Louisiana Iris Day at Longue Vue moved from March 31 to April 1 due to weather

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2016 GNOIS Calendar

The next GNOIS General Membership meeting will be held on Saturday morning, Saturday, March 26 9:00 till 11:30 AM in the Playhouse at Longue Vue.  The program and other details will be posted when available and included in the next latest newsletter.  Mark your calendars for this and other upcoming events!

Friday, April 1, 4-6 PM Louisiana Iris Day Wild Garden at Longue Vue
Sunday, April 10, 2016 Louisiana Iris Rainbow Festival and Iris Show Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
Thursday, Apr 21 - Saturday, Apr 23 Society for Louisiana Irises, Annual Convention and Show Hilton Garden Inn, Bossier City

Saturday,  Aug 6, 2016, 9:00 AM - Noon

GNOIS Meeting

Longue Vue

Saturday, Sep 24, 2016, 10:00 AM - Noon

GNOIS Meeting

Longue Vue

October TBA

Annual Iris Sale

Longue Vue

Third Tuesdays in the Sculpture Garden

Next date: February 19, 9:00 AM - Noon in the Master Gardeners Super Plant Garden and in the Louisiana Iris Display Garden in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. 

At each of the Third Tuesday Sessions, there will be some cultural demonstration and a few take-homes irises for those who help.  There are always experienced Louisiana iris growers present if you want to ask questions of just chat about the irises.

GNOIS Members Working at Third Tuesday

GNOIS Members Benny Trahan, Roland Guidry and Linda Trahan working in the Guest Iris beds in the Sculpture Garden on the workday in May.

If you have good pictures of your spring iris bloom and want to submit them for the website, send them to:

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Scenes From Plantation Point
House at Plantation Point
Heavenly Glow
Gertie Butler
Irises Along Caddo Lake
Above: Bobbie and Stan's home on Caddo Lake; the cultivars 'Heavenly Glow',"Atchafalaya', and "Gertie Butler'; and a bed of irises along Caddo Lake.  

2016 SLI Convention in Shreveport/Bossier to Feature Great Gardens

A trek to the north for the April 21-24 event will put you among fields of old and new Louisiana irises and an incredible array of native  and other plants

The 2016 Society for Louisiana Irises Convention offers an opportunity to enjoy a remarkable variety of garden experiences.  Garden bus tours on Thursday and Friday will include:

Newton/Taylor Garden, Mooringsport

     Ray Taylor and Eric Newton moved to this property in 1996.  A horticulturist and landscape architect, respectively, Ray and Eric transformed a one acre, former family camp into a garden gem.  The plantings include collections of Japanese Maples, Camellias, roses, spring flowering shrubs, many perennials and unusual plants.  This garden will be a real treat.

Plantation Point Nursery, Mooringsport

     Plantation Point is the home of former SLI President Bobbie Hutchins and her husband Dr. Stanley Schickowitz.  Bobbie and Stan built a beautiful retirement home on the 22 acre property on Caddo Lake, but the development of her iris nursery actually proceeded the completion of the home. 

     Large numbers of irises were purchased from the former Lone Star Iris Garden and more were dug from Marie Caillet's famous pond.  They served as the starting stock for a large commercial iris nursery.  Plantation Point has donated huge numbers of irises for projects in New Orleans, Savannah and other places.

    A visit to Plantation Point is a treat.  The convention tour stop will provide an opportunity to stroll among acres of irises and other interesting plants, to see Bobbie's victorian greenhouse, to listen to live music and have a nice lunch overlooking Caddo Lake.  You can also see Stan's gourmet coffee and tissue culture operations (totally separate, in case you were wondering). 

Norton Gallery and Garden, Shreveport

  The Garden at the R. W. Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport features a wide range of plants, including irises, spread over 40 acres. There over 100 varieties of native and hybrid azaleas.  Streams make their way to a central pond.  The Garden will make a perfect Friday tour stop before the trek to the wilds of Briarwood.  For more information on the Norton Gallery and Garden, start here.

Briarwood - The Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve, Saline 

     Briarwood was the home of Caroline Dormon (1888-1971), Louisiana's foremost naturalist and conservationist of her day.  Her legacy has not been exceeded and is still celebrated, and her home place is now a Preserve that has been called  "the most complete botanical and wildlife sanctuary in Louisiana." Briarwood Nature Preserve is approximately 400 acre of native plants, woods, ponds and paths.   Briarwood reflects the vision of Caroline Dormon.  The dedicated work of Richard and Jessie Johnson, the curators until their recent "retirement," assured that Briarwood would endure for the enjoyment of future generations. 

    Briarwood cannot be fully taken in during a single tour stop, of course.  There is far too much to see along the trails, around the ponds and in the woods.  The diversity of native plants really would require multiple visits coinciding with the changes of the seasons. 

     The Louisiana irises in the Bay Garden are an exception.  The historic collection is concentrated in a relatively small area.  Many of the irises are older, some dating back to the hybridizing and collecting of Caroline Dormon herself.  There are newer cultivars, too, and the planting will provide a unique glimpse of arc of development of these irises from wildflowers to today's cultivars. Plus, the spring-fed Bay Garden supports pitcher plants and other water loving plants that are rarely seen in gardens.

     For a sample of pictures from Briarwood, click here.

Iris Show, Slide Show, Silent and Live Auctions, Awards Dinner, Camaraderie

There is much to do at an SLI convention in addition touring gardens.  A formal iris show will be held at the convention hotel, judges by accredited American Iris Society judges.  An iris show is always a chance to see both newer and older cultivars. 

    There are always two dinners at SLI conventions.  The Friday night dinner features a slide show by hybridizers touting their latest irises, both recently introduced and still seedlings.   The Awards Banquet is Saturday night, bracketed by Silent and Live Auctions. The Silent Auction presents many interesting items, including some irises, but the Live Auction is an opportunity to buy some of the latest irises as well as some older varieties.

    For many the highlight of an SLI convention is the people you meet and the things you learn.  Conventions bring together nice, knowledgeable folks who are always happy to share what they know.

     Shreveport-Bossier is a bit of a trek from New Orleans, but the SLI Convention will make the drive up I-10 and I-49 well worth it.  You'll get to see a different and beautiful countryside in the rolling hills of North Louisiana. 

Schedule and Registration

You can download the Convention Schedule and Registration forms by clicking below:

Registration Form

Convention Schedule