Garden Chit Chat

Well, I am not sure what to say about the year gone past other than it was a memorable one for sure!!  There was hardly a day would go by without some uncertainty. In the beginning I wondered if anyone would order and then when the orders did come in I wondered if we would be able to ship them.   Bloom season came and it was eerily quiet.  All our usual visitors and friends from overseas that make the annual pilgrimage could not come, flights were cancelled and/or restricted to cargo only from many countries as the world became engulfed in the uncertainty of a pandemic.  

From the first of April through Mother’s Day I am usually on the road each weekend selling plants at different plant shows, this year they all cancelled.  So, what does one do when you are alone in a field of iris?  Well if you are an Iris addict, like me it can be quite dangerous.  I literally took thousands of pictures and made hundreds of hybrid crosses.  Bloom was quite good other than the bit of rain in the middle of the season. I tried to live in the moment and enjoy the bloom as much as possible.  There is something to be said about actually taking a step back and “smelling the Irises” so to speak.  Watching the news each night made me truly realize how lucky I was to be able to safely shelter in place surrounded by the beauty of iris and the garden.  

Shipping season came and each day was a bit of a challenge.  Both the postal service and UPS were suffering delays and the rules regarding shipping plants to foreign destinations changed daily.  There was never any certainty that plants would reach their final destinations.  Some shipments were routed through other countries instead of going direct like usual.  Miraculously all the orders made it to their destinations with the exception of one country whose borders closed and were not receiving shipments or mail from other countries. Those orders were all refunded and we hope by shipping season this year we will be able to ship there again.  

In the end we had a good year albeit it a bit tumultuous to say the least.  Thank you to each and every one of you for your patience and more importantly your orders this past season.  I feel very fortunate and blessed in a year when so many lost so much.  I know some of you have personally felt the loss of a family member or friend from this pandemic.   I hope that you have somehow been able to find peace and closure.

With the dawning of the new year we all look forward to return of some sort of normalcy.  I have taken the plunge and had a new website built.  The old website has had its issues over the years.  Hopefully by the time you read this the new site will be up and running.  We are still toying each year with the idea of scaling back or doing away with the catalogue.  It takes a great amount of effort and time to put it all together but always seems so worth it when it is printed.  There still is nothing like turning the pages of a paper book.  I would be interested in hearing comments on a reduced catalogue or even web only.  

No awards to report this year as the American iris Society cancelled most all of its events including the judging and awarding of garden performance medals due to covid.  Hopefully things will get back on track this year.  Happy gardening, stay safe and healthy and once again thank you for your loyal support of Mid-America Garden and our hybridizing efforts.

Thomas