The Tennessee State Iris Garden History

Several years ago sister Pam bought some irises from an elderly lady, Ms. Scott, who used to live on Central Pike down from the farm. Pam did this for a Mothers Day present for Momma who has always loved her flowers. Every year after that Momma, Derek and me (Janice) would go back to Ms. Scott's and buy a few more irises from her in the spring. Ms. Scott passed away not long ago and we still miss her visits to the garden.

Eventually we bought every color Ms. Scott had and thought we were satisfied with the varieties we had acquired from her and other gardeners.  But a couple of years ago Momma was diagnosed with cancer and all she wanted for Mothers Day that year was for us to take her to the Middle Tennessee Iris Society Show that was being held at Ellington Agriculture Center. So it was made into a family outing, sister Rita, niece Amanda, Derek and I all went with Momma to the iris show on the Saturday before Mothers Day.   It was at that time we realized how wonderful the iris truly is and joined the local iris groups. 

Momma became a member of the Twin States Iris Society and the American Iris Society.  Derek and I joined the Middle Tennessee Iris Society, the American Iris Society and Tall Bearded Iris Society. I won't even tell you how many rhizomes we bought that year or how many local garden visits we went on, but our iris garden size increased exponentially.

The story does have a happy ending, Momma whupped (a Tennessee word) her cancer and decided she needed something to keep her occupied. So our iris hobby expanded to include selling not just buying iris rhizomes.  Currently we want to just sell locally and do not aspire to be a large commercial grower. We just wanted to do something that is family oriented and that we love doing, growing irises does that for us. So if you call us on the phone and one of the grandkids screams "Grandma, telephone", yes you do have the right number.  Just hang on for a minute and she'll come talk to you! As for Derek and I we are so busy right now with the store that Mom has to handle most of the iris work now. We did build some beautiful raised beds in 2004. In 2005 added some other plants for summer color. Who knows what 2006 will bring.

So that's the story of the Tennessee State Iris Garden and as time goes by I will update this page. We are waiting impatiently for spring, counting the days until our tall bearded irises begin to bloom. We know this is where "Rainbows are Grown". Stop by and see our selection of over 1,000 different varieties.

mom.jpg (229141 bytes) This is Momma and Derek hard at work in Spring 2001. Can you tell which one is the supervisor?