Festival of colors


It’s that time of year here in Oregon, when each small town takes a weekend to celebrate its local floral specialty: Amity Daffodil Festival, Woodburn Tulip Festival, Florence Rhododendron Festival…and my favorite, the Keizer Iris Festival.  Iris Festival Website


The festival has all the usual events, parades, etc. but the main focus is the fields of iris, in every imaginable color. A stroll through the famous Schreiner’s Iris Gardens is my favorite attraction.  After you’ve seen more beauty than you can handle, take a look at the gift shop where you can purchase bulbs in pots or cut flowers to take home. You can also order from their catalog.  Schreiners Website

Complementing the staggering array of iris are other spring bloomers in contrasting forms and colors: columbine, peonies, brilliant blue delphiniums, climbing clematis. The tall stalks of allium are also known as “onion flowers.”

My mom used to grow irises whenever we were lucky enough to have a garden, but in those days they were usually the classic purple and yellow varieties.  Schreiner’s has hundreds of colors and combinations, many that you wouldn’t expect to find in “nature.” The other thing everyone seems to find fascinating is that each variety is labeled–several people were overheard expressing a desire to have the job of thinking up names like Fluffy Pillows, Drama Queen, or Trial by Fire.  The dark purple ones are called Ladies of the Night.

The complex structure of the iris flower includes petals that go up (known as standards) and petals that drop down (falls). The fuzzy little items in bright yellow and orange are called “beards.” That’s the extent of my botanical knowledge.

It was a treat to be accompanied by my friend Darlene. She had never been to the iris gardens and I loved watching the amazed expression as she spotted one gorgeous flower after another.

Looks like we were not the only ones exhausted by the overwhelming beauty of our surroundings.

I’m hoping to do a road trip sometime this summer, so until next time, Happy Travels!


6 thoughts on “Festival of colors”

  1. Hi, Andrea. Thanks for sharing these magnificent beauty.
    Volkssporting in Nova Scotia for 2 weeks. Very pretty here an abundance of Canadian history


  2. Andrea, thanks so much for sharing this! I’m delighted by the photos; and I’ve never heard of this local festival… It’s going on my calendar for next year!


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