February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day! Jack Worel has written an overview for Region 8 on how to become an iris judge! Perhaps you would be interested?
Jack's instructions:

Region 8 American Iris Society


STUDENT: To become a student, join AIS, take 10 hours Judges Training over 3 years as a student and notify your RVP or training coordinator.


1. Get recommendation of 5 judges (form provided)
2. Give list of 10 hours training as a student to your training coordinator.
3. Get a Judges Handbook.
4. Be a member of AIS for three years.


1. All duties or requirements to be completed in 3 years.
2. Judge seedlings and named iris in the garden under two judges,
     two hours each.
3. Take 10 hours additional Judges training (keep track)
4. Make sure 2 hours of training is for Awards & Balloting, if not taken
     as a student.
5. Filll out Regional activity report each year (August 1-July 31)
6. Fill out practice ballot that is sent each year.
7. Apprentice with a Judge judging 2 iris shows.

The Regional Vice President or the Regional coordinator will recommend you to become an Exhibition and Garden Judge, which is approved at an AIS fall board meeting in November.

For help or additional information contact: Jack Worel, 10930 Holly Lane, Osseo, MN 55369. jworel@aol.com

8** Remember to keep records of your work!


April 29, 2018

There are so many great ISM events coming up this spring and summer. Volunteers are needed for the following:

1. Iris Society of MN at Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market!
The Iris Society of MN will have an information booth at the Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market on Saturday, May 19th, From 9 AM to 1 PM. Stop by and get more information about growing irises and the newly planted Minneapolis Iris Gardens, and talk to experts about your iris questions! It is the opening day of the market, and there is also a fun run scheduled. Location: St. Boniface Church Parking Lot; 629 2nd St. NE., Minneapolis, MN 55413

We will also have a booth here on June 9, August 25, September 1, and September 8. We will sell plants and rhizomes at the booth, with members getting half of the price and the ISM the other half. A good way to get rid of your extra irises, make a little money, and help your society. Let us know if you can volunteer or if you have plants to sell.

2. Northeast Minneapolis Municipal Iris Gardens Inaugural Iris Show and Opening Ceremony
The Northeast Minneapolis Municipal Iris Gardens, which were planted last summer at Columbia Park by the Iris Society of Minnesota in cooperation with the Minneapolis Park Board, will have its first bloom season this spring. A juried Iris Show and Mayoral ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for Sunday, May 20, 2018. The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at noon outside in the Gardens, weather permitting. The juried Iris Show will be held concurrently inside the Manor, in the fireplace room. Anyone who grows a named iris may cut and bring their irises from 8-10am to display and compete in the iris show. Participation is free and fun! Judging will take place at 10am. The Iris show will open for public viewing at noon, following the ribbon cutting and Mayor Frey’s remarks. Cake donated by Lund’s will be served, and there will be an Iris coloring station set up for artists of all ages. Show schedule here.
Follow the Iris Gardens on Facebook and get a sneak peek at what's blooming before you go! https://www.Facebook.com/NEMMIG

Event Address:
Columbia Manor- 3300 Central Ave NE. Minneapolis MN 55418 
Event Date:
Sunday, May 20th, 12pm to 4pm

3. Annual Iris Society of MN Juried Iris Show 
The Annual Iris Show is to be held on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 in The Heritage Room of Bachman’s at 6010 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419. Set up will start at 8am, and judging will take place from 10 AM until noon. Public viewing hours are from 12pm - 4PM. Anyone who grows a named iris may participate! Just cut your iris in the morning and bring it from 8 AM to 10 AM, and we will help you display it for judging! Show schedule here.

6010 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 8am-4pm

4. Get Sociable for the Iris Gardens!

Swing on by Sociable Cider Werks, official community partner to the NE Minneapolis Municipal Iris Gardens, Thursday, June 7, 4-9pm, and meet Iris lovers and ask questions of Iris experts while having a pint or two of delicious hard cider, and you will help support the Iris Gardens! It's the easiest volunteer shift you’ll ever work. Iris Society of MN will have a table set up to answer all of your burning questions, and T-shirts in multiple colors will be for sale.

