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Wish You Were Here – Irises in Canby, Oregon

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This week, we’re back in the States to finalize our plans for upcoming fall bulb catalog – but we don’t mind a bit, because we’ll be visiting our iris growers in Canby, Oregon! Canby is one of several small towns in Oregon’s Willamette Valley to feature hundreds of acres of gorgeous irises. Here at Breck’s, we’re constantly on the hunt for new and exciting cultivars of these colorful plants – and Canby is a can’t-miss destination!

Some folks call the Willamette Valley near Salem “America’s Bulb Basket” – and it’s easy to see why. The family-owned farms of Canby have produced some of the world’s most unique varieties of the tall, colorful bearded iris. In fact, many of the most vibrant cultivars you enjoy in your own garden – such as Hello Darkness, Victoria Falls, and Dusky Challenger – were first produced right here! In springtime and early summer, display gardens open across Canby, and iris lovers from around the world come to admire these American hybrids of the classic Iris germanica.

There’s a reason tall bearded irises have become one of those bulbs that’s just as embedded in America as it is in Holland – they really thrive here! They’re among the easiest bulbous flowers to care for, and have an extremely long bloom time. Plus, many irises are reblooming, meaning that they’ll bloom again after the initial spring season. German and Dutch iris plants are also drought-tolerant and fairly disease-resistant. The color-loving gardener will find gorgeous color combinations between bearded irises’ standards (the top three petals) and falls (the bottom three petals), as well as shattered and speckled coloration in some varieties. They’re great companions for shorter plants, and do a fantastic job of lining walkways, adding height to beds, and even covering less-than-gorgeous foundations! Once you’ve got them growing, you can even divide them to build out your iris beds.

While you’re thinking about all the ways to use these tall beauties, be sure to enter to win our Trip of a Lifetime drawing for the chance to win a trip to Holland during next years’ blooming season!

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May 26, 2015
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