For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

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Schreiner’s Iris Gardens Closing In On 100

“Tillamook Bay” (Schreiner, ’21)

Join us in celebration of our 96th year! This year the theme of our catalog centers around our home state of Oregon. Inside our 32-page print catalog, you will find stunning images of the breathtaking locations around our beautiful state, as well as dozens of eye-popping colorful iris. The names of our 2021 iris introductions, of course, take their inspiration from all things Oregon…. from the dramatic coastline on the western edge, to the wide open high dessert of the east, and everything in between.

Below is just a sample of the many new iris we’ve introduced for 2021.


(Clockwise from upper left: “Agate Beach“, “Along the Lines” (dwarf iris), “Brooklyn” (dwarf iris), “Starlight Parade“, “Jawbone Flats“, “Devil’s Punchbowl“)

Request a copy of our free 2021 print catalog on our website or by phone at 800-525-5367.

~ The Schreiner Family



Thank you, one and all….

Schreiner's Gardens|Sunrise over Newly Planted Fields

October sunrise over newly planted Iris fields

Thank you for a wonderful season.
To all of our customers — past, present and future — we thank you. You represent our heritage and our legacy. In this season of planning and planting, we embrace the coming winter, and look to the bounty of the spring. But there’s no rushing nature.
Not even in this impatient era of “instant gratification” and “what’s in it for me” can the forces of nature be hurried. Yet, with lightning speed, we all share our joys and woes; our pleasure or displeasure with a personal experience or product purchased. We share images of our latest acquisition, mountain climbed, or newest blossom to open in the garden (the latter being our favorite always). Comments, praise, and complaints fly through the social cyber waves to our virtual doorstep. We, here at Schreiner’s Gardens, receive these messages with open arms, receptive minds and humble hearts. Social posts, emails, and letters all serve to bind us better to you, our customers. For this connection, we are grateful.
For four generations of Iris (and Daylily) farming we’ve been growing our connections — building our followers, you could say. With all of you, we share our successes, because we care about what’s in it for you.
Thank you for another great season.
Best wishes for a peaceful Autumn,

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Willamette Valley Springtime Equals Color

Think spring. Visit us in May.

Memorial Day Celebration|Schreiner's Iris Gardens

Visitors to our Display Gardens during Bloom Season in May

From the foothills of the Coast Range in the west to the lowlands of the Cascade Range in the east, color washes across the Willamette Valley in waves of color from early to late spring.
On our farm, acres of Bearded Iris open in a rainbow show beginning early to mid-March, with the colors continuing through late May to early June. Patch by patch, the Dwarf varieties to the grand Tall Beardeds, take their turn opening blooms in a dizzying array of color combinations.
Our 10-acre Display Garden, located here on our farm since 1947 (Schreiner family history), is dedicated to the display of Tall Bearded Iris. Nearly 500 named varieties are planted among spring-blooming perennials for a well-rounded display of form, texture, and COLOR!
Plan your trip to visit during our Bloom Season Open House, May 11 to May 31st this year.
We look forward to seeing you!


Quite Personal: An Iris Lover’s Dream Fulfilled

FXSchreinerMarch 15, 1928, St. Paul Minnesota

“I have styled this an ‘Iris Lover’s Catalog’ because it is the outcome of a compelling enthusiasm for this flower of mysterious charm.” Thus Franz Xavier Schreiner opened the introduction to his very first price list from his then three-year old Iris nursery located at his St. Paul, Minnesota home. Our grandfather, F. X. Schreiner, began in earnest in 1925 to grow a quality selection of the best Bearded Iris cultivars of the day. Between 1925 and 1927 F. X. set about to creating a classification system, that ultimately formed the basis of the arrangement for his 1928 Price List.

From the early days of the American Iris Society, F. X. Schreiner worked with the board to establish a more workable color classification and rating system for Iris. In his 1928 Price List, F. X. explained, “once we have our Iris arranged in such [color] groups, it is clear we can more intelligently appraise their value, because we compare each one to all similar ones of its own group, and consider all competing members rather than consider it as an isolated example out of the whole field…We arrive at its relative value among others of its color group.”  He continues, “after thirty-six years of city business with its incessant competitive strife I find myself on the way towards realizing one of life’s visions, — working in Nature’s beauty garden. After three years of preliminary work, I feel safe in offering the world this beginning of a working plan that will make it more interesting and less vexatious to follow this inspiring avocation or hobby.”

F. X. shared his love for Iris and plants with his three children, Robert, Connie and Bernard (Gus). In 1931, after F.X.’s untimely passing, these three would carry forth their father’s dream “– working in Nature’s beauty garden” and establishing a sound Iris nursery.

Robert, Bernard (couldn't stay still for the photo), and Connie in St. Paul MN Garden

Robert, Bernard (couldn’t stay still for the photo), and Connie Schreiner in their father’s St. Paul MN Garden

Connie, Bernard (on sled) and Robert Schreiner in snowy St. Paul, MN early 1920s

In the decades following the establishment of this elemental foundation of Iris classification, the Iris world has blossomed with the myriad cultivars we enjoy today. As Robert Schreiner wrote in the January 1970 issue of the Bulletin of the AIS, from the years 1920 to 1925, “many new breeders came to the fore. Iris history was being made. The founding of the American Iris Society in 1920 became the pivotal point for information. A gardener in Maine or California, Georgia or Washington State, could hear or read about the experiences of other iris personalities and learn of new varieties. Without the invaluable function of the iris society in handling registration of iris names [and a classification of the cultivars], chaos would have become the rule.”

