I thought a weekend trip to Superstition Gardens at peak bloom would be fun. So off we went on Friday. Superstiton Gardens are located in the Sierra foothills on the highway to Yosemite Valley National Park. (Yosemite is about 50 miles further.) It was a beautiful drive once we rose up from the Central Valley. Due to the record rains Northern California has gotten this year, the hillsides were covered with deep green grass, wildflowers, and fresh-looking oak trees. The typical California landscape is dry grass and dusty trees, so to see such greenery was an unusual pleasure. We didn't get to the gardens until
4 pm on Friday, due to traffic issues in the Central Valley. It didn't really matter, since it was very windy and we planned to return on Saturday. Seeing the flowers backlit by the sun was lovely.
So we spent the night in Mariposa (gateway to Yosemite and crowded with tourists and went back to Superstition Gardens on Saturday.
The remarkable feature of Superstition Gardens to me was how beautifully the iris are grown. They displayed several of the iris I grow myself, but their blooms are much bigger, the stems look stronger, and the leaves are unmarked by leaf spot. We talked to Rick about their cultivation methods. Some of things they do people like us, who live in the burbs, can't, but I thought what he had to say about
fertilizing and irrigation were interesting and worth passing along. I have heard such various kinds of fertilizer recommended, 6-10--10 or 10-10-10 or no nitrogen and super high phosphate fertilizer, etc. He recommended a 6-20-10 fertilizer with traces of iron, sulfur, and zinc applied in the fall, six weeks before bloom, and RIGHT after blooming. I had picked up the notion of waiting to fertilize a month after bloom and no fertilization in the fall. So that was interesting. For irrigation, they use lines with holes punched every 8 inches. They run the water for four hours at a time, a
really deep watering, much deeper and longer then we presently do.
I do have pictures, of some iris I like but can't afford, and some I like but are already sold out, and some I like and will order when I figure out where I am going to put them.
Those I like but can't afford:
Mango Queen. I really, really like this one.
Mystic Image. I really, really like this one, too.
Sweet Child of Mine
Under My Spell. This one too.
Dark Storm. This is a 2017 introduction
And here is Dark Storm, all in a row.