On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!

Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!


Today, pictures from valued commenter Mike in Oly.

The PNW is host to numerous commercial iris gardens. Our mild climate and lack of the dreaded iris borer make it easy to cultivate this popular garden plant. One of y favorite garden is Mt. Pleasant Iris Farm in Washougal, WA. Situated on a hillside above the mighty Columbia River it is a real treat to visit. While they grow plenty of the bearded irises their specialty is Japanese irises, many of which owner Chad Harris has imported from Japan – some hundreds of years old. I visited twice in 2017 – once in the spring for the bearded and siberian irses, and again in the summer for the Japanese and pseudata (a specis cross of I. pseudacorus and I. ensata) irises. It was a wonderful display.

Taken on 2017

Washogal, WA

Mass plantings of Siberian irises in full bloom.

Taken on 2017

Washogal, WA

An I. laevigata hybrid. Lovely form.

Taken on 2017

Washogal, WA

Pseudata irises. A species cross using I. pseudacorus and I. ensata. Originally developed by a Japanese hybridizer, they are a very new and interesting line of garden plants. Hummingbirds love them.

Taken on 2017

Washogal, WA

The owner deadheading the beds, and no doubt planning crosses, in the Japanese iris beds.

Taken on 2017

Washogal, WA

Some very rare and very old Japanese irises that were recently imported, making a lovely show in the owners private garden.


Thank you so much Mike in Oly, do send us more when you can.


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13 replies
  1. 1
    Debbie(Aussie) says:

    Oh so beautiful! Thank you.

  2. 2
    susanna says:

    Went to their site for more stunning picture of irises and gifting info. What a gorgeous garden!

  3. 3
    Elizabelle says:

    Love those irises. What beauty. Thanks, Mike.

  4. 4
    eclare says:

    Beautiful flowers

  5. 5
    Currants says:

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! Mine were not in great shape last year—they were overdue for being divided, so this year should be better. My dreaded borers are mice, and they preferred all my white varieties, for reasons unknown. Still have some beautiful ones left but much less variety.

  6. 6
    debbie says:


  7. 7
    JPL says:

    Irises are so beautiful, and I also visited their site. Thanks for brightening my day.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Mike in Oly says:

    I’m so glad you all enjoy them. And yes, please go to their website and see hundreds of beautiful blooms. Chad is also an excellent photographer.

  10. 10
    arrieve says:

    I love irises! Thank you for the beautiful pictures.

  11. 11
    TomatoQueen says:


  12. 12
    Barbara says:

    Irises are easy to grow and they spread beautifully, although I think some of the more striking hybrids probably don’t live long. It’s the same with tulips so you do have to keep planting some of them. But the older varieties expand for a long time, and can generate gifts to others when room runs out in your own garden, and that is so rewarding. Japan gets pretty cold in the winter, so they can grow even in far northern climes.

  13. 13
    stinger says:

    Ahhh… My own iris aren’t even showing yet, and won’t be in bloom for another two months. Thank you for these lovely pics!

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