Schreiner's Gardens|Dwarf Iris

Dwarf Iris bloom early Spring, Schreiner’s Iris Gardens

This early April morning in 2015, Salem, Oregon, we survey our fields and Display Garden and wonder at the sight of Dwarf Iris blooming among tulips and daffodils, Intermediate Iris already sending up bloom stalks, Tall Bearded Iris foliage, thick and strong, awaiting the fullness of bloom. We send a silent prayer to our grandfather, thanking him for the work he achieved to lay the foundation of  Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. And we thank the countless breeders and enthusiasts who have helped to make the Iris world what it is today.

Click here to view the complete 1928 Schreiner Price List.


~ The Schreiner Family

P.S. Curious about the American Iris Society and the upcoming Annual AIS Convention in Portland, Oregon? Click here.


Schreiner’s Gardens Toast to Irish Heritage

Schreiner's Gardens|Dwarf Iris

Dwarf Iris bloom early Spring

March brings renewed anticipation for gardening, and for living. Iris leaves shoot up. And, lo, is that a twinkle in the eye amidst the Shamrocks?

Schreiner Family|Patricia Schreiner

Gus & Patricia Schreiner

This St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrate our Irish heritage. Our mother, Patricia (Dion) Schreiner, traced her maternal lineage back to the Ryan family of the County of Limerick. Her witticisms and love of laughter, in her relaxed, easy manner, remain with us to this day.

May your heart be light and happy,
May your smile be big and wide,
And may your pockets always have
a coin or two inside!

Happy St. Paddy’s Day to you all!

Schreiner Family|Patricia Schreiner

Patricia (Dion) Schreiner


Schreiner’s Iris Gardens Celebrating 90 Years

Schreiner's Iris Gardens|History

Bernard, Connie and Robert Schreiner

Join us in celebration of our golden anniversary all throughout 2015! Grandfather F.X. Schreiner began his small commercial Iris business in 1925 in St. Paul, MN. His three children, Bernard, Connie, and Robert, moved the business to Salem, Oregon in the 1940s and opened up the Display Gardens to the public in the 1950s.

Do you or someone you know have memories of visiting, working for, or doing business with Schreiner’s Iris Gardens over the past 90 years? Historic or recent, we’d love to read your stories. Many thanks in advance for sharing your memories with us!

Schreiner's Iris Gardens|History

Schreiner’s Way c1950s

Please share your stories via the form below, then click the “Submit” button. Thank you for sharing!


~ The Schreiner Family


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!




“Stepping Out” Celebrates 50th Birthday!

Introduced by the Schreiner family in 1964, Stepping Out quickly became a popular garden Iris. This superb plicata specimen could be found in the Top 10 of the American Iris Society‘s “100 Most Popular Bearded Iris” list year after year. And it’s no surprise why! Stepping Out, a rich violet and white plicata, strikingly picoteed, was awarded the AIS Honorable Mention medal in 1965, the AIS Award of Merit in 1967, and the premium award for a Bearded Iris, the Dykes Medal, in 1968. We are proud to celebrate Stepping Out’s 50th birthday this year!

Stepping Out Schreiner 1964

Stepping Out
Schreiner 1964


June Has Busted, June Has Burst! Quench Your Tall Bearded Iris Thirst!

The summer solstice, a most propitious date — brings the promise of long, heady days of summer, reaping the success in our gardens and in all aspects of our lives. June 21st also heralds the start of our 2014 Summer Sale. You’ll find over 350 varieties of Tall Bearded Iris at deeply discounted prices. Pictured on the cover of our summer sale catalog below is a special bonus for your summer sale order. “Swept Off My Feet”, one of our 2014 introductions, is the 2014 Summer Sale bonus. Use coupon code SSC2014 to get yours. (*Limit one per customer; minimum $25 order of plants.)

Tall Bearded Iris | Discount Iris

Iris | Iris FertilizerWhat’s happening in the June garden? Depending on your location, you may have a handful of lingering Iris blossoms, or all of your bloom stalks might be sporting the papery remains of the seasons’ blooms. When all blossoms on the stalks have finished, carefully trim the bloom stalk at its base. Leave all green foliage in place. They offer an elegant vertical visual throughout the garden. You may remove any browned and dry leaves, though. Keep the Iris beds clean and free of weeds. Well-established Iris plants are drought tolerant. Newly planted Iris, though, do require a good long drink approximately every 7 to 10 days if the weather is very dry. Reblooming Iris also prefer irrigation between the spring bloom and summer/autumn re-bloom times. We recommend an application of a low-nitrogen fertilizer (such as 6-10-10) approximately one month after blooms have finished. Superphosphate and bonemeal also work well as a fertilizer for Iris.