For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens


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Annual Iris Naming Contest 2016

 

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B857-C is nice, but I need a proper name!

Each October we select one of our seedlings, never before introduced, to be named by you, our fellow Iris enthusiasts. This year’s candidate is a purple and white seedling, very logically (although unimaginatively) named B857-C. This purple-bearded delight stands 33 inches tall and blooms mid-to-late season. CONTEST NOW CLOSED. Thank you for your interest. Look for next year’s contest in October 2017.

Contest open to US residents only. Entry deadline is 9:00 p.m. Pacific, Wednesday, October 26, 2016.  The winner will receive one plant of the named Iris (shipped summer 2017) and a $25 gift certificate to Schreiner’s Iris Gardens (mailed with a copy of the 2017 catalog in the spring of 2017).

The contest winner will be notified via email in early November.

Sharing our passion for Iris,
The Schreiner Family

Images in this blog are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of the copyright holders Schreiner’s Iris Gardens.

 


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2015 Annual Iris Naming Contest

Schreiner Iris|Iris Naming ContestOur Annual Iris Naming Contest is now closed for the season. Please check back again in the fall for next year’s contest. Thank you to all who submitted an entry! We’ll be announcing the winner soon.

Each October we select one of our seedlings, never before introduced, to be named by you, our fellow Iris enthusiasts. This year’s candidate is a bold, vibrant purple seedling, very logically (although unimaginatively) named YY63-A. This orange-bearded, bi-tone stands 33″ tall and blooms mid-season. Send us your name suggestion via the entry form below.  Contest open to US residents only. Entry deadline is 9:00 p.m. Pacific, Tuesday, October 20, 2015.  The winner will receive one plant of the named Iris (shipped summer 2016) and a $25 gift certificate to Schreiner’s Iris Gardens (mailed with a copy of the 2016 catalog in the spring of 2016).  We look forward to receiving your suggested name!

While you’re contemplating that perfect name, take a look at Benita Green Lee’s terrific write-up on how hybridizers choose names for their seedlings, “Putting a Name to That Face“.

The contest winner will be notified via email in early November.

For complete contest details click here.

 

 

Sharing our passion for Iris,

The Schreiner Family

Images in this blog are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of the copyright holders Schreiner’s Iris Gardens.


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Schreiner’s Iris Gardens’ 2015 Iris Naming Contest Winner

Contest|Schreiner's Gardens

Let’s Fly!

Schreiner’s Iris Gardens is excited to announce that Seedling TT1024-C has a new name! Congratulations to Joan F. from Erie, Pennsylvania for her winning entry, “Let’s Fly”! Joan said the name came to her when she looked at the petals of the blossom which reminded her of wings. She thought to herself, “Hey, let’s fly away!”  Joan will receive a $25 gift certificate to Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, as well as one rhizome of “Let’s Fly” next summer. Congratulations Joan!

Thank you to all who participated in our Annual Iris Naming Contest. We received over 1100 entries! Suggested names ranged from the fanciful to the spiritual, from the humorous to the personal. It’s no easy task to pick just one from so many great suggestions.

 

Ray Schreiner and crew are working on new seedlings for 2016 and beyond. Join us again next year for our Annual Iris Naming contest!

Stay tuned for the announcement of Schreiner’s Iris Gardens’ 2015 New Introductions. We’ll present our new Iris on our website starting in 2015, which incidentally is our 90th anniversary!

 

 


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Annual Iris Naming Contest Now Closed

Our Annual Iris Naming Contest is now closed for the season. Please check back again in the fall for next year’s contest. Thank you to all who submitted an entry! Best of luck and Happy Gardening!

 

Contest|Schreiner's Gardens

Schreiner Seedling TT1024-C


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Horns, Spoons and Flounces! Say What?

"Wings At Dawn", winner 2013 Iris Naming Contest

“Wings At Dawn”, winner 2013 Iris Naming Contest

We congratulate William Shear of Virginia on his winning entry in this year’s Iris Naming Contest, “Wings At Dawn”. The flounces at the tips of the sunny beards of this all-new introduction for 2014 lift away like birds at daybreak. Mr. Shear will receive a $25 gift certificate to Schreiner’s Iris Gardens and one rhizome of “Wings At Dawn”. We thank all who submitted entries for the 2013 Iris Naming Contest.

Selecting one name from the hundreds of creative and thoughtful suggestions is never an easy task and is truly a group effort. We were drawn to the name that best reflected the perceived motion of the flounces lifting away from the standards. The appendages on this radiant beauty were pure happenstance, according to Ray Schreiner; it was not intentionally bred. The story of the intentional breeding of Iris sporting horns, spoons and flounces reveals a bit of serendipity as well. Read on….

