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LA:SLI Meeting

The Central Arkansas Iris Society sponsored the 
Society for Louisiana Irises Convention
in Little Rock this past week-end.

Rain threatened to spoil the event as we woke
up to thunder and lightning on Friday morning,
the day of the tours.  We boarded the buses in rain,
but by the time we got to Tom Dillard's Maumelle garden,
the rain had slacked off and we were able to view the irises.  

Outlying gardens were viewed first, starting with Tom's. 
You cannot imagine the amount and variety of irises
M. D. and June Faith grow on their city lot in Searcy, forty-five miles 
northeast of Little Rock.  The rain seemed to have bypassed
this lovely spot.  Watch for M. D.'s new dark introduction named for
HENRY ROWLAN.  This one is really a beauty.

Robert Treadway has a beautiful garden near Carlisle,
where a lot of Heather Pryor's aussie irises were
well-adjusted in their new home twelve thousand miles
from their birthplace.  Heather's WINGS of MERCURY is
a beautiful yellow as is FOR DAD, both catching my eye.
We had lunch here.

Back to Little Rock and the city gardens.  Dr. Wendell Hall
and John Hemkamp garden on a hillside (a mountain if you ask me).
The incline up the driveway seemed at a ninety degree angle.  
'Swamp irises' growing on top of a hill?  You bet.  So well,
in fact, one of Dr. Hall's seedlings won a  SLI award for the
best of its class in the show on Saturday.

In a city park that has a big pond, LA's have just been planted.
They gave a scattering of bloom and the stop there was well-worth
the time.

Our last stop was a small back yard plot, well-manicured by Tim Nutt.
It was there we saw the beautiful FRANCES ELIZABETH, a Deballion winner
once thought lost until Tom Dillard went to New Zealand and brought
it back.

On Saturday, there was a small show.  WHITE UMBRELLA, entered by 
Robert Treadway, was the best specimen.

A recently activated award sponsored by Marie Caillet honors the best
clump seen in a tour garden.  That clump was MY FRIEND DICK, a fabulous
red hybridized by M. D. Faith.

After the show on Saturday, I drove over to the Arkansas State Capitol 
grounds to see the beds of bearded irises.  SUPREME SULTAN was
stealing the show there, and many non-irisarians were taking
pictures and commenting that they had never seen such irises.

The Awards Banquet was another highlight.  We were entertained by
the adventures of Maria Brevicaulis and Eddy Nelsonii.

Next year, it's back to Lafayette for the SLI convention, but one may
be coming to your area soon.  Dallas and Tucson are already
on the calender.

Thanks CAIS members for such a memorable convention.

Walter Moores
Enid Lake, MS USA 7/8

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