There is a wonderful iris garden in Berkeley Springs, WV. We have visited a few times and they have a thousand varieties. With our early spring, they are having a hard time predicting exactly when they will be in full bloom, but it should be in early May. Plants in the garden are all well ID'd and there is an order form to take with you as you browse.
Some of us were talking about the place at the seed swap earlier this year and there was interest in a field trip to check it out. The date we have tentatively set is Friday, May 11th. We'll be heading out going through Frederick, MD, taking 70 to Hancock, MD. The Exline Iris Garden is on the other side of the Potomac, in Berkeley Springs, WV, off River Road, and not actually in town.
I realize this is not local for many of you, but we did want to see if any others were interested in the adventure. So far, Aspenhill, Critter and Greenthumb99 have expressed an interest in the trip. We can caravan or meet somewhere toward the end of the route if others would like to join in. No definite start time as of yet.
Also on the 11th in Berkeley Springs, in town, is the Master Gardener Plant Sale. The master gardeners have many plants to offer, and other vendors are set up in the park as well. That event is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Greenthumb will give more info on this separately.
Thanks for the info not sure if we could come Due to my workings but we will check it out and give it some thought. I would love to go if possible. It is only a 2 1/2 hr drive which would be very doable for us.
Once the iris start blooming, he puts a sign out at the end of the bridge, and the gardens are basically open. If you can't make it on the 11th, you can go at your convenience. I can let you know when the sign goes out if you like. It's terrible how work can really cut into your day.
We would want to go when the group goes that would be the fun of it. We will see how the dates turn out. I could put it out as Unavailable to work but I have several of those days in May already marked. Yes it is a shame, I like the job and the extra $$ do come in handy but it sure does interfere with my Retired life style. LOL
The Plant Fair in Berkeley Springs, WV is held from 9 AM to 6PM on Friday, May 11, and from 9AM to 4PM on Saturday, May 12. A trip to the Exline Iris Nursery will pass within 6 miles of the Berkeley Springs location, and a combo trip would make for quite a excursia botanica. Held under the auspices of the Morgan County, WV Master Gardeners, this Plant Fair has perhaps two dozen vendors with a wide range of specialties. The prices are very good, and I remember purchasing several robust Azaleas at the large Master Gardener's booth for $5 each. I don't think I have ever been to a plant sale with such a wide diversity. I will contact the Master Gardener Office for further information and post it.
On a different topic, the five photos at the top of this thread are a few of the plants we have grown from Irises purchased at Exline. When you go in person the prices are generally lover than if you purchase online. You walk through the gardens and fill out your order form. When you turn it in you pay 50% of the total. Around mid-July Mr. Exline notifies you that your order is ready. When you pick up your order you pay the remaining portion of the bill, and you also get free additional rhizomes. I presume that you can have your order shipped, but visiting the nursery is a delight, plus you get the extra Irises.
For those interested, a new restaruant, Potomac River Grill, has opened in Hancock at the Maryland end of the Potomac River Bridge. SImple menu, good food and reasonable prices. A generous half rack of ribs, excellent fresh cut fries, a side and fresh cornbread is $12. Other meals are cheaper.
Oh, what fun! Let's see... if we hit the plant sale soon after it opens, then head out to the Exline's garden, we can find a place for a late lunch and then go to Winterberry Iris Gardens (Don & Ginny Spoon's place, will have to check with them to see if it's an "available" time for a visit) in the afternoon... that will take us in a loop without adding more than half an hour or so to our driving time... Are we that ambitious?
We're a "go" but I'm afraid David & Pat won't be joining us after all. Aspenhill and her friend are coming, though. Anybody else, please let me know if you're interested, and I'll make sure you have my phone number and directions to my place for our morning round-em-up-and-head-em-out (rawhide!!).
Oh, and I've just emailed the Spoons to see if that afternoon works for them for stopping in. :-)