We Are Moving – See Our New Link

We will shortly be moving where the Region 21 website for the American Iris Society is hosted.  Right now you will be able to see the new posts at this link:


You should be able to see both previous posts and any new ones there.  And it should appear very similar to what you are used to.  At the end of the process, which will probably take a couple of months, we will redirect the above link so it points back to the address you are used to seeing (www.aisregion21.com).  In the meantime, please follow the above link to see the latest news.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please send them to wrmesser@gmail.com  Thank you.

Request for Guest Beardless Irises for 2017 AIS Convention

Request for Guest Beardless Irises

2017 AIS Convention

Des Moines, Iowa

Region 21 will host The American Iris Society National Convention May 22-26, 2017. Convention attendees will tour at least four Des Moines area gardens, including two public gardens. Hybridizers of beardless varieties are invited to send rhizomes of recent introductions and seedlings under consideration for introduction. Please observe the following guidelines when sending guest irises as only officially submitted guest irises will appear in the convention booklet.

Up to two rhizomes of each variety will be accepted from August 25 through September 8, 2014.

Please ship plants to:

Kelly Norris/AIS 2017
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
909 Robert D. Ray Drive
Des Moines, IA 50309

The name of the variety or seedling number should be clearly marked on each rhizome. In addition, the following information should accompany each variety on a separate packing list:

·      Hybridizer’s name and address
·      Name or seedling number of the variety
·      Type of iris (Siberian, Species, Spec-X, etc.)
·      Height, color, distinguishing features
·      Year of introduction (if applicable)

The packing list should include the contributors email address to receive an electronic receipt. Contributors who do not provide an email will receive a confirmation via USPS.

If a guest seedling is later named, it will be the responsibility of the hybridizer to notify the Guest Iris Chair of change. Updates should include name and corresponding seedling number. Please send updates or direct inquiries about guest irises to:

Linda Wilkie
Guest Iris Database Coordinator

Shortly before the convention, contributors will be asked for instructions regarding disposition of the plants. Failure to reply by April 1, 2017 will be interpreted as permission to destroy all seedlings, and distributed named varieties, one to each host garden and the rest as determined by the Convention Committee. No rhizomes will be offered for sale on the internet or other means which compete with sales by the contributors. Guest iris returned will be sent freight paid, except for foreign addresses.

The Convention Committee and the owners of the host gardens will strictly adhere to the Code of Ethics as printed in the AIS Convention Handbook.  The Convention Committee and host gardens will not be responsible for losses beyond their control.

Use this link for a PDF version of this request:  2017 Request For Guest Beardless Iris.

GOIS Iris Sale – July 25, 2014

The Greater Omaha Iris Society Iris Sale is Friday, July 25th at St. Andrew Church.  We will meet at 11:00 AM to set up for the Rhizome Sale. Meet at St. Andrews Church to help set up for the sale. Lunch will be provided.

Then from 2:00—8:00 PM is the Annual Rhizome Sale. Members are needed to answer questions, check out customers, and help take down the sale.

Please consider donating iris from your garden. GOIS offers sales credit for all donations. Rhizomes must be cleaned, trimmed, and named varieties. Contact Linda Wilkie if you have iris you can donate so that sale tags can be prepared.

Remember this is our primary fundraiser for the year and proceeds from the sale fund all
of our activities including maintenance of our display garden! Your help is important to
our success and very much appreciated.

Region 21 Fall Meeting – August 8-9, 2014

It’s that time again.  The Region 21 Fall Meeting is approaching rapidly.  The Region 21 Fall Meeting this year is in Ames, Iowa on August 8th and 9th.  You should have received your registration form already.  If you did not, here is an AIS Region 21 Flyer (PDF).

We have a great lineup of speakers for you.  And following the banquet will be the irises auction.  So send your registration soon and make your room reservations.

Saturday morning August 9th from 10 to 12 is the Public Iris Sale!

