March 20. 2016

Dear Customers and Friends:

Welcome to our new website! For this year, it remains an informational website. You can access a pdf of our printed catalog, you can print an order blank and mail or fax your order to us. Next year we plan to add a shopping cart to this site so that you can order your irises online if you prefer.

As I write this, the daffodils are at mid­season. It has been a less harsh winter than last year but a cloudy, overcast one. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a slow and gradual warm­up. Summer­like days in March and April send all the wrong messages to the iris plants and they focus on growing quickly instead of slowly producing strong, branched and budded stalks.

There is no flower with the amazing color range of Tall Bearded Irises! To stop and gaze at a special and spectacular flower is an indescribable event. Remembering those moments inspire the weeding and cultivating in the heat of summer !

The emerging plants look happy and healthy as does our annual crop of chickweed! If you don't have herds of deer in your area, you cannot imagine the hundreds of knee­deep holes in the iris rows and walkways. Fortunately they don't eat iris plants, yet they seem to specifically enjoy burying the newest and most expensive plants while making walking more than difficult! 

Our catalogs are finally scheduled for mailing this week after a challenging experience with a new printer. Our plant inventory is the strongest it has ever been and we look forward to receiving your orders and shipping your plants to you.

Feel free to contact us at any time with your questions and suggestions. Email gets the quickest response. Your phone calls are always welcome and do keep in mind that farming is an early­-to-­bed vocation; daylight hours are a precious commodity for all gardeners.

We are one of the few nurseries in the eastern United States specializing in Tall Bearded Irises. We plant about 100 new varieties each year. Many of those acquisitions will never be offered for sale. Lots of beautiful irises developed and selected for introduction in mild climates do not adapt well to the moisture levels and extreme winter temperatures of the east. One of our long­time iris friends north of us recently relocated to Oregon and remarked, “Everything grows up here—just plant it, water it and watch it grow.” How fortunate they are!

Foreign shipments this year are limited to our 2016 introductions only. The red tape, extra labor and costs involved in overseas shipments is incredible. Perhaps there will be good news for our overseas customers next year.

Thank you for your good orders, your emails, your notes, your phone calls and your visits! We are pleased to be a part of your lives and we look forward to serving you.

Phil Williams

email: phil@rockytopgardens.com

phone: 615­274­6426

fax: 615­274­6643