Region 14 American Iris Society—Spring Regional

2018 Spring Regional

Butterflies in the Mountains

Rick Tasco with Absolute Treasure iris

Come and be part of the Spring Regional, Friday May 11 until Sunday May 13, 2018. The guest speaker is Rick Tasco of Superstition Iris Gardens. Rick‘s program on Saturday night will be “Iris Hybridizing: My Way.” At the end of the program we will get to see slides of his current year introductions. For more information download the Speaker information.

This will be an opportunity for Region 14 folks to visit irises blooming at a higher elevation, around 3,000 ft. Due to the fact the bloom season is later, the Spring Regional is scheduled for a later date than our usual meetings.  Also, we are competing with the beginning of the Yosemite traffic tourist season, thus requiring some ‘out of the box’ thinking about the hotels and event meeting place. This is going to be a ‘down home’ event in the Sierra Foothills of Yosemite and the Region is hosting with the assistance of San Joaquin Iris Society. SJIS will also be organizing the lunch in Kanarowski’s garden. An AIS sanctioned show will be hosted by Yosemite Iris Society. The registration fee has not been set, but we wanted you to have information about the hotels available in the area, so you can make reservations as soon as possible. There will be no meeting hotel, but all activities will take place at the Bootjack Stompers Hall. There are other hotels in addition to those mentioned in Mariposa, and it will be up to you to choose where you want to stay. Mariposa is approximately 40 minutes from Merced, where you can find other hotels which may be more reasonable. Here are the details that are available at this time:

Doug’s Garden

Doug and Diane Kanarowski

Originally from Michigan, Doug met and married his wife to be in Mariposa California; a small, sparsely-population community on the edge of Yosemite National Park.  Both gardeners from a very young age, Diane was the “flower person” while Doug’s priority was growing all of the family fruits and vegetables. “They're pretty but you can't eat them.” But that is not how this story will end.

Around 1995, three pivotal events took place in fairly rapid succession. First, Diane got a bit overwhelmed with the upkeep of her flowers.  As an act of kindness, Doug volunteered to help her with part of her flower work. So she delegated the growing of her iris to him.  Second, during one of their joint visits to Superstitions Iris Gardens, Rick Tasco showed him how to breed an iris.  “At that moment, I felt like the recipient of the secret recipe for Coca-Cola.”  And clearly remember practically shouting out loud, “Do you have any idea of what you've just done?”

Tea House at Mariposa Iris Gardens

The third event occurred during a trip to the nursery of a world-renown rose breeder, Ralph Moore.  Moore shared that of the hundreds of promising seedlings that he gets each year, he would only introduce a rose that was either 20% different or 20% better than what was already on the market.  To Doug, that made perfect sense.

Doug is hyper-critical of his own seedlings and therefore only introduces an average of 3 iris per year.  As an aid, he has designed his own seedling evaluation form that reminds him to evaluate at more than 50 different aspects.  While minor faults can be tolerated, a major fault will always result in a one-way trip to the compost pile.  “My goal is to advance the iris world.” 

In 2010, be began marketing his Iris From The Future on his website: www.mariposairis.com  He has initiated a number of industry leading innovations.  Some of which are:  a 100% satisfaction guarantee, 2 rhizomes for the price of one, and no shipping charges for orders over $100. 

He is active in three iris Societies, involved with Region 14 activities and judging, visits many area gardens and  conducts a large, invitation-only fundraiser every year.  He also conducts a research trip to all the major Oregon gardens every second year to keep abreast of future developments. “From what I am seeing in my own seedlings beds and in the beds of others, the future of iris is far more interesting and exciting than we have imagined.  The iris horizon isn't narrowing, it's widening!”

Gary and Gail Collings—Sky Ranch Gardens

Gary and Gail Collings have lived in the Oakhurst area for 30 years. Their iris journey began 20 years ago when they went to Superstition Iris Gardens and purchased eight irises for their newly built home. Over the years they acquired other irises from friends and neighbors and grew them mostly in barrels and pots.

Gary and Gail Collings at Sky Ranch Gardens

It wasn’ t until they went to the second annual Yosemite Iris Society Show in April of 2014 that they were stricken with the iris virus. Gary entered one stalk of Snow Flurry and received a Best Specimen Of Section blue ribbon. At that time they joined the Y.I.S. and were given four potted irises to add to their still small collection.

It wasn't until they went to the second annual Yosemite Iris Society Show in April of 2014 that they were stricken with the iris virus. Gary entered one stalk of Snow Flurry and received a Best Specimen Of Section blue ribbon. At that time they joined the Y.I.S. and were given four potted irises to add to their still small collection.

Gary started hybridizing in the spring of 2016 and this fall will be transplanting around 150 seedlings into his seedling bed. Gary and Gail have now completed the requirements to be advanced to Apprentice Judge. Their “Sky Ranch Iris Gardens” are located 13 miles outside of the southern gate to Yosemite National Park at about 3,200 feet elevation.

Kathy Braaten is chairing the event if you have any questions please feel free to or or call 530 477-2811

download information regarding motels.

Mariposa Iris Gardens

A preliminary schedule will be posted below soon.

View or download the 2018 Spring Regional Registration Form

Please register as soon as possible.

Download the Spring Regional Schedule.