The Greeneville Iris Festival was one of tremendous success for the Greeneville Iris Society.

The crowds were eager to drool over the many offerings that Kim Bowman, President of the Greeneville Iris Society, as well as contributing members provided for the annual sale. Hundreds of iris were sold to an eager public, consisting of visitors from Knoxville, North Carolina, Virginia, Johnson City, Kingsport, Morristown and many other surrounding states and counties. Kim had an impressive display of pictures of the iris which helped the public as they just wanted specific colors in their gardens.

The iris are called jewels for a reason. Most sizes and colors of the rainbow were available. Tall bearded, medians, Louisiana, and Japanese Iris were just a few species in abundance. Requests were made for many college colors as well as the new black, which in most cases is a deeply colored blue and very stunning.

Planting handouts as well as Society membership brochures were provided to the public. Many questions were fielded by the Society members on duty both days. Saturday was a crush as long lines stayed fast while the purchasing took place. Some buyers had never grown iris which is always exciting to assure them just how addictive iris growing develops.

Some of educational points made were to plant their rhizomes where there is no ponding water. Just bury the rhizome roots and let Mother Nature provide water after initial planting as too much water will cause rot. Planting on a hillside or slope is recommended. Iris can be planted now and will increase over a period of three years so your one rhizome will make 5-6 new plants over that period.

In early spring a little fertilizer can help growth, keep them weeded and stand back for a glorious display of beauty. The Siberian type will be your first bloomers and always place your Dwarf iris in front of your planting bed. It is important to know the name of the iris so make sure your label stays with your rhizome and since we have so many deer and other critters who like to play in these beds, make a map and add date in a notebook of iris placement with names. Take pictures when they bloom so you know what you have when you enter your Iris in the Iris Show, which is usually held in early May. For information regarding society membership please contact Kim Bowman at Dberry9003@gmail.com.

The Greeneville Iris Society is affiliated with the American Iris Society and meets monthly from February through September. Members are welcome to attend regional conferences in Region 7 which consists of all of Tennessee and Kentucky. We invite you to join this great group of members who enjoy their irises with a passion.