Hybridizer’s Guest Iris Return Schedule

Iris hybridizers provided an incredible range of guest irises for the AIS 2017 Convention.  Something over 2200 plants for attendees to enjoy on the tours!

Post-convention the plants have a number of destinations with the bearded irises being processed now.  Last week we shipped the bearded irises to the winning auction bidders.  Next week, the week of August 7th, we will be digging and shipping the bearded irises hybridizers have requested be returned.  Hybridizers, we will email you as the bearded irises are shipped to you.

Beardless irises will be sent later to the winning auction bidders and to hybridizers who have requested returns.

Thank you to all the hybridizers for providing these guest irises!

Bearded Auction Irises Shipped

One of the innovations at the AIS 2017 Convention was an auction of guest irises.  After seeing guest irises on the garden tours Thursday and Friday, visitors were able to bid on a number of them Saturday afternoon.  This week the bearded irises were dug and shipped to the winners, shipped July 24th and 25th.  I know some bidders have already received theirs.  The others should arrive (USPS) shortly.

Thank you to everyone for participating in the auction!  And thank you to the volunteers who dug, prepared, and shipped these irises!

Shipping of the beardless irises will be late August or early September.

Gardens Tours Videos

The Convention gardens tours provide great opportunities for photos.  Or videos.  Or combinations.  Jan Blaedel did a combination by combining some of her photos from the gardens into short videos.  Thank you Jan for sharing these.  Each video is about 2 minutes.

Do you have photos or videos from the Convention to share?  We would be glad to include them on the website.   You are welcome to use the comments or send to wrmesser@gmail.com to let us know.

Convention Book Online

While it cannot convey all the excitement of the Convention, the Convention Book is very useful before, during, and after the Convention.  This is the AIS 2017 Convention Book (PDF) for your use and reference.  Do you have some ways you use/will use this?  We would love to hear them!  Whether you were able to attend or not, please enjoy!

Thank you again to Judy Keisling for preparing the book and for keeping our contributions on track.  She is amazing!


Eat Downtown Des Moines – Friday Evening

Take advantage of a special opportunity to “dine-a-round” downtown Des Moines’ award-winning and innovative food scene. The convention committee has arranged for group reservations at three downtown restaurants at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 26. Click on the names to visit each restaurant’s website and peruse the dinner menu.

Django (20 people)

Django is a comfortable, family-friendly brasserie offering everything you love about French cuisine without the attitude and featuring seasonal ingredients. It’s been a mainstay of the downtown dining scene for many years.

Bubba (20 people)

Bubba is a newcomer to the downtown dining scene as of last summer, specializing in Southern favorites and classic cocktails with a recently appointed new chef. Bonus: the bar stocks a large array of whiskies!

Vivian’s Diner and Drinks (30 people)

Vivian’s is billed as a “new modern diner” and located in the historic Hotel Kirkwood. Modern interiors have an upscale twist and the menu offers contemporary, but hearty revivals of old diner favorites.

Here’s what you need to know to participate:

  • Ready for dinner? Sign-up for reservation spots when you check in at the convention registration desk on the third floor of the Downtown Marriott Hotel. The sign-up will be next to the bus sign-up sheets!
  • Reservation space first come, first serve. The convention committee must turn in final commitments to the restaurants by close of day on Wednesday.
  • Diners are responsible for their own tab. The convention committee has simply made the group arrangements as a courtesy to convention attendees as they plan for a free evening.
  • All three restaurants are short walks from the convention hotel. For those who want to walk, a docent/leader will guide groups to the restaurants and depart the hotel at 5:45 p.m. Limited street parking is available at each restaurant. Taxis or rideshare services (Uber) are also available.

The Dine-A-Round is a great way to meet new people, experience great local cuisine while someone else takes care of the reservation!

Saturday Iris Auction

The 2017 convention will feature a live auction of selected convention guests on Saturday afternoon starting at 1 p.m. in the Hall of Cities Room on the third floor of the Des Moines Downtown Marriott. The auction will feature three lots: medians, tall bearded and beardless. Each lot will last one hour and feature 40-50 varieties.

Here’s what you need to know to participate:

  • A catalog of auction irises will be posted on the convention website the week prior to convention.
  • Your registration number printed on your convention badge serves as your bidder number.
  • All sales are final and cash, check or credit will be accepted at checkout. All tabs must be finalized at the conclusion of the auction.
  • A cash bar will be available during the auction.