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  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: ROCKY MOUNTAIN LOW (long)
  • From: The Hiltibidals <dutchman@fgi.net>
  • Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 05:22:43 -0600 (MDT)

Oh Kathy and Shirlee! - Thank you both for such wonderful reports!  Have
shivered in me timbers many times in Denver - Dad was born on the eastern
plains of Colorado, some family still there.  Air NOT so thin, a trip into
the mile high city was a rude awakening, and any reason to have to get out
of the car and away from the heater a real pain - but the irises apparently
are loving it!  You make them sound Sooooo beautiful!
Sharon Hiltibidal    

At 11:29 PM 6/4/98 -0600, you wrote:
>Greetings from Denver.  I can't remember the last time that I was
>soooooo cold.  I have had an unforgettable experience so far.  On
>Wednesday I attended the section meetings for Tall Bearded and PCN iris
>plus 1/2 of the meeting for Louisana's and 1/2 of the section meeting
>for Reblooming iris.  There is just no way to go to all the section
>meetings because to avoid adding another day to the convention they have
>to over lap.  Learned lots of inspiring things.  I am all ready to go
>home and try my hand at those temperamental PCNs.  I have a much better
>handle on when to divide those rebloomers and how quickly to get them
>back in the ground so that you minimize the potential to lose a bloom
>cycle.  I met many new friends and have actually met several of the
>folks with geek badges face to face. 
>It is funny.  I am not a person who usually wears buttons or the like;
>but, I too sport buttons for Denver, Oklahoma, and Dallas.  I am no sure
>if my suitcase will hold another catalog; but, if I spot one I am sure
>that the uncontrollable urge will over come all logic and I will get it.
>At the welcoming dinner 'meet and greet' I met Rusty from Texas.  A very
>gracious young man.  There are quite a few future AIS leaders in
>attendance.  At dinner we got the chance to visit with some of our
>Region 20 hosts.  It is really awesome to listen to all the hard work
>that it takes to get the National Convention put together.  Their work
>doesn't end when we get here to have fun.  They are unselfishly putting
>long days of work so that we have the best possible Denver experience.
>Now to the reason for the title.  On Monday it was in the 90's.  Tuesday
>was a little colder -- high 80's.  Wednesday, I think that the weather
>man said that the high was in the mid 50's.  Today, we got up to drizzle
>and low clouds.  It was windy or rainy or both all day long.  No one on
>our bus had enough clothes.  As soon as we got home several of us hit
>the local K-Mart looking for warm clothes -- NO LUCK.  It seems that
>they had just sold the last of the winter stock.  Tomorrow is supposed
>to be even colder.  I am going for layers--a couple of tee shirts, a
>couple of sweatshirts etc.
>Today our bus way on the "CITY" garden loop.  We saw 5 gardens.  Our
>first stop was the Chapman's garden.  The garden is about 45 minutes
>south west of Denver in the foothills of the Rockies.  On the way we saw
>deer, rabbits and other wild life.  In the garden everyone got down to
>the business of evaluating and enjoying the iris.  In addition to the
>guest iris, they have a fairly extensive collection of TBs, IBs and
>historic.  I even got a lesson on why one iris was NOT MADAME CHEREAUX
>[spelling -- I am really tired.]  from Mike.  One of the highlights (?)
>was when the cat brought his breakfast into the iris garden--a baby
>rabbit.  I am not sure if he wanted to share or just show us how great
>he was.  Glenna says that with El Meano they have a lot of rabbits and
>the cat performs a real service in protecting the iris beds from the
>The whistle blew all too soon and we were on our way to the next garden
>at the Chapman's home.  This garden is also in the foothills of the
>Rockies.  A little higher but not quite so hilly.  Here we got to see
>Arilbreds, Historic, Guest iris, Lowell's seedlings and a "Fabulous
>Forties" garden.  They also have some incredible peonies.  (Can you tell
>I come from Southern California, where we would kill for the ability to
>grow these wonderful flowers.)    You never seem to have enough time in
>a garden.  I quickly learned to go to the farthest point in the garden
>and work my way back to the front.  In doing this I avoid lots of
>Next we were off to the Hudson Gardens.  This is a regional public
>display garden.  Here we met up with the other three buses on our loop.
>It gave us a chance to compare notes and have lunch.  The folks from
>Region 20 even had guest iris for us to enjoy here.  It is really great,
>I go around taking my pictures and making notes AND eaves dropping on
>all the wonderful information that goes on around me.  In addition to
>the iris, the garden has a collection of roses, a nifty rock garden and
>a bed of perennials.  There were even some PCNs in bloom.
>The first garden for the afternoon was at the home of Rob Stetson.
>Rob's garden is in south central Denver.  He has about 2 1/2 lots in a
>residental neighborhood.  Rob is an active hybridizer.  Every garden we
>have been to has lots of his seedlings.  He is really working hard on
>that elusive TB red.  By this time the temperature is still dropping.  I
>still don't know how my fingers can work the camera; but, I did get a
>lot of great pictures.  In Rob's garden we saw our first beardless guest
>iris.   (Several spurias)
>Off to the last garden at the Love's.  They have a rather large lot (at
>least by Southern California standards).  In this garden we had lots of
>guest siberians in addition to the bearded iris guests.  The Love's
>personal iris collection includes siberian, spuria, historic and lots of
>bearded iris.  Once again that whistle got us back to the bus and back
>to the hotel.  
>I had about a 2 hour break to get something to eat and warmer clothes
>and back for two sessions of judges training.  The first was on Aril and
>Arilbreds.  I learned so much.  Let's see if I can retain it.  The
>second session was on Border Bearded iris (it the proportion --
>stupid.).  Then back out into the rain and wind and back to Motel 6.  I
>realize that this is way too long and may be a little incoherent; but I
>have been up since 5:30 and have to do the same tomorrow.  We are off to
>the Boulder and Golden, Colorado area.  Northwest of Denver.  Keep your
>fingers crossed that all the iris haven't been frozen.
>Hitting the hay in chilly Denver. They set a record for the lowest high
>for this date today and the forecast is for the same tomorrow.
>Sleep deprived in Denver
>Shirlee Lewis

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