Here is a link of our garden beauties in a wonderful slideshow
made by Ed Verplancke. Wonderful pictures close and personal for all to
The Fort Iris gardens were started in 1981 with the creation
of the three largest beds, #1, 2, 3. In the next two years the
Dykes bed #4 and the six radial beds were added. In the fall
of 1982 sod was put in with assistance from Big Sky High
School students. The Boy Scouts helped with the rock work.
1988 an overhead sprinkler system was installed replacing the
previous drip system which had proved unsuitable for this type
of garden. The old bandstand, which once stood in front of the
courthouse, was moved into the gardens in 1983. It's been
refurbished into the gazebo south of the iris gardens. All
garden maintenance is done by MIS club members. The areas
surrounding the beds have been beautified and picnic tables
added, thanks to the historical museum personnel.
After the disastrous winter of 1988-89 when
approximately 75% of the irises were killed, thirty-four
hybridizers from across the USA donated several of their most
recent iris introductions. These were planted in the radial
beds and in the Spuria-Siberian bed #2.
The gardens are updated yearly with
additional rhizomes (plants) which are donated from members'
gardens or purchased from hybridizers with proceeds from the
annual rhizome sale. This sale is held on the last Saturday of
July in the garden at the Historical Museum. You are invited
to come purchase your favorite rhizomes that you have seen in
Other activities which visitors my be
interested in attending are the Annual Iris Tour and Iris Show
which are both held in June. The tour offers an opportunity
for the public to view members private gardens at bloom time.
The show is held at the Southgate Mall. Exhibition is open to
the public at no cost for viewing or exhibiting. It is an
American Iris Society sanctioned show. Activity dates are in
the local media.
The Missoula Iris Society meets the first
Saturday of each month. These informational and educational
meetings are held in members' homes with a pot-luck dinner
& programs which cover many aspects of gardening. The
membership is about evenly divided between men and women with
a wide age range represented. Currently the club numbers about
sixty two members.
If you would like cultural information, the date of our next meeting
or a date for our major events, you are planning to attend, please refer
to our website. You can call one of the following members: Carolyn &
Pete Addeo - 251-5833; Alverta & Bob Symes - 258-6649 or Billie Gray -
543-3480. If you would like to become a member, please follow this link
and give us some information:
Ceremony & Workshop Photos - October 11, 2003