Garden Chit Chat

Welcome to the 42nd addition catalogue.  We had all hoped that in 2021 we would see the end of the pandemic but alas it was not meant to be.  Having a profession that is not only outdoors, but in the country away from the hustle and bustle of crowded stores and streets has certainly been a plus.  Your support for Mid-America Garden has allowed us to live our passion for Iris and for that we offer a heartfelt thank you. Gardening in general, and in our case working in the field, is the best therapy in dealing with the everyday stresses of today’s world, we are truly blessed.  


Last year we invited your opinion on the continuation of the printed catalogue versus going web only.  We were completely overwhelmed by the phone calls, messages, texts, emails, letters, and every other imaginable form of communication that we received.  It was a resounding YES, “please continue with the printed catalogue!” It just so happens that we also like the printed version, so we did some thinking and pricing and decided to keep it going at least for the next few years.  With the cost of production of everything going up, we had to make some tough decisions.  The catalogue will continue to be free for those that live in the USA and have ordered in at least one of the last two years.  Domestically we can still mail bulk rate which takes longer but is much cheaper than first class.  Unfortunately, we do not have that same option for shipments out of the country.  We no longer will mail catalogues to foreign addresses automatically.  If you live outside the USA and still want the catalogue we request that you send $10 (Canada) and $20 for all other countries and we will put one in the mail to you.  This was a tough decision to make.  Ironically this issue is the largest ever that we have produced at 100 total pages with the order form and cover!  So much for scaling back a bit-lol.


I would like to thank one person in particular for this catalogue that you are holding.  Mirena Oberg designs and does the layout of the catalogue. I provide all the text and photos and then Mirena works her magic.  This is the sixth edition that her and I have collaborated on.   She loves doing the catalogue and she is my greatest cheerleader to keep it going.  Thank you Mirena! 


2021 was not without its highs as well.  We always welcome a phone call from the American Iris Society president.  This year was particularly exciting and my best year to date, receiving seven top awards including:  Dykes Medal for Daring Deception, Wister Medal for Don’t Stop Believing, Cook-Douglas Medal for Stop and Stare, Sass Medal for Code Of Honor, William Mohr Medal for Parable and Two Walther Cups for Alaia and Woody Woodpecker!   There was also good news for our other hybridizers!  Lynda Miller won the top Wister Medal with Football Hero and the Williamson-White Medal with Moose Tracks.  Paul Black won a Wister Medal for Bluebird Of Happiness, Cook-Douglas Medal for Portland Pink,  a Caperne- Welch Medal for Elf Esteem and the coveted Board of Directors Award for the SDB iris Chubby Cheeks. This is a huge win as this award is voted by the Board of Directors of the American Iris Society for an iris that excels as a parent and its genetic contribution to the advancement of the genus Iris .   Thank you to all the judges who took the time to grow and evaluate our hybrids.  This award is rarely given, congratulations Paul!


If you haven’t checked out our facebook page give it look, we post quite regularly especially during bloom season and it is a strong form of direct communication to our customers.  Our website has been updated with lots more photos.  It is our goal to provide more than one image of each variety listed to help you better make your selections.  Some flowers transition in color from one day to the next and of course can look quite different depending on the lighting.  For those who love to show we try to get stalk shots and clump shots when possible.  There is so much happening during bloom season that we don’t always get all the photos we want but we sure try. 


If you are in the Salem, Oregon area and you would like to see the fields we are open every day from 10 to 5.  Since we are on the same location as Sebright Gardens we just follow their hours.  They are open every day from April to November.  Peak Tall Beaded bloom for us has always been very close to May 19th.  Median bloom can vary quite a lot from year to year depending on weather.  It is always a good idea to email ahead of time and see how the season is progressing before making plans. 


Lastly, I would like to mention communication.  I do not have an office staff.  I do all of the bookwork myself but am also working outside in the field during daylight hours so it can be very difficult to reach me by phone.  I admittedly am not good at checking phone messages but am very good at answering emails.  I try to respond to emails daily and sometimes many times during the day.  


Thank you again for your continued support of our passion.  Stay well and be safe