Kelly Norris and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden Featured in New York Times

One of Region 21′s own was featured in a New York Times article:  Botany’s New Boys.  It describes what is happening with the rejuvenation of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and includes Kelly Norris’s background in irises and horticulture.  No iris pictures; but, they do have a slideshow of the Botanical Garden and some plants to enjoy.  As an aside, Kelly and the Garden are part of the 2017 AIS National Convention so there will be irises to enjoy in the future.

Congratulations to Kelly and everyone at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden!

Iris Photography & How to Enter the AIS Photo Contest – LIS Meeting June 30, 2014

Calling all shutterbugs, or aspiring shutterbugs!  This month’s program is for you. Stan Sass will present a program on the art of iris photography and how to showcase your skill by entering the American Iris Society Photo Contest.  He has entered the AIS Photo Contest several times, and won eight or nine honorable mentions.  His first award was for a photo of an Allan Ensminger introduction, Gladys My Love. Last year, he won three awards with photos of Gypsy Lord, Sunray Reflection and Jean’s Garden.  The latter appeared on the back cover of the Irises Bulletin.

Date: Monday, June 30, 2014 Time: 6:00 PM
Location: St. Andrews Lutheran Church 1015 Lancaster Lane, Lincoln, NE
Program: Iris Photography & How to Enter the AIS Photo Contest—presented by Stan Sass

Just a reminder! There is a potluck supper at the June meeting. It begins at 6:00 PM! So, bring a dish to share with the group (appetizer, entrée, salad, side-dish, dessert, etc.) If you don’t cook, something from your favorite deli or eatery is fine.  Coffee, a cold drink and ice water will be provided.  Also bring your own tableware ( plate,napkin, silverware, etc.) The program and then a short business meeting will follow the potluck.

Thank You Lincoln Iris Society for Hosting Spring Convention and Gardens Tour

Thank you to the Lincoln Iris Society for hosting the 2014 Region 21 Spring Convention.  There was a great turnout.  The weather cooperated!  And we toured 6 gardens.  We saw lots of blooms and learned about garden judging from Judy Keisling and judging historic irises from Gary White.

Thank you to these irisarians for opening their gardens to us:

  • Gary White and Linda Rader
  • Jean Pedersen
  • Dottie Ladman
  • Jenny and Mark Cich
  • Dean and Judy Douglas
  • David and Marjorie Lionberger

You can read more about these gardens and the meeting in the upcoming Regional Newsletter where we have six authors each reviewing one of the gardens.

Come to the Region 21 Spring Convention and Garden Tour – May 23-24

Dear AIS members,

I would like to extend an invitation to you all to come enjoy the
Region 21 Spring Convention and Garden Tour held this May 23rd – 24th.
The Lincoln Iris Society will host this annual event and it is sure
to be an excellent convention this year. There are six gardens slated
to be on the tour this Spring, showcasing the private iris collections
of LIS members.

On the tour are the gardens of Dean and Judy Douglas, Jenny and Mark
Cich, David and Marjorie Lionberger, Dottie Ladman, Jean Pedersen, and
Gary White & Linda Rader. This will be the first time on regional tour
for most of the gardens; back on the tour this year are the Douglas
and White/Rader gardens, both large gardens. In addition to a whole
lot of irises, the gardeners also dabble in an eclectic assortment of
other perennials, so there should be something of interest for

There will also be an opportunity for Judges’ Training and a program
presented by immediate past AIS president Judy Keisling.  This is a
not to be missed opportunity for lovers of iris.

There is often a hesitation to participate in large regional events
from novice iris lovers but I would like to say this is a perfect
opportunity to meet iris lovers of all levels of experience from the
master showman and hybridizer to those growing their first iris.  If
you’ve ever wanted to learn more about growing or showing iris and you
love to see “real” gardens you will not want to miss this opportunity.
This is the perfect time to come see what the American Iris Society
and their affiliates are about, meet  like minded gardeners, and enjoy
some beautiful gardens!

These events are open to non-AIS members as well and the Lincoln Iris
Society are superb and welcoming hosts so come and bring a friend or

Hope to see you in the gardens!

Linda Wilkie
Regional Vice President, AIS Region 21