The Salem – Keizer area of Oregon, is the place to go to enjoy the beauty of Iris flowers, attend a iris bloom season running event or sip wine in a spring display garden. A visit to the area in May, must include a trip to Schreiner’s.
Schreiner’s Iris Gardens has been the nation’s largest retail grower of Irises with more than 200 acres of Irises and a 10-acre display garden that hosts more than 500 named Irises, since 1925. Schreiner’s Irises are considered by collectors to be among the finest in the world.
Schreiner’s is known for their bearded Iris, identified by the recognizable “beards” on each of the lower petals of the blossoms. They hybridize and cultivate the whole range of bearded Iris, from the smallest Miniature Dwarf Bearded to the tallest Tall Bearded varieties. As you drive around the country roads of the Salem-Keizer area, you’ll often encounter massive fields of Iris.
Visiting the Blooming Iris
May is Iris Bloom Season. Every year from approximately the beginning of May to the first weekend in June, the Schreiner family opens their garden to visitors. The gardens are open from dawn to dusk; gift shop and cut flowers are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Be prepared to be wowed with the variety and colors of Iris.
The last time I visited, I enjoyed the beauty of the display gardens just after a rain and got some marvelous photos of the colorful flowers with raindrops on their petals. I have to admit it was muddy but I was dressed in my rain gear. Schreiner’s plans for rain. They provided a tent in the garden and the shop is covered if you need to avoid the raindrops.
There are so many colors and varieties of iris to photograph you’ll want to stay several hours. You’ll find Iris in shades of purple, of course. But then the bright orange, yellows and deep reds will surprise you. Schreiner’s provides a colorful catalog so you can order your favorite varieties to be sent to you in time for planting season. And, you can bring some cut flowers home. Only $6.00 for 12 stalks!
Special Iris Season Events
Each year Schreiner’s goes all out for Mother’s Day. They celebrate moms with a free cut stem of Iris (available 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). Enjoy sipping Methven Family Vineyards wine from noon to 5:00 p.m. You are welcome to bring your own picnic.
Schriener’s is hosting an Artist Fair on May 27, 28 & 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. You can peruse art from around the Willamette Valley. Enjoy Iris-themed works of art, chat with the artists and purchase a piece to take home. Artists are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, most stay through Monday.
For a little small town charm, head over to nearby Keizer for their annual Iris Parade during Iris Festival (May 18th-21st 2017). Register for the Iris Festival Runs on the Keizer Iris Festival website. You don’t have to be a marathoner to participate. There are distances as short as 3K. Kids will be treated to a Mascot Dance Party during their pre-race warm-up.
When You Go
Just 32 miles south of Portland and 5 miles north of downtown Salem, Schreiner’s Iris Gardens is located at: 3625 Quinaby Road NE in Salem, Oregon. There is no charge for parking or entrance to the gardens. There is so much to see and do in the Salem area, check out additional activities HERE.