Weatherford Democrat

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April 4, 2013

Clark Gardens to host national iris convention

Clark Gardens, a 35-acre strolling garden, hosts the American Iris Society 2013 national convention on Thursday, April 18.

Iris hybridizers from around North America display their newly hybridized irises at the national convention. As a host garden, Clark Gardens will exhibit more than 800 newly introduced irises, along with 1,500 varieties of iris planted in their existing gardens. 

The American Iris Society is a nonprofit institution incorporated Feb. 2, 1927, and exists for the sole purpose of promoting the culture and improvement of the Iris. The AIS encourages the cultivation, appreciation, and improvement of this lovely and diverse group of plants through education, exhibitions, field explorations, and gardening activities featuring irises.

Clark Gardens has a long history with the AIS as its earliest beginnings can be traced to the iris. Theda Clark, sister of Clark Gardens co-founder Max Clark, was an amateur iris hybridizer. His nephew, Hooker Nichols, is a professional iris hybridizer. Clark Gardens has hosted the annual convention twice before, 1997 and 2000.

“Each year we have a beautiful display of irises but this year will (weather permitting) be spectacular,” said Clark Gardens Executive Director Carol Clark Montgomery. “Along with almost 3,000 varieties of irises blooming, we will have hundreds of roses and poppies peaking at the same time.”

The Iris Society of Dallas is the host organization of the 2013 convention with attendees visiting 10 gardens in North Texas. The public is invited to attend. Additional information may be found at www.clarkgardens.org or www.irises-dallas.org.

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