Saturday, April 26, 2008

Iris Festival

Well. I've finally done it. I've found the time to drive to Porterville and check out their annual Iris Festival. My first stop was the Festival itself. There's not much iris in the festival, that's for sure.

It was your basic street faire with junk food and carnies and "craft" booths. ugh. For some reason their advertising had me thinking that they were going to have iris-themed art for sale. I must have confused them with the quilt show and its quality vendors. These folks were hawking junk. I walked two blocks down one side of the street and the two blocks back. I don't know how far the festival stretched, but I didn't have enough interest to stay with them.

The main attraction for me was the chance to see the Sutton Iris Garden. Wow. If you like iris, prepare to be overwhelmed. Blooming iris stretch as far as the eye can see.

As you walk behind the house, you find neatly tended rows of iris, studded with blooming snapdragons and dianthus. These are followed by neatly tended rows of iris only.

And then, the fields stretch almost as far as the eye can see.

It was like going to the quilt show at Paducah. Every where I turned, I saw more and more beautiful iris. There's no way to even pretend I could take enough pictures or begin to remember what I'd seen.
Tennison Ridge

Fit For a King

Midnight Cowboy - oops, tilt your head please :)

El Presidente

I discovered that I am NOT an iris connoisseur. I don't know much about them at all, and I prefer them fairly simple. I LOVE single-color-saturated iris, with minimal ruffling, like Midnight Cowboy. But it seems like the majority of the iris are paler and multi-colored, with this color beards and that color standards... They are all beautiful. If you want to adopt some, how does one choose? I have no idea.

But choose I did. They had several bins of rhizomes available for $4 each. I selected 2 Tennison Ridge (the dark purple with the white spot), Gratuity (bright orange), and Blatant (with coloring similar to El Presidente). I didn't want to get carried away, then again, I didn't want to go away empty-handed. I can always order online, if I get the urge. :)

The iris garden is out in the middle of the country. Rather than back-track to Pville and the highway, I stuck to the country roads. It's been a long, long time since I've been out there. I don't remember all of those nice dairies. wow. impressive!!

But the best part of the drive home was passing the strawberry stand. Strawberries are one of the best parts of Visalia in April. Yum, yum, don't they make your mouth water?!!!

And that's my field trip for today. Now it's time to get to work!

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