- Take a look at the kiosk at the Fort Gardens next
time you are there. It has been woefully neglected for quite awhile,
so we added a little color with some photographs and a little more
information. All contributions or suggestions from members are
welcome. Anyone who wants to add something, just write it up and give
it to me and I'll take care of the rest.
Putting the Iris Beds to Bed
Every Fall for nearly 25 years, the Missoula Iris Society (MIS) has
had a final work party of the season to prepare the public iris
gardens for winter. Tuesday, October 5th at 4:00 p.m. about 7 members
and a few Addeo grandchildren showed up to welcome the free load of
pea gravel from JTL Construction as it was dumped by construction
truck driver Sheri Wurth, who happens to be this writer's daughter.
KPAX-TV showed up, too and gave us a little publicity on the 5:30
news. A lot of work was accomplished that afternoon, but there was
more to do. Then, the final, final work party was called for
Saturday afternoon, October 16th. Granted, it was short notice, even
though Elinor was kind enough to call a lot of people, but turnout was
not so great: about 5 members and 6 Addeo family members, some too
young to do much more than get in the way. A lot more was
accomplished, but alas, still not finished. Zona and Billie seem to
be "it" for the most part. And before 2003, Bob Symes and Honk were
"it" for many years.
Like many things in life, the gardens have suffered growing pains
since they were started in 1981. Much as the society members
themselves have aged, so did the garden. In 1981, when a handful of
members started digging a bed from a field of rock, weeds and grass
behind the Fort Missoula Historical Museum, they envisioned a
showplace of award winning iris, planted chronologically each year to
encourage the public to visit and allow them to see how iris have
evolved over the years. An added benefit would be that the beds
themselves would supply quality, locally grown rhizomes that could be
sold at the annual fundraising rhizome sale.
Thanks to Billie and Zona, the gardens are looking great again. I,
for one, went out and weeded my little assigned plot, as I hope others
have done. We're getting there folks. As in the past years, it's
still only a few people doing most of the work, but somehow we're
pulling together and getting it done.
Next year we'll reap a reward of celebrations with our 25th
Anniversary plans. Get involved. Help where you can and we can take
some time next year to thank those first pioneers who started the
garden in 1981: Pat and Nancy Ryan, Ron Dunn, Ken and Rose Mary Baier,
Jerry and Donna Bowers, Dave and Carol Durnford and Bob and Billie
Gray. Thank you heaps! We hope we didn't miss anybody. If we did,
please let me know.