Getting Started In Iris
By Dana Borglum
I got started in iris by planting out some of the varieties growing under the trees on the farm we bought – it being too shady for them under the trees. I lined some of the iris out in the vegetable garden where they bloomed the fallowing year. Then I learned of a hybridizer in Rochester, NY named Bert Porrica whom we visited. He lent me an American Iris Bulletin and things blossomed from there.
I no longer have room for veggies as there are now over three (3) acres of iris of at least seven (7) classes, plus daylilies and over 200 named peonies – a good 3500 plants. We have named a couple dozen clones of TB, Sib, JI, Spuria and Spec. X. Our Siberian iris ‘Lake Keuka’ won the Morgan-Wood Medal in 2002.
Most of our sales are direct sales in bloom season. We have counted license plates in any one year from sixteen (16) states plus Canada. We draw them off the main roads with road signs, plus we advertise in local papers. We have been selling iris for about twenty (20) years, especially since I retired in 1997.
I was born in 1935 and hope to do this as long as Currier McEwen, though I don’t expect to tie his record. We had some nice Spuria seedlings bloom for us this past year and hope they come along nicely so they can be introduced in the future.