa Mesa, California. One of the major
sponsors is Sunset Magazine. I worked Thursday night and all day Friday,
selling rhizomes and meeting and greeting the public. We had a very good
Saturday morning I rolled [crawled???] out of bed at 2:30 A.M. I had a
little reminder of what it was like back in college when you would stay up
late studying because you thought that just a little more would help. The
next day you felt really rotten. I picked up our club VP only 15 minutes
late. Visalia, California is a little shy of 200 miles northwest of Los
Angeles. Just put the little red Ford on the road and off into the night.
The trip was very uneventful until just south of Tulare. I was passing a
semi-truck and heard a terrible noise. I had blown the right front tire.
Now that is something to get the adrenaline pumping. It didn't take too
long to put what car manufacturers call a spare tire on the car. I read all
of the warnings on the side of this undersized tire and was more scared than
before. To keep my speed under 50 I put the cruise control on and hoped
that one of the big trucks would see me and not run over me. I arrived at
the hotel about 8 a.m. The ladies manning the registration desk were very
gracious and helpful. They pointed me towards a WalMart. The staff at the
store was really wonderful. The tire was under warranty. Twenty dollars
and 30 minutes later I was on my way back to the hotel.
There were 4 very full buses. Amazing for a Regional Trek. There were 11
different Regions, England and France represented in the guest beds. Forty
nine hybridizers had sent guest iris. Simply stunning. The first garden we
visited was The Kreps garden. The garden is laid out wonderfully. The
guest beds were behind the main house in a modified 'd' shape around their
vegetable garden. The overall property is about 2.5 acres. Lots of trees,
wild flowers and in the back more iris beds. Here and there throughout the
property were "found" things and sculpture made out of "found" things.
Really lovely. The majority of the bloom was mostly the smaller iris. For
one who is just exploring the other sizes of bearded iris, it is always a
treat to see the IBs and BBs in bloom. One very clump had a very unusual
stalk. M89-92 by Virginia Messick had a 'twin' stalk. You could see a
ridge down the length of the bloom and each flower, spur and branch had a
mirror twin. LOVELY DAWN, Keith Keppel '98, caught my eye. It is a great
The next garden that we visited was owned by the Troeller's. They are
relatively new to growing iris; but, the garden is truly wonderful. On the
back portion of their property they grow cherries. When the fruit is ripe
they invite the public in to pick what they want. The cherry harvest this
year just might coincide with the peak TB bloom. They have arranged their
iris in neat rows both in front of and beside their home. The guest beds
were perfectly grouped around the sun dial. THE THIN BLUE LINE, Sutton '99,
was very striking. Again the majority of the bloom was confined to IBs and
BBs. One particular iris that seemed to be attracting quite a bit of
attention was OMAR'S GOLD, Boswell '96 [AB-Med]. You had difficulty in
seeing the foliage because of the prolific bloom.
Off to lunch at the Sutton's. When we arrived it was amazing to see how
many cars were parked along the road. All visitors to the Porterville Iris
Festival. The guest beds were to one side of the rebloomer beds. One
particularly interesting iris might be Chuck Chapman's CANADIAN STREAKER
[oops, I forgot to write down the year of introduction]. It has beautiful
variegated foliage. I hope that it is blooming in two weeks when I venture
back north to look at the bloom. After a great lunch there were two JTs
conducted in the garden.
Back to the buses and off to our final garden. The Matheney's have a
commercial iris garden in the back yard of their home. The guest iris were
just to the right of the garage in the side yard. The back yard has several
sunken beds that are currently growing Louisana and Japanese seedlings.
Abound the side of the pool are the main Japanese and Louisana beds. What a
jewel of a garden. I particularly liked Larry Lauer's CAN CAN DANCER. [It
has yellow standards with purple falls edged in brown]
The evening concluded with a talk by Ray Schreiner and pictures as Mike said
TDF. I apologize now because I didn't get the names of the individual
awards for Region 14 but I did write down the winners and their iris and
what the award is for. Best Seedling by a Region 14 hybridizer went to
Virginia Messick for M89-82. Best Plicata was won by Keith Keppel for
LOVELY DAWN, '98. Best 1999 Introduced Iris by Region 14 hybridizer went to
Larry Lauer for CLASSIC SUEDE. Best Iris by Region 14 Hybridizer ['98 or
earlier] went to OMAR'S GOLD by Carl Boswell. Region 15 awards went to Herb
Holk for 320-C, Best Seedling by a Region 15 hybridizer. Pete DeSantis had
the Best Introduced Iris by a Region 15 hybridizer. Best Introduced Iris
by a non-Region 15 hybridizer went to Carl Boswell for OMAR'S GOLD.
After a long and wonderful day it was back in the car and back to LA.
Sunset Zone 23
Southern California Iris Society
Secretrary / Newsletter Editor
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