Pacific Coast Iris extravazanza !

Dan Tyson
Tue, 18 Apr 2006 22:53:27 PDT
	Hi All,
		This is my first post on the PBS mail route, having been a member for 
about a year plus.
		I wanted to alert those of you in Southern California to a real treat 
right in our backyard.
		This past Sunday I drove out to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens 
in Claremont.
		I thought I had been there years ago but I discovered I had never 
done so.
		What had I been missing!
		I had seen some photos of the garden and I was expecting more or less 
a dry, California-type native garden with lots of Ceanothus and 
Manzanita, Heucheras, Zauchnerias, Mimulus and other plants of the 
Chaparral .
		There was that to be sure but a whole lot more.
	       I was totally unprepared for the central portion of the garden 
which is a native oak forest.
		And beneath the open shade of the oaks are vast sweeps of Pacific 
Coast Iris--thousands and thousands of them--in every imaginable color.
		It was completely enchanting.
		I had no idea there was such a range of colors of these native irises.
		I told a very good garden expert I know about my visit and he said 
the people at RSABG are, of course, native plant experts and give the 
irises the exact conditions they need--with no summer irrigation.
		So the plants do get kind of ratty in the long dry season.
		But for this kind of spectacle--I can see why they go to all the 
		The Irises will probably be putting on a show for at least the rest 
of April--as long as the weather doesn't get too hot.
		Now I'm hooked on these Iris--I'll be planting my own garden with 
lots of them.

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