A Quick Little Post, About Cleveland, Opinion, Uncategorized

Buying Irises; A Quick Little Post.

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The main entrance to the Rockefeller Greenhouse seen on East 88th St.

In light of all that has been going on, not just on the news but also in this blogger’s life, I haven’t gotten around to seriously working on a post that I’ve been researching for weeks. However, I offer to my readers (roughly all three of you) this quick little post!

The Rockefeller Greenhouse had their annual plant sale Thursday May 18th through yesterday.  Fortunately, I was able to get there around 10:15 A.M. yesterday  Organized by volunteers, it may not be as flashy as the sales organized at the Holden Arboretum but this one draws a good crowd as evident by the cars parked on the street and the parking lot in the park on across the road.  I went there determined to buy a few dwarf irises for the garden.  I knew that I could find them there since I bought one last year at a table manned by iris enthusiasts who tend the Greenhouse’s Willott Iris Garden, many of the plants in the pots being grown from rhizomes thinned from it during their regular maintenance.

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Ron (left) and Bob (right) pose for the camera.

I wound up striking up a conversation with a man named Bob who sat behind the table with occasional comments from his colleague Ron who was busy for the most par running around.

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The Willott Iris Garden.

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A view of one of the beds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Iris Garden is past its peak bloom but there are still many plants with flowers of a nice array of colors.  I wasn’t able to locate the two that I purchased but spotted some that I hope Bob, Ron, and the others would thin out for next year’s plant sale.    The origins of the garden started in 2008 when the iris hybridizer Tony Willott died leaving behind his rows of hybrid irises.  So, with the support of his widow Dorothy, a group of iris enthusiasts got together, cataloged then, dug them up and by 2012 had them replanted on the grounds of the Rockefeller Greenhouse.  Today, the Willott garden is a big attractions in late spring with its many blooming irises of various sizes.

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As for yours truly, I bought two dwarf irises for the yard and they are now in the ground. One, Laurelwood, is a very unique rust bi-colored one while the other, Dainty Design, is an apricot colored one brused with cream. They should be very nice additions to the garden.  However, it will take a whole year to see if they bloom and a lot of things can happen in the meantime.  As for the plant sale, from the way the crowd was even on its’ last day, I’m positive it was a success.

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My two purchases .

 

Photographs by James Valentino

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Uncategorized

Cleveland’s Rockefeller Greenhouse.

The Rockefeller Greenhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.

                                                The Rockefeller Greenhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.

It was 26 degrees yesterday in Cleveland, Ohio, well below the normal for this time of year.  My snowdrops were even limp outside in my garden and I hope my iris reticula and crocuses don’t get frost bite from the cold North winds crossing Lake Erie.  So, I wound up this afternoon at the Rockefeller Greenhouse.  This place, tucked in a corner of the park of that same name, is one of the city’s best kept secrets.

Originally constructed in 1905, at a time when Cleveland was one of the top five largest cities in the nation, the Greenhouse has many plants crammed into it’s rather small premises.   Many articles in the local media, and blogs for that matter (one by Design Culture Cleveland blog from 2012 is a case in point) which shows you the enthusiasm locals have for this place.  While overshadowed by its state-of-the-art botanical neighbor down at University Circle, the Greenhouse’s intimate spaces are where one can easily sniff a blooming gardenia is well worth a weekend visit.

Cluster of lemon blossoms on a tree.

Cluster of lemon blossoms on a tree.

Who says there aren't any orange trees in Cleveland, Ohio?

Who says there aren’t any orange trees in Cleveland, Ohio?

The staff decorate the public spaces for each season with a variety of plants.  Right now, in anticipating Easter, dwarf lilies, cyclamen, and florist hydrangea line many of the walkways while the regular residents of orchids, blooming lemon trees and one gardenia bush add exotic scents to the air.   It continues to amuse me to see oranges ripening on a full size tree in the central conservatory space and, to this day, wonder what they do with all those oranges.

A view of their Easter display.

              A view of their Easter display.

Florist hydrangeas on display.

             Florist hydrangeas on display.

As spring finally comes to Cleveland, the adjacent grounds will come to life as well.  They have a few small display gardens, such as the Japanese Garden and, recently, one laid out for a pretty impressive iris collection.  There always seems to be at least a few cars parked in their lot whenever I go there and even Lolly the Trolly stops there as part of its sightseeing tours.

The grounds of the Greenhouse towards the display gardens.

The grounds of the Greenhouse towards the display gardens.

Blooming orchids on display.

            Blooming orchids on display.

The Rockefeller Greenhouse is open from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 PM every day and admission is free. For further information feel free to call them at (216) 664-3103 or visit them on the web at rockefellergreenhouse.org  for more information.

A fish fountain in a corner of the Greenhouse.

                                                   A fish fountain and goldfish pool in a corner of the Greenhouse.

Photographs taken by author.

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