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COOLEY'S IRIS GARDEN HAVE GONE OUT OF BUSINESS

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

I received my magazine from AIS, which I am a member. I was astonished and saddened by the news that due to the economy Cooley's closed its doors. This was reported back in July of 2011 following the death of hybridizer Rick Ernst. The Cooley family decided to close after the 2011 shipping season.

Cooley's legacy in hybridizing and introduction of Irises spanned 8 decades so this is a huge loss for us Iris lovers.

I wonder what the family will do with all the Irises they have.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

My guess? Sell off locally.
That is a shame. Businesses that are family based are so vulnerable in an economy like this.

Melfa, VA(Zone 8a)

So sad to hear, was a nice company to order from! Great irises!

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

I really hate to hear that. I never had a chance to order from them--too many options and too little space and money each season. It is really a bummer when long established businesses close. I just get a feeling that so much is being lost over time--varieties, knowledge and experience.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Fortunately, Schreiner is still in business. And they still have their 50% off sale. I did more business with Schreiner, than Cooleys.

Many old businesses are hitting the dust. Kodak is another

This message was edited Jan 30, 2012 7:45 PM

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Blomma...looked at scheiner's site and didn't find the sale, got any info for us, is it from a mailer?

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

kathy LOL it is much too early in the season for sales. Usually it is end of June or July when the sales are on. Here is how it works. If you purchase $80 of the prices in the catalog, or as stated online, you only pay $40, plus shipping. I think $80 is the lowest you can buy, to get the sale. Under $80, you will pay regular prices. Don't forget that you actually only pay $40. So, if you purchase $100 in value, you pay $50, and so on. The lower price will show at the end when you are ready to check out, but before you pay.

You will also receive bonus which are new cultivars not even listed yet. The one thing I like about Schreiner is that if you lost an iris/s over the winter that you purchased from them the year before, they will replace it. You can contact them through their website. They will also answer questions, etc. They have excellent customer service.

You can go online and request their small catalog. Their thick catalog you will receive the following year that you purchased from them. I save all their catalogs. Anyway check back with them monthly. I love to view their irises.

I didn't purchase any last season for lack of room. I have many seedlings from my crosses that I have to leave space for. Most likely will order some this year. I am addicted to them.

Starship Enterprise from Schreiner. Was $15 in 2008. I paid $7.50

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South Hamilton, MA

Cooleys went out of business because of the death of Rick Ernst, owner & hybridizer.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Blooma....thanks, will keep checking back, tho I probably don't need any (not sure if I should laugh or boo hoo). lol.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Hmm, I didn't know that R. Ernst owned the nursery. I assumed it was someone with the name Cooley..I knew he worked there and was a hybridizer.

I wonder then why they closed. I thought it was because of economics.

Kathy, love your iris. What is its name?

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Gosh blomma, maybe fire cheif, something like that.

Pix is Amarillis (sp?), a flatie

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South Hamilton, MA

Rick was a member of the Cooley family which started the business. It was all quite sad.

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

I think it is probably too hard to replace a key person in a family business; hired help just doesn't have the passion and give-it all-you've got attitude that you need. I know it is the same thing with our family farm.

Colleyville, TX(Zone 8a)

I just ordered from Schreiner's a few weeks ago & when I asked them about the discount they offer (i.e. buy $80. of iris & pay $40.), they said they discontinued that offer & they lowered the regular price of their irises, but they didn't seem very discounted to me. I think I liked it better the other way. :(

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Lafayette, IN(Zone 5a)

I agree with you smyers817! I haven't seen many irises that were reduced in price and I liked the discount. They told me they are trying this so we will see how many complain and maybe they will go back to the discount!

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

Thanks for telling me; I will be sure to complain!

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

I just received their catalog. Sure enough, no discount. Instead, they are offering up to 4 free 2012 new introductions with order. One for every $40 you order.

Guess I won't be ordering this year. I have enough to last me, including seedlings from my own crosses.

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

"Hi Sharon, we did simplify things this year. The red star discount didn't apply until you reached $80.00. So we have now lowered our pricing to the already discounted amount. We still offer the same great Iris just making it easier for ordering. Also still offering pre chosen collections also at a discount. The Bonus Iris are now offered for every $40 spent you receive a free Iris. We are in hopes that this simplifed ordering process would please everyone!"

This is the reply I got from Schreiners when I asked about the change. According to this, all of the prices are now half price??? I haven't really compared this years and last years catalog, but I won't automatically order from them this year like I usually do. They do have a gold star in my book for replacing a whole order of irises one year that succumbed to some mysterious bad luck.

Lafayette, IN(Zone 5a)

The prices are not half price.....I think the lowest price I saw was $7 or $7.50. They used to have some for $5 and $6 but that was about 2 or 3 years ago or longer. With that half price deal, I didn't think too much about ordering a more expensive iris but that won't happen anymore! I do like their customer service but my ordering will be a lot less than before.

South Hamilton, MA

$7 is a good deal for the type of plant you get.

Lafayette, IN(Zone 5a)

Yes, I agree but it was also nice to be able to find several and get that $7 one for $3.50 plus bonus iris.

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

Has anyone contacted Cooley's to see what (if anything) they are doing with their stock?

South Hamilton, MA

Scheiners bought a lot of their stock. Seedlings are being watched by another friend.

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