to the
Greater St. Louis Iris Society!
(Organized circa 1950)
Greater St. Louis Iris Society newsletter
AUGUST, 2009

By Jim Morris

Well here we are in August. Can you believe this wonderful weather we have been having? July was the coolest month on record in St. Louis with only five days where the temperature reached 90 degrees. And August has started out very well also. It is a good thing as this is our busiest month of the year.

We will need your help if we are to be successful at our sales and auctions. Attendance at our Friday evening meetings had dwindled in 2008 so we switched to Sunday afternoons for 2009. That change has made it easier for our older members who no longer can drive at night as well as our Illinois members to attend. Attendance jumped. Our online preview in February of our new website (Add this one to your "favorites" list, if your haven't) www.stlouisirises.com fizzled as we could not access the internet at MOBOT because of draconian controls established by the MOBOT communications group. We adapted the program so the disappointment was lessened. Many folks attended the excellent "Gardening With Irises" program in March by book author Bill Shear.

It was most encouraging to see new participants in our midseason Iris Show on May 9. What a sight to see Camilla Kotrba come walking in with her first-time entries that she brought on a Metro bus! And Kim Peterson also brought many wonderful entries for the first time. Marilyn Ruemmler had a marvelous bloom season of her Ghio, Keppel and Blyth flowers and really had a good year at local shows with a Best of Show and Silver Medal.

Now it is time for our biggest events of the year our sales and auctions. The dates are all in the yellow GSLIS Calendar of Events booklet distributed to all members early in the year. We start this week with our Iris Digging Party Fri-Sat, August 7-8 at Bob Barker's iris & daylily farm on the outskirts of St. Peters. Irises from this dig and member donations are the only income from sales that go to our club. We need you to come even if you can only sit in the shade to label and clean irises. Call for directions.

Then we have the Iris Sale Labeling Party on the Hort Deck at MOBOT Sat-Sun August 15-16 followed by MOBOT/GSLIS Iris Sale at MOBOT Sat-Sun Aug 22-23.

It should be pointed out that all plants dug at MOBOT are for the benefit of MOBOT. We actually have an account there entitled the Missouri Botanical Garden Iris Society. GSLIS is considered the host of the MOBOT Sale. Therefore all the proceeds from sale of MOBOT plants accrue to them. GSLIS is allowed to sell our plants (with a different color label) which is our main source of income.

Please come and help in any way you can. Everyone is welcome. New faces are desired. Bring a friend. Or two. We'll provide refreshments and Iris Bucks to be used at our later auctions. You all come! Thanks.

Things You Need to Know
About the 2009 GSLIS / MOBOT Iris Sale

1. Dates & places to pitch in and help:

Fri-Sat. Aug.7-8: Iris dig at Barker's
We'll try to start 8:00 am or so while it's cool. If you can make it, here are directions: (Call Nyla about car pooling - 314-961-6745)
Take 270 to 70 west, get off north on the O'Fallon exit (exit K). Go through the downtown, about two miles to Junction P, turn left and go 2+ miles further until you see a 6-8' tall versilock wall on the right. Turn right just past the wall into Royal Oaks Ct.; go through the subdivision, and just north of it on the left is Bob's acreage-101 Royal Oaks Dr.

Sat-Sun. Aug.15-16: Iris cleaning, clipping, labeling on the Hort Deck at MOBOT If it's hot, labelers can work indoors. We'll probably work all that week, too.

Fri. Aug. 21, 5-11 pm: Sale setup in Beaumont Rm. We need lots of help to get all the irises put out in baskets, add pictures, and arrange alphabetically!

Sat.-Sun. Aug.22-23, 8-5: Our largest iris sale ever! All hands on deck!

2. What's different this year:

SIZE: We expect to have 9,000 plants from MOBOT alone. We're digging nearly everything, to replant. That's a lot to handle, and we need your help.
PRICE: Because of supply, MOBOT has set prices really low, and simplified the pricing structure to only two levels: For medians, $3 and $5; for TBs, $3 and $8. GSLIS irises have to follow this pricing plan.

DEALS: For every two purchased, the buyer gets one of the same price, FREE. Be sure to tell all your gardening friends about this one!!

'IRIS BUCKS': Because of the low iris prices, the value of iris bucks for workers is also being reduced to $2 / hour. Complaints were heard last year about people not being able to get the irises they wanted at auction because of the number of iris bucks workers used.

The obvious answer is-show up to work and get paid! We can use more volunteers in almost every phase of club work But you have been heard, and the cutback is the result. There may not be as many iris bucks out, either, as the weather wiped out work days at Bob's.

Also, we're trying to find a way to let you use your iris bucks at the sale, as well as at GSLIS bearded and beardless auctions.

3. Iris sources: Buy vs. grow

A. This year, GSLIS is purchasing some irises at wholesale price, which we'll sell at the full price (still not very high). Future plans are to purchase most GSLIS sale stock in coming years, as we just haven't had the manpower to take care of a GSLIS club planting.

B. We'll be digging the last of the current GSLIS planting which Bob Barker has so generously made space for us to have for the last few years.

C. Member contributions are most welcome, as the club has traditionally relied on these for pure profit. See "Iris Clumps Overgrown?" article for details.


There's an easy cure-dig your extras for the GSLIS/MOBOT Iris Sale, Sat. August 22 and Sun. August 23. All contributions gratefully accepted at or before the August 15-16 work day, to help support our activities!

You will need to make a list of your probable contributions, and call or e-mail Nyla Hughes with names. We need to have labels ready in advance for the August 15-16 work day for sale prep, and pictures to put in the basket with the rhizomes.

Gary Keller has faithfully been taking pictures of the MOBOT irises as they bloom, but we need advance notice to acquire pictures of yours.

