Thursday, May 28, 2015

Yesterday’s adventure in retirement was a walk in the iris garden.  I met a Master Gardener a couple of years ago and took her class on growing iris.  Fran told me at the time that she would have me over for a tour of her yard full of irises.  I couldn’t wait.  Irises are my very favorite flowers.

Last week I received an email from the Stephenson County Extension office asking if any Master Gardeners would like to go on a tour of Fran’s Iris Garden.  I signed up immediately.

Yesterday, the day of the tour, I awoke to a horrendous downpour of rain.  It has rained like every other day here for the past two weeks.  Come on Earth, this is May not April.  I was so afraid that the iris garden tour would be cancelled.  All morning long it rained on and off.  And not just some drops but deluges of rain.  Finally the sun began to shine.

I hopped into the shower determined this was going to happen.  I got ready and into my truck and as soon as I got to Davis, which is only five minutes away, the sky grew grey and dark.  I called my Extension office and was told that the tour had not been cancelled.

During my half hour drive it sprinkled rain the whole way to Freeport.  As I got into Freeport, the rain let up and the sun came out.  Yippeee!!!

I was the first one to the tour and I talked with Fran for a bit.  The other Master Gardeners came along and so began the tour.  The first bed Fran did in a pink and blue theme because her neighbors next door liked the colors.  However, she accidentally planted an iris which is called Starship Enterprise.  When the neighbor saw the strange colors in the pink and blue display he asked why she had put it there.  She explained her mistake and told him the name of the iris.  He exclaimed, “Great because I’m a trekkie.”  The iris is lovely as shown here.

Fran has labeled all of her irises except for a few that “get lost”.  She has iris that friends give her and she just calls them by the friend’s name.

My favorite story was when she attended the Gardening for Food and Fun workshop in Rockford she won the raffle prize of a basket with 7 iris bulbs in it.  The first one was Penny, the next one Nickel, the next one Dime, Quarter and Dollar.  I forgot what the other two were called but Nickel was my favorite.

We toured the entire yard and it took about an hour.  At the last bed I wanted to take a photo of a beautiful shrub that had the loveliest fronds.  As I stooped down to take the photo I notice that one of the dogs had taken a huge dump in the middle of the shrub. I passed on the photo.

Oh, and during our tour Fran said of the dog kennel in the driveway.  If you know of anyone who needs a dog kennel, we have two.  Anyone want a dog kennel?

I thoroughly enjoyed my tour and plan on getting some more iris bulbs this fall.  If you have any you would like to trade, I’m in.

Trying to leave Krape Park, I got thoroughly lost and ended up back at Fran’s where Master Gardener friend, Jill, guided me out of the maize.  I do get in the strangest predicaments.

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