When? Thursday, June 7, 4-9pm

5. Iris Society of Minnesota annual iris dig

Saturday August 11 7 AM - 2 PM at the Arboretum

6. Iris Society of Minnesota Annual Iris Sale!

"Iris"- from the Greek "Rainbow". Love irises? Come to the Arboretum August 18 and 19 for the unique opportunity to purchase a RAINBOW of colors of rarely seen rhizomes divided from the Arboretum's collection! Bonus: if you sign up at the sale to be a member of the Iris Society of Minnesota, you can participate in the members-only silent auction featuring new introductions! Membership is a bargain at only $10 for two years. Print a membership application here.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Dr, Chaska, MN 55318
Saturday, August 18, 9am-4pm
Sunday, August 19, 10am-4pm

7. Iris Society of Minnesota at the State Fair!

The Iris Society of Minnesota will once again have a booth at the Minnesota State Fair in the Horticulture building. Stop by and see us demonstrate how to divide your iris rhizomes, ask any questions you may have, and walk away with a free rhizome to put in your own garden (While supplies last)!

Minnesota State Fair Horticulture Building
1271 Underwood St, Falcon Heights, MN 55108
Thursday, August 23, 9 AM to 9 PM 
Friday, August 24, 9 AM to 9 PM
3 shifts per day with two volunteer spots per shift: 
-9am to 1pm
-1pm to 5pm
-5pm to 9pm
Volunteeers will get paid admission to the fair plus $10 lunch money.

8. Iris BOGO Sale at NEMMIG
Part two of our annual iris sale, this is where you will find the real iris bargains! All of the rhizomes we have left from our annual sale at the Arboretum will be buy one, get one free, and admission is free to attend this sale. All proceeds go towards growing and maintaining the NE Minneapolis Municipal Iris Gardens. Sunday, August 26th 9am- 3pm (or until supplies last). Fireplace room in Columbia Manor- 3300 Central Ave NE. Minneapolis MN 55418 
Find out more about the Iris Gardens:

April 8, 2018

During the spring and summer of 2017, Holly Johnson, ISM and board member, spent countless hours photographing the irises in bloom at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Holly uploaded these photos to our facebook page where they were enjoyed by many. Now these photos are also available on this website. Her photos of MDB, BB, IB, MTB, SIB, SPU, and JI have been integrated into the pages of photos that were already on the site. The SDB and TB pictures are shown separately on the SDB and TB pages, here and here. Thank you so much Holly for your many hours of work documenting the iris holdings at the Arboretum.

August 10, 2017

Please see the events page for a photo of the 2017 Queen of the Show. After being informed that a seedling could not be selected Best in Show, the judges awarded this honor to I. Tectorum alba which was entered by Jenn Lanz. Due to some technical difficulties with this website, this notice was delayed until now! Our apologies.

June 13, 2017

The annual iris show was held on June 3 and there are a few photos here, but for many more pictures please see our Facebook Forum page.

Iris Society of Minnesota Forum

Our member, Holly Johnson, has posted hundreds of photos from the show and also photos from irises blooming at the Arboretum. Some of these irises are NOIDS. Take a look and see if you can help to identify them.

Thanks to Holly for hours of work on these projects.

February 1, 2017

The Iris Society of Minnesota is once again sponsoring Cindy Soule in the Art in Bloom event at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Cindy writes:

"I have a friend I am mentoring so I will be doing two designs this year. The one titled "Untitled" in Gallery 375 will be the one featuring iris. The other one "The Intrigue" in Gallery 371 will be the one I am doing with my friend. Both works of art are in the Modern and Contemporary galleries on the 3rd floor.

I will be doing set up on Wednesday April 26 between 9 am and 2 pm. Wednesday is set up day and it is the least crowded day to see the floral designs... Iris society members are welcome to come and watch the designs in progress on Wednesday or attend at any other times April 27-April 30.

Below are images of the art works I will be interpreting.
Thank you to the Iris Society of Minnesota for sponsoring my participation in Art in Bloom 2017."


Untitled by Beauford Delaney


The Intrigue by James Ensor

January 15, 2017

The annual holiday party was a big success! See photos here.

