March 2016

MEETING TIME: Meeting at Ft. Missoula, Bldg. T-1, on Saturday, March 5 at 6:30.

Potluck Supper. It’s No Host so bring your own beverages.

The reported balance as reported in the February newsletter remains as stable at $14,037.10


January 27, 2016 Balance             $496.04
Memberships received in Jan/ &/Feb     92.00
Balance as of February 20            $588.04

Thanks are extended to all members who have paid for 2016. It made it very easy to upgrade the membership list for this season. As noted in the January Newsletter the new membership listing is attached as part of the March information you received.

I still am requesting the assistance of two members to review the financial records for 2015.

Please give me a call if you are interested. It only takes a couple hours to fulfill this task.
Unfortunately, Betty Ann and I may not be at the March meeting due to the State Class basketball tournament is be held at the U of M fieldhouse the first week of March and we will be attending the tournament and especially the championship game that evening.

Respectfully Submitted,

Erling Gustafson,


February 6, 2016

Missoula Iris Society meeting was called to order by President Donna Dowell at 7:10 p.m. at the Fort Missoula T-1 building.


Treasurer’s Report:
All members have paid their dues. Bob Symes is sending his dues.

Correction to the newsletter treasurer’s report: The treasurer’s report in the February newsletter showed AIS Affiliation dues were paid in the amount of $20.00. The correct amount is $30.00.

Swede received a thank you letter from Matt, Director of Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, thanking us for our annual donation to Friends of the Fort. He reminded us that the amount is tax deductible. Also tax deductible is the mileage driven to volunteer work in the fort garden. That amount is 12 cents per mile. Anyone who donates rhizomes to the sale can deduct $4.00 per rhizome, according to an item on Page 5 of the AIS bulletin.

Fort Garden Report: Edd Verplancke passed out a report on the status of our public garden and a clarification on his status as chairman of the garden. He is not willing to be Fort Garden Chairman any longer. He clarified a statement in the January minutes regarding Rocky Top and Mid America to state that “most of the newest varieties of rhizomes do not seem to survive, regardless of the hybridizer.”

He also corrected the January minutes regarding re-planting and mapping. He said the garden has been replanted except for the Dykes winners that he could not find. He has mapped the garden. He stated he no longer has the time to take care of the Dykes beds and that it needed to have the soil changed and we do not have enough club members to do it.

Following is a summary of his report on the garden. The finger beds and the new section of the Dykes bed have been mapped, the labels have been updated, the empty spaces in the beds filled in with new iris. Unfortunately during the winter of 2014-15 many iris were lost, probably due to severe cold early in the fall before the iris were ready. It is also possible that some, particularly the newer varieties, are simply not hardy enough for our climate. As for which hybridizers’ iris were lost, it seemed it did not matter where they were from but how new they were and where they were in the garden. Where they are ordered from does not seem to be a factor at all. Edd would like to wait and see as it is too early to tell. If the club wants to order the iris from any one hybridizer in preference to another this year Edd prefers to no longer spend time to look for the best deals.

The Siberian bed has been well cared for by Swede. The Dykes beds have been weeded by Carol and Al on one side and Gary on the other. Edd prefers not to manage those beds in the future.

Ed’s report continued that since the Fort Garden has more in it than just iris, he prefers that the annuals and perennials not compete with the iris for space or bloom time. He emphasized that the annuals and perennials require a lot of maintenance time as well, and he will no longer take responsibility for that maintenance. It needs to be shared by other members or by a competent hired outsider.

Edd reports that the big bed is in need of work and he plans to make this his next project. The retaining wall at the bottom has two rows of bricks and he intends to add a third row to make it match the Siberian bed. The iris will need to be moved to fit, and spaces filled in.

Edd will maintain the selection and mapping of the iris in the big bed, the baby bed and the finger beds, finish the wall around the big bed and make the needed adjustments. He will not do anything about the Dykes bed, and the Siberian bed is in Swede’s capable hands.

In closing he suggested it would be great if every bed could be adopted by someone who would weed, deadhead and prune perennials, but experience has shown that there are not enough volunteers to cover all the beds. It would be great to have a competent hired weeder, but Edd will not be responsible for this.

Edd is satisfied to see the gardens in good shape and he is happy to work on it, within clearly defined limits and how much time he has to donate.

Finally, Ed suggested perhaps management of the Fort Garden by our dwindling club is no longer practical and we should be thinking about options for the future.

Following the garden report, the club members thanked Edd for all the work and time he has donated.


Research Committee: A committee of three was formed to research hardy iris hybridizers. They are Donna, Carol and Fred. The goal would be to find hybridizers who grow in similar climate and determine if they grow in clay soil or sandy soil with a ph similar to ours.

Garden Weeder:
Discussion followed on hiring a weeder; Gary’s person is Barb Sauer and she expects $12 hour. Judy offered to put out a job request for temporary part time help at $10 per hour, plus she will supervise the worker.

Ice Cream Social:
Discussion of date for the ice cream social. It was decided to have it after the show in June, on Wednesday June 8 at 5:00 p.m. Also suggested we have a weeding party 1-2 hours before the social.

Median Show:
Date was firmed for Saturday May 21 from 9:00 a.m. – 12 Noon. Donna Dowell will chair. Judy offered her home back deck for the show to be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. – 12. Bring entries between 8-9 a.m. Judging will happen at 11 a.m. Three judges were suggested, Cindy Davis, Roger Muir, Gary Clark. Donna will ask Roger to judge, since he was not at the meeting.

Show Report:
Chairperson Judy Blunt presented a sample of the show brochure with the theme “Montana’s Literary Treasures” with 8 design categories. The show space and time has been confirmed with Southgate Mall for Saturday June 4 from 10 a.m. To 8 p.m. in the J.C. Penney’s Court. Judy is looking for a design judge. Cheryl Carroll was suggested.

Region 11 Vice President:
It was confirmed that Jim Sadler is still our RVP for Region 11.

Cindy thanked everyone for the flowers.

Kenneth W. Baier, 75, former long time member of MIS, passed away on Saturday, January 30, at his home in East Missoula. He and his wife RoseMary had been part of the original members who helped start our public garden in Fort Missoula in 1981. We miss them both.

Presidential Rhizome winner:
Allen Ledford won for February.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carol Addeo, Secretary

Presidential Rhizome winners: September Edd Verplancke, October Judy Blunt, November Ron Dowell, December Swede Gustafson, January Linda Sadler, February Allen Ledford

Check out our websites:
 www.missoulairis.com  and  www.sites.google.com/site/irismissoula