Contributions from you go directly to our treasury! (For your speakers, refreshments, flower show

costs, auction plants, iris classroom education activities, etc.)

Picnic / Auction / Door Prize Drawing /
"Leftovers" Sale - - Sunday Aug. 30

We'll be back in the Beaumont Room at MOBOT for a little more fun the last weekend in August. It's our club picnic / bearded iris auction etc. Just bring a side dish-the club will furnish meat, drinks, and cutlery.

GSLIS door prize winners for the 08 - 09 meetings will be able to get their irises either here or at the beardless auction meeting on Sept. 27. Winners are:

Sept.,'08: TBs: Joan Kellar, Bob Barker, Judy Watters, Beth Holbrooke Meds: Pat Moore, Nyla Hughes

Oct. '08 (5 people present): TBs: Bob Barker, Nyla Hughes, Joan Kellar, Jean Morris Medians: Jim Morris, Jean Morris

Dec.'08 (Holiday Party): TBs: Jennifer McKinney, Judy Watters, Rose Pohousky, Nyla Hughes Medians: Robin Gosnell, Lynette Poschel

Feb.'09: TBs: John Beck, Jean Morris, Michael McKinney, Edna Mertz Medians: Debra Miller, Valerie Mertz

Mar.'09: TBs: Ann Henson, Dave Miller, Mae Porch, Nyla Hughes Meds: Jim Morris, Rose Pohousky

If you can't attend the picnic, but want a bearded iris as your door prize, put your specifications in writing to Jimi Morris so he can choose one for you. TB door prizes will come from local hybridizer Bob Skaggs, expected to feature his and Tom Burseen hybrids, and newer irises from the MOBOT list.

Region 18/Fall Board Meeting
October 2-3, 2009

Wichita is hosting the Fall Board Meeting for Region 18 this year. This is a more relaxed, shorter meeting (no garden tours) with an interesting speaker-usually a hybridizer, and an auction of beardless irises where you can get real bargains.

To register, see the form in the Spring Region 18 Bulletin, or go to the Region 18 website at www.region18.com.

GSLIS Show Awards for 2009

(See the GSLIS website, www.stlouisirises.com for a description of what the awards are for.)

Early Show
Harley Briscoe Dwarf & Median Award - Jim Morris

Wilma Greenlee Award - Iris Chant (SDB) - displayed by Harry Boyd

Rita Kinsella Award - Jean Morris

Mid-Season Show
Joseph Becherer Trophy - Jim Morris

Ray & Dorothy Palmer Award - 'Fancy A Flutter' (TB) displayed by Marilyn Ruemmler

Louise Bellagamba Award - Nadine Wallenstein

(No Late Show)

Special Show Awards
Hybridizers of Region 9 & Region 18 Award - 'Ozark Rebounder' (Barbara Nicodemus 03, TB) displayed by Robin Gosnell

Sheldon Butt Award - Jim Morris

GSLIS Show May 9, 2009

The Greater St. Louis Iris Society's third show of the year (preceded by the April 18 Early Show held jointly with Jeffco Iris Society & the Marquette School Show on May 6) was noteworthy for the number of first-time exhibitors. This was very encouraging and we hope that more "first-timers" will participate in the future.

The show was modest in size with 115 entries representing SDB, IB, MTB, BB, TB, AB, Siberian, Species and SPEC-X classes.

Best in Show was 'Fancy A Flutter' (Blyth 06/07), a stunning creamy white over lemon-yellow with a brown ray pattern. It was displayed by Marilyn Ruemmler and was her first! Marilyn also displayed the first runner-up. 'Darling Beware' (Blyth 04/05) while Mae Porch displayed 'Tea Service' (G. Richardson 03) as second runner-up.

The Silver Medal for the most blue ribbons was won by veteran exhibitor Jim Morris with 13 blues, and the Bronze Medal went to another veteran, Riley Probst with eight blue ribbons. The Best Seedling of the Show was the BB dark-top medium blue WS-08-1 exhibited by hybridizer Jean Morris. This seedling won three exhibition certificates in three shows this year and bloomed for over three weeks.

Nadine Wallenstein won Best Design with her colorful display, while Jean Morris won the Sweepstakes for Artistic Design. In the Youth Division the Best Design was exhibited by Grace Raymond, a precocious four-year old!

Marquette High School Iris Show
A Classroom Iris Project

The iris show each year at Marquette High School is sponsored by GSLIS and chaired by biology teacher Val Mertz, one of our members. It's held in the lobby of the school theater. The school has an iris garden planted and maintained by the students in Val's class. This year's show had 76 entries from 20 students and five adults.

The Best of Show was 'Little Mary Sunshine' (Roderick 90, BB) displayed by Jim Morris while the Youth Best of Show was 'Cherokee Nation' (Hedgecock 92, TB) displayed by Jaymes Kirk. The adult Silver Medal for most blue ribbons was won by Val Mertz with eight , and the Bronze Medal by Jim Morris with seven.

The Youth Silver Medal was a tie between Jaymes Kirk and Casey Mullin with three blue ribbons each. A bronze medal isn't awarded when there's a tie for silver.

The Best Seedling of the show was WS-08-1, a BB medium blue dark-top hybridized and displayed by Jean Morris. It's a cross of (Serene Song x Rave Review) X Wintry Sky. Other winners included: Best Arilbred 'Jewel of Omar' by Val Mertz, Best MTB 'Among Friends' by Val Mertz, Best IB 'Mary Constance' by Jim Morris, Best TB 'Star Stitched' by Val Mertz, Best Youth BB 'Just My Luck' by Karla Scheerer, Best Youth MTB 'Aachen Elf' by Jaymes Kirk, and Best Youth IB 'Gnu Rayz' by Erin Dillard.

© 2011 - Greater St. Louis Iris Society