Friday, June 10, 2011

I-5 Iris Gardens

Driving south on I-5, just beyond the Brooks Exit (between Woodburn and Salem), look to your right for a bright patch of colors.  At 70 miles an hour, it's only a blur, so take the time and exit at Brooks for an amazing, free, visual treat. From the exit, head west to the first stop sign and turn south (left) on River Road for about a couple miles to Quinaby Road. Turn left and in a short distance, you'll see the sign on the left for Schreiner's Iris Gardens.

Here you will discover ten acres of the most stunning display gardens; I have visited a number of times and am still awestruck when I first walk into the garden. While irises are the centerpiece of this floral show, other delights include poppies, lupines, peonies, rhodos, and columbines. If you think of irises in terms of blue or yellow, you'll be amazed to see how many hues and color combinations exist.

 The Schreiner family has been growing and hybridizing irises in the Willamette Valley since the early 1920s. They must be doing something right, since they have more medals than Michael Phelps displayed on the walls.

Every spring, they host a show and this year's has been extended until Sunday, June 12 because of the cool, wet growing season. After that, the gift shop and flower sales end, but the garden remains open for exploring. The flowers should last at least another week or two, depending on the weather, and it is well worth the short detour from the freeway.

No comments:

Post a Comment