January 10, 2017

Reblooming iris did very well in the fall of 2016 in many of our gardens. Jack Worel has shared this list of irises that rebloomed for him and when they bloomed:

Again & Again, yellow TB — Aug, Sept, Oct
Autumn Jester, purple IB — July, Aug, Sept
Autumn Tryst, purple & gray TB — Sept, Oct, Nov
Champagne Encore, punch yellow MTB — Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov
Early Harvest, shades of brown BB — Sept
Eramosa Skies, violet MTB — Aug
Eternal Summer, spec., purple TB — July through Nov
Forever Blue, blue SDB — Nov
Juiced Up, yellow-orange SDB — Nov
Low Ho Silver, white IB — Sept, Oct, Nov
Mid-Summer Night's Dream, dark purple IB — Sept, Oct
Misty Twilight, grayed blue-white TB — Sept, Oct
Queen Dorothy, purple plicata on white TB — Sept, Oct, Nov
Red Revival, red, brown, yellow TB — Sept, Oct
Rosaly Figgie, dark purple TB — Sept, Oct, Nov
Unbelievable Love, light blue TB — Sept, Oct, Nov
Zurich, white TB — Sept, Oct, Nov

January 10, 2017

The Iris Society of Minnesota received an award from the Horticultural Society for an exhibit at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair. Here is the copy of the letter. It was accompanied by a $30 check.. Good work, Tatiana Allen and all who helped at the State Fair booth!


November 21, 2016

Member Holly Johnson has written a comprehensive review of the Schafer/Sacks presentation. Read about it here.

October 5, 2016

American Iris Society Region 8 Fall meetings are Saturday Nov. 5 in Madison WI and Sunday Nov. 6 in Minneapolis.

We are very fortunate this year to have as our speakers, Marty Schafer and Jan Sacks, owners of Joe Pye Weed Garden in Massachusetts. Joe Pye Weed's Garden supplies Iris Versicolor, Siberian Iris, and Species and interspecies hybrids. Marty and Jan are leading experts on species iris and are among the elite Siberian Iris hybridizers working today. Their presentation will be on their hybridizing program and will include one hour of judges' training on Species Iris.

Sunday November 6 in Minneapolis starting at 11 AM.
Bachman's Flagship Store and Corporate Office, Heritage Room
6010 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapols MN 55419

November 23, 2016

The annual meeting on November 21 at Byerly's in St. Louis Park was well attended. It was great to see several new members at the meeting. The membership approved the 2016 amended budget and selected officers for two year terms. President Michelle Dreier and Treasurer Tim Moore agreed to serve an additional two years. Andrea Luck will assume the Secretary post, and Tatiana Allen replaces Elsie Riggs as an at-large board member. Thanks to Katerina Bergeron and Elsie Riggs for serving ISM.

Plans are being made for a holiday party, which will take place in January.

May 11, 2015

Members are preparing for the annual iris show at Bachman's. See the show schedule here. In other news, ISM sponsored Cindy Soule's Art in Bloom arrangement again this year. See some photos on our Events page.

March 13, 2015.

Region 8 Members of the American Iris Society

The following is a letter from Jack Worel, followed by Region 8 Societies and Iris Judge List, 2015 Iris Show times, and Region 8 Treasurer's Report.

Dear Members in Wisconsin & Minnesota

The Board of Directors of The American Iris Society, at their fall meeting, asked me to convene a Region 8 meeting to select a new RVP for Minnesota and Wisconsin. I have formed a nominating committee which includes Karen Johnson, Wisconsin Iris Society, Elledan McLeester, Madison Area Iris Society, and Michelle Dreier, Minnesota Iris Society.

The Committee has nominated Tim Moore of Apple Valley, MN. Tim is a long time grower and has consented to serve. This selection preserves the tradition of alternating states for our RVP. In addition, Tim is well qualified for the job.

We will meet in Madison, April 18th to elect Tim and officers he selects. See calendar for meeting details. In addition to the meeting there will be one hour of judges training. I have asked Nyla Hughes to do the hour on Judges Training on Show Judging. This will be of interest to our judges and other members who bring flowers to shows. Nyla will continue to be Judges Chair for the region.

