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HIST: the Iris City

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: HIST: the Iris City
  • From: "Greg McCullough" <icity@email.msn.com>
  • Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 14:13:15 -0700 (MST)

Hi folks. I've been going through Macey's grandfathers' files (the Old Dirt
Dobber)  researching articles to include in this years' catalog and thought
I would share this one with you. 15,000,000 iris in one year! These people
were serious about their iris.

An article from The Nashville Tennessean Magazine, April 25, 1937.
"A Perennial "Lady in Blue" Forecasts Iris Week May 9
Annual Fete Started In 1931 Will Point In Future To Large Public Plantings.
Iris Germanica, the perennial "lady in blue" is here again to warn Nashville
that her more glamorous sisters are on the way.
Two weeks from today the forecast ought to come true in public and private
plantings of irises so that the city will be covered with a variegated
blanket of bloom that should make the Nashville Iris association proud of
its efforts of the past six years. . . .

Organized in 1931 by a small group of iris hybridizers and fanciers with the
idea of making Nashville known as the Iris City, the idea has so grown that
there is hardly a spot of lawn in the city which has not its share of the
familiar green spikes and the tall bearded fleur-de-lis flowers in shades of
blue, white and yellow. For the first year or two the association set itself
chiefly to the task of spreading the beauty of irises to every man's garden.

That it did this well is borne out in the fact that one year during the
transplanting season just after blooming time approximately fifteen million
plants were distributed from the gardens of the experienced iris culturists
to those of the average homes, totaling 37 trucks at the task of gathering
and distributing. . . . .

That Nashville s pre-eminence in iris gardens is not a matter of mere civic
boasting may be proved in more ways than one. For the American Iris
Society's highest award, the Dykes medal, has twice been awarded to new
irises developed by Nashville hybridizers out of the six times the award has
been made. This is no casual garden prize, but is made only after years of
study of the new flower, its growth and qualities when planted under all
conditions and the individual qualities of beauty in color an form. In 1929
the award was made to Dauntless, a red iris developed by Mr. Connell, and in
1936 it came to Nashville again to the Mary Geddes, a tall salmon pink iris
developed by Mr. Washington. . . "

Greg and Macey McCullough
Iris City Gardens
502 Brighton Place
Nashville, TN 37205
800-934-IRIS (Free catalog on request)

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