Wednesday, May 3, 2017

90 Years of the Presby Iris Gardens in Montclair


The Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens in Montclair. the "Rainbow on the Hill," celebrates its 90th anniversary this May. The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is recognized internationally for its horticultural and historical significance. 

Following them on Instagram, I am reminded that forsythia blooming means its time to fertilize my own irises. Autumn is the time to divide irises, but if you buy new ones or just have a really crowded bed, take a look on their YouTube channel which has a video on how to divide the clumps and replant. (see below).

For many years, it was a Mother's Day tradition for me to take my mom to the gardens, as irises were always one of her favorites in our own home garden.


The anticipated bloom season is May 12 through June 2. The bloom season begins with the “minis” bearded collection, then to the famed tall bearded irises and ends with the non-bearded irises.
The gardens were established in 1927 to honor Frank H. Presby, a Montclair resident involved in improving the town's parks and recreation as well as the Montclair Art Museum. Presby was also a founding member of the American Iris Society, hence the decision to focus on that plant.

Starting with two 4-foot-wide beds, the public gardens now contain nearly 14,000 irises of approximately 1,500 varieties.

In addition to enjoying the iris blooms, you can visit the Bloom Room gift shop, and their Plant Sale will offer iris dug from the gardens.

The Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is located at 474 Upper Mountain Avenue in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. During bloom season, admission is a suggested $8 donation to help fund garden costs. The Gardens are open daily from dawn until dusk.
Bloom Room Gift Shop Opens & Iris Plant Sale
Friday, May 12 through Sunday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Bloom Room Gift Shop features an exciting mix of affordable home and garden accents. Potted and bare root irises from our collection are available for purchase. Visitors also may reserve summer grab bags.
Mother’s Day
Sunday, May 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Enjoy the day with Mom at Presby. Treat her to a special iris or item from the Bloom Room Gift Shop. Enjoy a free music program. A special luncheon is planned; check the website for ticket information. Artist Lisa Palumbo will be available from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to sign artwork.
Family Garden Party
Saturday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Essex County Family Garden Party is a free community event sponsored by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs with entertainment, crafts, face painting, booths from local organizations such as the Essex County Environmental Center and Master Gardeners, and various food trucks. A student art exhibit will also be featured. Rain date: Sunday, May 21.
Live Jazz Music
Weekends during Bloom Season from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
TaikoZoku Japanese Drumming Show
Sunday, May 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Hear the thrilling sounds of this Japanese style drum troupe from Glenn Weber’s New Jersey School of Percussion in West Orange.
Outdoor Movie Screening Disney’s Moana
Saturday, June 3 at 9 p.m.
Hosted by the Montclair Film Festival and Essex County Parks System.






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