Our region has not been very helpful or actively supporting our societies. I would like to talk about this and find a way to improve.

Please set aside time to come to this meeting. I look forward to seeing you. Did I mention door prizes?

Jack Worel, Osseo MN email


President Elladan McLeester


President Ramona Keller


President Michelle Dreier


Region 8 can be proud of their efforts in Judges' Training! Thanks in large part to the tutelage of former Judges Training Chair Jack Worel, six new Garden/Exhibition Judges have now joined the ranks of those qualified to judge iris shows and give helpful advice in selecting worthy cultivars. Congratulations to new appointees!

And thanks to all those who have led training, provided gardens, and worked on shows to provide them with opportunities to achieve this. If you are interested in becoming a judge, please let Jack Worel or me (Nyla) know.

(Some) contact information follows, to aid in planning your shows. All are G/E judges unless otherwise noted. (Also, the board recently voted to allow a retired judge to judge shows on a panel with other currently qualified judges.)

George Bacon, Brooklyn WI email

Mr. & Mrs. Melvin Bausch, Mequon WI (master judges)

Walter E. Doehne (retired), St. Paul MN

Vincent Fox (retired), Mankato MN

Nyla Hughes, Milwaukee WI email

Karen Johnson, Menomenee Falls WI email

Alicia LaMunion, St. Louis Park MN email

Elladan McLeester, Madison WI email

Rob Meyer, Madison WI

John & Barbara Sautner, Bloomington MN email

Carol Jo Shonka, New Berlin WI email

Bonnie Sonntag, New Berlin WI email

Jack Worel, Osseo MN (master) email


Minnesota Iris Society. Saturday May 30 Bachman's on Lyndale

Madison Area Iris Society. Sunday May 31. Albrich Gardens, 3300 Atwood Ave. Madison WI

Wisconsin Iris Society. Saturday May 16. Saturday & Sunday
June 6 & 7
Boener Botanical Gardens. Hales Corners WI


As of January 1, 2015 Region 8 had a balance of $2762.75
Ledra Mohrmann, Treasurer

February 1, 2015

Whatever would we do if we didn't have winter here in Minnesota? How would we ever get anything else done if we could be in the garden all year? Winter is an excellent time for updating our website, and you will now find the photos of the various irises in alphabetical order. I have also added the hybridizer and year of registration to the large photos.

As the first phase of iris virus wears off, I find that instead of coveting and buying the next gorgeous beauty I see, I am paying more attention to which irises do the best year after year in my garden. I am sure it's not as simple as just who the hybridizer may be, but it might be one factor. I am finding that most of the SDBs do very well here. Of the TBs, the most consistent ones I have include "Before the Storm," "Winter Waltz," "Supreme Sultan," and "Dusky Challenger."

I just received my copy of the Winter 2015 IRISES and it was really fun to see the results of the 2014 AIS Tall Bearded Iris Symposium. I think I need to acquire "Jesse's Song." It is unfortunate though, that only 7.1% of AIS members cast ballots. I guess the ISM is not the only organization that struggles with member participation!

Countdown to spring everyone!! ( MH / webmaster )

January 26, 2015
Annual holiday party and Awards dinner

Members of ISM celebrated at PF Chang in Edina on Saturday, Jan. 24 with delicious food and stimulating conversations. ISM medals were presented to Alicia LaMunion and Jack Worel (who was unable to attend). If you missed this event, you missed a lovely evening with congenial companions, and great door prizes. Do plan to attend next year! (See events page for photo).

December 22, 2014

Because of scheduling conflicts for several members of the ISM board, the board has decided to change the date for the annual holiday party to Jan. 24. The event will be held at PF Chang in Edina from 4-7 PM. Registration information has been sent to current members.

There will be a Region 8 meeting in Madison on April 18th. Tim Moore will be on the ballot for RVP. There will also be an hour of judges' training on judging an iris show.