1960 Catalog Cover from Lloyd Austin's Iris Gardens

1960 Catalog Cover from Lloyd Austin’s Iris Gardens

The odd protrusions from the tips of the beards, once decried by some Irisarians as “monstrosities”, were launched into the Iris breeding world and landed themselves a spot in Iris history in the early 1950’s. The late Lloyd Austin (1898-1963) cultivated the Iris oddities, hatching the idea after a fortuitous visit to the gardens of Sydney Mitchell (1878-1951) in Placerville, CA in the late 1940’s. (This is the very same Mitchell after whom the American Iris Society’s “Sydney B. Mitchel Medal” is named.) The story goes that Mitchell  had no interest in these errant traits among his Iris crosses, and willingly offered the seedlings to his friend. Mr. Austin worked with these unique seedlings, crossing them at his gardens, until he achieved the horns, spoons and flounces and even double appendages at the ends of the beards, thus launching the niche of the “Space Age” Iris. Lloyd Austin’s first horned introduction was “Unicorn” in 1954. Throughout the 1960’s, Lloyd Austin promoted the unusually adorned Iris through his colorful catalogs (see image). Check this link for more on the story of Lloyd Austin and his 1954 debut with “Unicorn” on the American Iris Society’s “World of Irises” blog.

Mesmerizer, Monty Byers 1991

Mesmerizer, Monty Byers 1991

Several breeders have carried on the “space” program with great success, despite the opinion still maintained by some Irisarians that these appendages are a distraction or unpleasant. The late Monty Byers, for starters, introduced several award-winning winged, horned or spooned Iris over the years. Take a look at Thornbird (Dykes Medal 1997), Conjuration (Dykes Medal 1998), and Mesmerizer (Dykes Medal 2002) for starters. Lawrence Ransom (“Punk”, 1998; “Three Two One Lift Off”, 2008) and Tom Burseen (“I Wuv Woses”, 2008) also have bred wonderful, fun “space agers”.

Again, thank you to all who submitted entries in this year’s Iris Naming Contest. Try your luck again next year. Look for the contest announcement in the Fall of 2014.

And thank you for choosing Schreiner’s Iris Gardens! We are so very grateful to all of our fans, customers and acquaintances. Happy Thanksgiving!

The above information on the birth of “space age” iris was adapted from passages from the World of Irises, and publications by Kelly Norris (A Guide to Bearded Irises), and William Shear (The Gardener’s Iris Book – out of print).


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Introducing “Girly Girl”!

“Girly Girl” One of our 2013 New Introductions

We are happy to announce the winner of the 2012 “I Need A Name” Iris naming contest.  We have selected the fun and feminine entry of  “Girly Girl” as the name for this precious new plicata. Our winner, Susan S. (grandmother to five fun and feminine little girls), hails from the great state of Oklahoma.

Congratulations to Susan and her family! We enjoyed reading the entries (nearly 1000!) and the stories behind them. Thank you for participating! We invite you to enter our next naming contest in Fall 2013.


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Tribute to Our Crew

Crew Planting Display Gardens

Schreiner’s Iris Gardens has been a family-owned and operated small business since its beginning in 1925. Today three third-generation Schreiner siblings, Liz, Ray and Steve, are steering the company into the future . But we also consider our hard-working crew as family, joining together to tend our plants and grounds throughout the year. They begin planting the rhizomes and nubs in September and October each season, carefully hand placing each plant, watching its annual journey from bud break to hand harvesting each summer. All this attention by our devoted Iris crew creates what we feel to be the best Iris locally, nationally and internationally.

Planting at sunrise for the 2013 crop

While the bulk of our crew works only during our peak season from April through August, Schreiner’s maintains a core crew year-round. These long-time employees (some exceeding 20 years with us) keep Schreiner’s operating and looking its best. They assist with the thousands of crosses for new varieties; maintain precise inventory records; prepare field identification tags (so we know what’s where); dig and plant the 200 plus acres of fields and display gardens; drive trucks, tractors, cultivators and forklifts; weld, build, design, troubleshoot equipment and tools; research and implement current agricultural and work-place regulations; clean and sanitize the grounds and buildings; and, pack and ship millions of boxes of Iris annually.

The Schreiner “extended” family includes our fabulous office staff as well! Three very dedicated and long-term employees accept and process orders; field phone questions; prepare orders for digging; maintain wholesale customer records; correspond with and prepare orders for our international customers;  ensure compliance with phytosanitary regulations; and so much more. Alison, Leslie and Annette have all been with Schreiner’s for many years — 32, 13 and 12 respectfully! They each add professionalism, precision, and great humor to our lives here at the gardens. Our newest employees, Lucy (our wonderful new accountant) and Dyna (general marketing assistant and amateur photographer), round out the hard-working staff in the office.

As we prepare to close out another colorful and exciting Iris season, we pause and consider all for which we are grateful and fortunate. Our customers and our crew — both loyal and new — roll in at the top of the list.

Liz, Ray and Steve Schreiner
Photo courtesy Stacey Griffin Photography

Thank you!

Liz, Ray and Steve

P.S. Right now we are naming next year’s New Introductions. We’d love to receive your suggestions on a name for one of our new seedlings, shown below!  Please email us your name suggestion to iris@schreinersgardens.com. For the complete Contest description, click here:  Enter our Annual Iris Naming Contest!

One of our new introductions. Stay tuned for the results of the 2012 Naming Contest!