Irises forum: Visit to Superstition Gardens

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Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
May 1, 2017 6:32 PM CST
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:

Irresistible Charm

Thumb of 2017-05-02/AndreaD/5186af

Mango Queen. I really, really like this one.

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Mystic Image. I really, really like this one, too.

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Sweet Child of Mine

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Under My Spell. This one too.

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Dark Storm. This is a 2017 introduction



And here is Dark Storm, all in a row.



[Last edited by AndreaD - May 1, 2017 6:43 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1430461 (1)
Name: Liz
East Dover, VT (Zone 5a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Organic Gardener Peonies Vegetable Grower Annuals Composter
Dragonflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Enjoys or suffers hot summers Farmer Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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Dachsylady86
May 1, 2017 6:54 PM CST
I am sooooo jealous. I so wish I could see Rick's irises in mass. Thank you for sharing your wonderful visit and information Andrea. Thumbs up
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
May 1, 2017 6:57 PM CST
Beautiful, Andrea!
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
May 1, 2017 7:06 PM CST
Andrea, I too was very impressed with how they grow their Iris.. I found fertilizer in San Jose at Horizon Irrigation. I think it was Rick that let me know where I could get it.

I could help you out with Mango Queen if you remind me in July. It's been a really strong grower/bloomer for me.

Wish I could have found the time to go this year. Rick and Roger are great. Their selection of hybrids show the same high standards that are reflected in their garden/growing grounds.

Dark Storm is yummy!
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
Image
AndreaD
May 1, 2017 7:09 PM CST
Iris at Superstition I like but they are already sold out:

Clotho's Web. This is wonderful.

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Senior Moment. So pretty, and so appropriate.

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Dream Express

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Lemon Cloud

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Rio Rojo. I have heard of this iris for years, but have never seen it in person. I always thought it was a sort of brick red. It isn't. It's close to cranberry red. Lovey dubby

Thumb of 2017-05-02/AndreaD/c29c31

Winterberry

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(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
May 1, 2017 8:16 PM CST
I love all that you listed too. Green Grin!

Sounds like a nice trip! One of these years I'll have to make it over there.
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
May 1, 2017 11:19 PM CST
Rob, did you make it to Napa this past weekend?
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
May 1, 2017 11:27 PM CST
Thankyou so much Andrea for the fertilizer tips and the photos Thank You!
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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shizen
May 1, 2017 11:37 PM CST
wonderful andrea! love those irises you love, too. one of these days we will make a trip to cathay, ca.

lucky you to have a fulfillment of eye candy. thank you for the fertilizing tip.
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
May 1, 2017 11:45 PM CST
I get my 6-20-10 at Horizon's too.

No Barbara, I didn't make it.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
May 2, 2017 3:44 AM CST
Bet that was a spectacular show! You are so lucky to be able to visit. Thanks for sharing the pictures.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Lilli
Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Irises Roses Bulbs Hellebores Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Winter Sowing Bee Lover Dog Lover Region: Europe
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IrisLilli
May 2, 2017 5:35 AM CST
Thank You! for sharing, Andrea! I tip my hat to you.

I just love Mango Queen, Dream Express and Rio Rojo! Lovey dubby

Your pictures are really good, you should add them to the database! Thumbs up
You don't know if it will grow until you try!
Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
Region: North Carolina Hybridizer Garden Photography Region: United States of America Hostas Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises Container Gardener
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Cuzz4short
May 2, 2017 5:52 AM CST
More than fertilizer makes them that way. Their methods are down to a science too. Tilling, cover crops, rotating beds, solirizing, and yes those deep irrigation canals are great contributors. I'd love to see in person too..

Phemonal photo quality @andread please make sure to add them to the database Acorn Acorn Acorn Acorn
Gimme it and I'll grow it!
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Image
Henhouse
May 2, 2017 8:45 AM CST
Absolutely Gabe.. they really have it down to a science... right down to the custom cover crop. I have a great deal of respect for their farming techniques.
I solorized a couple of beds last year, and things are growing relatively well in them. I had no rot in those beds, despite the fact that I had it in most other areas..
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
Image
AndreaD
May 2, 2017 2:08 PM CST
Sherry,

Thank you for offer of Mango Queen. I will definitely be in touch in July!
Also, thank you for the tip on Horizon Irrigation. Rick was selling the 6-20-10
fertilizer and I bought 10 pounds of it, but it is good to know where I can get more.
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
May 2, 2017 2:15 PM CST
Horizon's sells it in 25 and 50 lb bags.
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
May 2, 2017 2:18 PM CST
The nearest Horizon's is about 150 miles from me. Blinking Thumbs down
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
Image
AndreaD
May 2, 2017 2:35 PM CST
Thank you, Gabe and Lilli, for the acorns. (My first ones!)
Thank you, Rob, for the information about Horizon's fertilizer. They have
a store in San Jose, which isn't too far from me.
Name: Niki
Bend, Oregon (Zone 6a)
Flowers are food for the soul.
Region: Oregon Bee Lover Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Frogs and Toads
Hummingbirder Irises Organic Gardener
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HighdesertNiki
May 4, 2017 3:19 PM CST
Thank you for sharing the photos and information you learned from your visit to Superstition. It's far enough away I don't want to drive. Acorn
"The Earth laughs in flowers."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
May 4, 2017 3:26 PM CST
Andrea and anyone else that may go to Horizon's...call to make sure they have it in stock before you go. It sucks to make the trip to the store and it's sold out and on order. "It'll be here Wednesday"..yeah but I wont be. Sticking tongue out

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