November 4, 2014

The ISM Annual Meeting was held Saturday, Oct. 25 at the Mississippi Library in Fridley. The 2015 budget was approved. Jack Worel was elected to a two year term on the Board of Directors, replacing Jim Hefling. Alicia LaMunion assumed the Vice Presidency and Marte Hult is now Membership Chair. There will be a holiday party/awards banquet on January 10 and Katerina Bergeron will select a restaurant for this occasion. The 2015 calendar was set, and the society will begin using Constant Contact to reach members by email. Members whose dues are not current will receive a coupon for a free iris for rejoining. After the business meeting, a small but enthusiastic crowd enjoyed learning about raising iris from seed, presented by Jack Worel. If you missed this meeting, you missed possibly the best flourless chocolate cake ever baked, from Cafe Latte.

October 23, 2014

New photos have been added to the SDB and TB pages. Take a look!

August 22, 2014.

The 2014 dig and sale is now history! It was a successful event, raising more for our society than budgeted. Many people were responsible for this success. Iris were donated by Jack Worel, Tim Moore, Bob Reed, Tony Luce, Jenn Lanz, Marte Hult. If you donated and are not mentioned, please let us know!

Volunteers at the Arboretum set-up on August 15 were: Tim and Gerry Moore, Elsie Riggs, Jack Worel, and Tim and Gerry's granddaughter Lucia and her best friend Grace. Volunteers on Saturday and Sunday were: Tim and Gerry Moore, Jack Worel, Elsie Riggs, Jenn Lanz, Katerina Bergeson, Michelle Dreier and Toni Fundingsland. Thanks to everyone for a great fundraiser for ISM!

August 12, 2014.

Over twenty volunteers worked at the iris dig at Holly Lane Gardens Saturday August 9. Photos are posted on the Events page. Now volunteers are needed for the set up and sale this weekend (Aug. 15-17) at the Arboretum. Set-up will start Friday afternoon at 2 PM, and the sale runs Saturday 9-4 and Sunday 10-3. The sale is always a fun time to visit with other ISM members and also a good opportunity to interest the public in irises and our society. Remember that you get free entrance to the Arboretum when you explain that you are there to work at the Iris Society sale event. Email Gerry Moore to volunteer for a shift: Friday setup, Sat. AM, Sat.PM, Sun. AM, Sun. PM.

August 6, 2014

Request for Guest Beardless Irises for 2017 AIS convention in Des Moines. Info here.


ADDED NOTE: IF YOU ARE COMING TO THE DIG PLEASE RSVP TO GERRY MOORE. time2quilt@gmail.com or call her at 952-431-5140

July 19, 2014


Due to the limited number of iris that we could dig at the Arboretum this year, the iris dig will be held at the home of Jack Worel, site of Holly Lane Gardens.

For the new members, Jack is a known hybridizer and long standing member of ISM...you may have some of his iris in your own garden, such as Rush Creek, Greta, Minnesota Pinks, Working Man, Sunny Lynn, or Snow Country...to name a few.

Dig Details:
Date...................Saturday, August 9th, 2014
Start time...........9:00 A.M.
Address.............10930 Holly Lane N, Osseo, MN

In keeping with tradition.......

A light breakfast and crock-pot lunch will be provided. Volunteers will also be rewarded with free rhizomes and there may be a door prize or two.  

Due to its success last year, we again will hold a silent auction for several rhizomes purchased from Lauers Iris of Independence Oregon (Larry Lauer, Hybridizer).

Volunteers are needed to make the upcoming Iris sale a success.... it all starts at the DIG. We will dig, label and wash rhizomes to prepare them for the sale.

Looking forward to meeting new faces and old!  All are welcome....in fact, bring a friend!

Directions to Jack's house: From I-694, take Hwy 81 North to Osseo, then 6 miles on Hwy 81 to Holly Lane N.  Follow Holly Lane around until you reach Jack's property 10930.

Thank You....see you on the 9th! Please RSVP to Gerry.

