Don’t be fooled by my California address. Our mountainous, pine-forested location, with Yosemite National Park practically in my backyard, comes with the GOOD and the BAD.

It’s GOOD because the weather is simply superb for nine months of the year.

It’s also GOOD because I’m within a few hours drive of most of the major, California growers and hybridizers. My frequent, observational visits to their gardens give me a good idea of what’s new on the market and which of my seedlings are the most worthy of consideration. Since I strive to introduce iris that are 20% different or 20% better (or both), it’s highly advantageous to discover iris that are quite similar to the lines that I’m also working on. If I happen to find something that is quite similar, I’ll likely congratulate the hybridizer and upon returning home, promptly abandon that particular line. You might think of this as a setback, but I’m actually glad when it happens. Why? My ultimate goal is to help advance the kingdom of iris. So, rather than re-inventing the wheel, I’d rather be searching over the horizon, looking for the next IRIS FROM THE FUTURE.

On the BAD side of our location, the soil is poor, the PH is wrong, garden pests think that WE ARE the intruders, temperature extremes are the norm, the summer “dust season” is too long and we’re always subject to a terrible, late Spring frost. However, these negative conditions have a silver lining that I’m actually, exceedingly grateful for. If it grows here, it will likely grow anywhere. So, although I “farm-out” some of my prospective seedlings, I can usually tell ahead of time how well they will perform.