What is an iris show?
Flower clubs put on shows to display and judge the "fruits" of members gardens. The Greater Portland Iris Society puts on three shows each year.
Our April show (early show) usually showcases median (smaller) iris that are the first bloomers of the season. The May show (mid show) is our showcase event, highlighting the familiar tall bearded iris which thrive in the Portland area. Siberian and species iris also appear in large numbers at this event. The final show in June (late show) usually displays the later blooming Siberian, Japanese and Spuria iris.
At each show, iris are placed in divisions where similar iris are judged against each other. There are three main divisions in which gardeners enter their flowers.
Judges evaluate each named iris to see how well it stacks up against an (imaginary) perfect (and perfectly grown) specimen of the same variety. The also evaluate how well the grower has "groomed" the iris, making sure it is clean, well cut, and appropriately displayed.
Hybridizers bring out iris they are thinking of introducing. Instead of judging against perfection, judges evaluate the correctness of the iris' form, its vigor and uniqueness, and its overall appeal. This division is a sneak peak at the future of hybridizing.
The final big category is the artistic division, where talented entrants display iris in a design (think vases). In 2008, the GPIS theme is "Birds of a Feather."
For more details, please visit the Iris Show Schedule.