July 7, 2014

Financial statements submitted to the membership


June 10, 2014

The 2014 ISM iris show is now history! There were nine exhibitors and 63 exhibits. Queen of Show is TB HIGH STAKES — Robert Reed. Best TB: CHECK IT OUT — Jack Worel. Best BB BLACKBEARD'S DAUGHTER —Jack Worel. Best Historic: RHEIN NIXE — Danielle Christensen. Best Seedling: 1200P, a pink banded TB with a lavender beard— Jack Worel. A special award went to novice Tatiana Allen for an outstanding stem of TB SUPERSTITION. The highest number of 1st place exhibits — Jack Worel.

Special thanks to Elsie Riggs and Jack Worel for set up; judges, John & Barb Sautner; Alicia LaMunion, apprentice judge; Elsie Riggs, show clerk; Gerry Moore, for helping novice exhibitors; and kudos to ISM President Michelle Dreier for show brochure and pulling it all together. Good job, everyone!

Photos are on the events page.


May 21, 2014

OK everybody! Get ready for the 2014 ISM iris show!! Bring your best blooms to Bachman's on June 7 and win a ribbon! Anyone who grows irises can enter. For instructions and complete show information, click the iris:

Jack Worel


May 8, 2014

Finally spring is here! And after our long and cold winter, we deserve a great iris blooming season! The plants are looking good and if we can avoid a late freeze and hail, it should be a banner year!

Please send me your photos. "Iris bloom 2014" needs your photos. Please share them with other ISM members and friends.

It's not too soon to start thinking about the conventions in Portland next spring! The 2015 "Iris in Wonderland" national convention will be followed by the Siberian/Species convention! It will be a fantastic opportunity to see thousands of fabulous irises! Click here for information.

Next events for our group are the hybridizing class on May 31, and the Iris Show at Bachman's on June 7. More information about the show will be forthcoming.


February 25, 2014

We have just learned that metro area irisarians have the opportunity to hear one of the bright young stars of the iris world, but you have to act fast! Kelly Norris, author of A Guide to Bearded Iris, just published in 2012, will be speaking at the East Metro Spring Fling in Woodbury on March 8. Kelly will talk on "Dig This: Stylish Gardening for Savvy Gardeners." Kelly Norris is the Horticulture Manager of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens and was, until recently, the editor of the AIS bulletin, Irises. For more information and to register online and pay by pay-pal, go directly to this website. Deadline to register is March 1.

Spring will come! Think about how all this snow is protecting our dear irises. And please send the web administrator some close-up photos of your favorites. Once spring arrives, updating the website will take a back seat to working in the garden! Please follow these submission guidelines.


February 2, 2014.

Plans are underway to re-establish the Society Newsletter, News and Views. As part of the preparation for this venture, your webmaster has been perusing old copies of the newsletter. Here is a little sample from the very first one, Jan 1953, when the publication was called Iris News:


At our December meeting in the fascinating Ship Room of the Minnesota Savings and Loan Assn. St. Paul, we were treated to an informative talk on specie iris by our prexy, Mr. Gus Sindt of St. Paul. He is also an excellent story teller. As an aftermath of this meeting, two members, Bud Straub and Edythe Burns, volunteered to obtain as much information as possible concerning the Louisiana specie iris. As neither Bud nor Edythe has ever seen a Louisiana iris, let alone grow one, they should have a most interesting report to give us at some future meeting."

The first editor of the newsletter was Edythe Burns and she wrote in a light, conversational voice. We will include additional excerpts from early news-letters as part of our new publication from time to time.


January 17, 2014

We are saddened to hear of the passing of a former Iris Society member, Ingeborg G. "Oma" Hempel. Memorial service will be Sunday, Jan 19. Details from the Star Tribune obituary here.


January 14, 2014

The annual holiday party was held on Sunday, Jan. 12, in Mounds View at Random Park. A lively group of Irisarians enjoyed a delicious buffet and gift exchange. Three door prizes were awarded. Tim won a 2012 Baumunk introduction, "Howling at the Moon." Katerina won a gift certificate to Superstition Gardens, and Jean won a 2014 Worel introduction, "Frost Bite." The door prizes were donated by Jack Worel.

gift Tim

The party was preceded by a board meeting. Numerous exciting events are planned for 2014. Check the calendar for details.


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Last updated: February 14, 2019