The Messer Garden is in an urban setting in small town Iowa. Wayne and Pam live in Huxley, in Story County, just south of Ames. The five guest bearded iris beds begin along the driveway, drift along the south edge of the yard, wrap around the house and create a border for the cherry orchard (in progress). In addition to 242 bearded guests, you will find over 100 additional bearded irises and a sprinkling of Siberians.
Monthly Archives: February 2017
Do you remember the last time AIS had their Convention in Iowa? It was in 1950 and this is the
Convention Annual Meeting announcement. The meeting was headquartered in Sioux City with trips to the Sass Garden (Omaha) and Whiting Garden (Mapleton, Iowa) featured.
Thank you to the Region 21 Library for providing this.
Updated Schedule Available
The Schedule page is where to see what will be happening in Des Moines. You can use the Schedule tab above to go there or follow this link. The schedule now includes which room meetings will be in. You can plan your route to attend all the great meetings!
Be sure to check that page occasionally for updated versions. As you can see from the filename, the current version is from February 25, 2017.
Things to Know Before You Visit Des Moines
Simulated Iris Show
A Simulated Iris Show is scheduled on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. This is a hands-on training opportunity for Apprentice Judges to receive exhibition judges training. The following is what you need to do to participate:
- Secure an approved AIS Judge for 2 hours to conduct your exhibition training. The judge cannot be a family member. The Convention Committee will not secure judges for the training. It is the responsibility of each apprentice judge to make arrangements with an accredited judge for training.
- Bring with your AIS Judges Handbook
- Bring your Evaluation Form and a self-addressed, stamped envelope addressed to your Regional Judges Training Chairperson to give to the judge training you. S/he will complete and mail to your Regional Judges Training Chairperson.
Parking at the Hotel
The Des Moines Downtown Marriot valet parking is $24 for over 8 hours and $12 for up to 8 hours, plus tax. There are several city ramps available downtown, including one just west of the Des Moines Marriott at 8th & Locust Streets. For more information about parking and a map of public parking garages around the city, visit: https://www.catchdesmoines.com/about/transportation/parking/
Wireless internet is free throughout the hotel, including public areas and guest rooms.
Accessibility & Guest Services
The Des Moines Downtown Marriott is a accessible facility to persons of all abilities, including 32-inch wide openings to guest rooms. Fitness center, meeting spaces, pool entrances, restaurants, main entrance and registration are all accessible. For more information about accessibility, please visit: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/dsmia-des-moines-marriott-downtown/#accessbility. For general guest and concierge services information, visit http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/dsmia-des-moines-marriott-downtown/.
Restaurants, Pharmacies, Retail, etc.
A full list of the hundreds of restaurants throughout the Des Moines metro is located at: https://www.catchdesmoines.com/restaurants/.
Friday Night Dining Options
The AIS Geek Dinner is a fond tradition, hosted this year in the Windows on 7th Dining Room in the first floor of the Des Moines Downtown Marriott. The proceeds from the Geek Dinner Auction supports the AIS Electronic Services Fund. Attendees can bid on iris introductions, gift certificates from commercial iris growers, and iris themed items. Reservations for the Geek Dinner are not included in the convention registration fees. Please contact Joanne Prass Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) or see convention website for more information. Cost is $35.00.
Also available on Friday night is a Dine-A-Round, a unique opportunity to experience some of Des Moines’ award-winning and innovative restaurants. The convention committee has arranged for group reservations for 25 people each at three downtown restaurants. The restaurant options feature a variety of menu choices. Attendees interested in participating in the Dine-A-Round may sign-up for reservation spots when they register at the hotel. Registration is first come, first serve and final commitments are required by Wednesday evening. Registrants are responsible for their individual tabs. The Dine-A-Round is a great way to meet new people, experience great local cuisine while someone else takes care of the reservation. More information on restaurants and menus is available on the convention website.
If you’d rather explore the dining scene on your own, a complete list of the hundreds of restaurants throughout the Des Moines metro is located at: https://www.catchdesmoines.com/restaurants/.
Things to Do in Des Moines
Des Moines is a vibrant, mid-sized Midwestern capital with amenities and attractions for all ages. It’s a particularly art-centric city, with numerous public art installations including the award-winning John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. It’s also a pedestrian friendly city with numerous biking and foot trails. For more information about top things to do in Des Moines during your visit, check out https://www.catchdesmoines.com/things-to-do/