WE ARE UP AND RUNNING!!! You can now place your orders!

March 23, 2017

Dear Iris Friends,

Thank you!  Our new website with a shopping cart has been on-line for 3 weeks and we thank you for your orders and your kind comments.  We have received suggestions and comments that have been very much appreciated.  Many customers have opted to email, fax and mail their orders to us and we are glad to process them for you!

At your suggestion, we have added the hybridizer's name and year of introduction to each variety.  You have asked for information on which varieties blooms early.  In Tennessee, we rarely purchase the "very early" varieties because they are too often damaged by late spring freezes. You will see a few varieties with an "early" notation that are happy here.  

I have just added new information about soft rot.  It is not fun, but if you KNOW its causes, prevention and treatment .... it will alleviate the helpless feeling of seeing a gorgeous iris plant helplessly disappearing in a matter of days.  Keep in mind that our suggestions apply specifically to growing irises in climates similar to ours.  Being informed and prepared for trouble is a giant step toward solutions! 

The vast majority our offerings are have no designation of bloom season because we consider any variety that is not harmed by late freezes to be a mid-season performer for us.  Our search for the late varieties is relentless, but they are hard to find because warm climate breeders tell us that the flowers that appear near the end of the season burn badly in their hot sun so most do not work with them.  What a great loss to we gardeners who find them such wonderful bloom season extenders!   We enjoy the extra two weeks of bloom they provide us here!  They are now tagged as LATE varieties on this website.

It appears that we will have a late bloom season.  Out in the country south of the city there is lots of open space and the rows have little protection from the elements.  These plantings are a serious test of flower durability, stalk strength and perennial qualities.  We also tend to have an extended season here as  protected, sheltered gardens are much warmer and their entire bloom season tends to dazzle in a much shorter span of bursting bloom. 

Our site update will permit us to return next year to expanded descriptions of each variety on this website.  Our goal it not to provide multiple hundreds of iris varieties, but to share with you quantities of quality varieties that perform well here.  

We are working on our email files so that we can give you frequent  email updates during the summer growing and shipping season.  It is a means of communicating with you more often without the prohibitive cost and time-consuming processes that are necessary when using the postal service.  There are  electronic "bugs" and "critters"  that randomly cause some emails to be blank or incomplete.  If it happens to an email you receive from us, please let us know and we will remove-- then re-enter-- your email address which usually corrects that problem.

Weather-wise, we are slowly warming this spring with night temperatures gradually warming.   The iris plants seem to be making careful and cautious decisions before sending up their bloom stalks.  It is an indication of good genetics when iris varieties send up their stalks AFTER the typical late frost and freezes to thrill us with their performances.     

We always  look forward to receiving your orders.  If you have questions, the fastest response will be accomplished by email, but feel free to phone us when you need instant service. Our phones are answered 6 days a week from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon. 

Wishing you a fabulous iris bloom this spring .... and the good health to enjoy the therapy and suffering of weeding, feeding and cultivating your plants all summer.  In gardening, the process is as rewarding as the performance!   

With all good wishes,

Phil Williams


email: phil@rockytopgardens.com (or) rtgphil@gmail.com

phone: 615-­274­-6426

fax: 615-­274-­6634