It’s Bloom Season at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens in Salem, Oregon

Photos by Cheryl Landes

In the spring, the Willamette Valley has a constantly changing colorscape. Daffodils, berry blossoms, and tulips appear, and almost as soon as they pass peak, the iris start to bloom. By mid-May, Schreiner’s Iris Gardens reach full bloom and open for the season. The sight resembles a bright giant patchwork quilt spread across 10 acres of the valley.

Today is the day when the 2017 Bloom Season officially begins.

Daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., stroll through the display garden filled with 500 varieties of iris and companion plants. Check out the cut-flower show. Pack a picnic basket and dine at a table with views of the fields. Buy a fresh-cut bouquet to take home or give to a special someone, and order bulbs to be shipped.

Picnic tables

Throughout the season, which ends on May 31, Schreiner’s is hosting a variety of activities, from gardening demonstrations to an art fair. Here’s the complete schedule.

Friday, May 12

Display garden, gift shop, and flower show open for the season.

Saturday, May 13

  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Liqueur tasting with Spiritopia Craft Spirits
  • Noon-5 p.m.— Liqueur tasting with Elixir Craft Spirits
  • Noon-5 p.m.—Wine tasting with Methven Family Vineyards
  • 12:30-1 p.m.—Free demonstrations on how to dig and divide bearded iris in the plant sale area
  • 1:30-2 p.m.—“The Language of Flowers from the Victorian and Edwardian Eras,” a discussion by Lisa Hand of Wild Horse Antiques

Sunday, May 14

  • All day—Mother’s Day special of 50% off your first purchase of a dozen iris at the gift shop
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Liqueur tasting with Spiritopia Craft Spirits
  • Noon-5 p.m.—Wine tasting with Methven Family Vineyards

Confetti

Saturday, May 20

  • 10 a.m.-5 p.m.—Liqueur tasting with Spiritopia Craft Spirits
  • Noon-5 p.m.— Liqueur tasting with Elixir Craft Spirits
  • 12:30-1 p.m.—Free demonstrations on how to dig and divide bearded iris in the plant sale area
  • 2-3 p.m.—Free iris floral arranging demonstration by Sue Bielemeier of Green Thumb Flower Box Florist

Sunday, May 21

  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Ginger, apple, and pomegranate liqueur tastings with Spiritopia Craft Spirits
  • 1-3 p.m.—Live jazz from the American Songbook with Bellows & Squawk

Autumn Circus

Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29

Saturday May 27

  • All day—Mt. Angel Sausage Company serves sausage and other treats.
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Liqueur tasting with Spiritopia Craft Spirits
  • 10 a.m.-6 p.m.—Iris-themed art fair featuring local talent
  • Noon-5 p.m.—Wine tasting with Methven Family Vineyards
  • 12:30 to 1 p.m.—Free demonstrations on how to dig and divide bearded iris in the plant sale area

Sunday, May 28

  • All day—Mt. Angel Sausage Company serves sausage and other treats.
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Liqueur tasting with Spiritopia Craft Spirits
  • 10 a.m.-6 p.m.—Iris-themed art fair featuring local talent
  • Noon-5 p.m.—Wine tasting with Methven Family Vineyards

Monday, May 29

  • All day—Mt. Angel Sausage Company serves sausage and other treats.
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Liqueur tasting with Spiritopia Craft Spirits
  • 10 a.m.-6 p.m.—Iris-themed art fair featuring local talent
  • 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.—Memorial Day Chicken BBQ by the Gervais Knights of Columbus. Meals include one-half chicken, coleslaw, baked potato, and a beverage for $11.
  • Noon-5 p.m.—Wine tasting with Methven Family Vineyards
  • 1-4:30 p.m.—Live music from Calamity Jazz (free)

Wednesday, May 31

Last day of Bloom Season

Orange Harvest

Other events held locally during Bloom Season include the Adult Congenital Heart Association Bicycle Ride on Saturday, May 13, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and the Keizer Iris Festival on Saturday-Sunday, May 20-21, in the town of Keizer, eight miles south of Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. The Keizer Iris Festival Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. on May 20 at the corner of Lockhaven and River Road.

Schreiner’s Iris Gardens is located at 3625 Quinaby Road NE, five miles north of Salem and 32 miles south of Portland. For more information, visit Schreiner’s Iris Gardens’ website or call (503) 393-3232.

Reckless Abandon

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