Jackson, a wire-hair Jack Russell terrier, trotted over to greet me when I arrived at Susan Hannon's Iris Garden. He sniffed my shoes in a friendly way while Susan began walking toward me. I had come to see Susan's daylilies, the irises being past their bloom. Years ago, I had driven by her place and seen her sign, and it had taken me all this time to see what lay up the narrow road turnoff for 1558 on County Road 201/2.
Susan is a tan woman in her mid-60s, with the strong hands of a gardener. As we walked around her grounds, I discovered that she was easy to talk to and happy to explain the mysteries of hybrids, root separation and plant compatibility to one of the gardening-challenged. Most of my questions were limited to, "What is that?" For Susan's three plus acres of cultivated ground were covered with myriad flowers and fruit-bearing trees.
Everywhere I looked, I saw bursts of color and butterflies dipping in among blossoms. Weathered birdhouses graced shady patches and sun-blazed mounds alike, and the air was rinsed with birdsong. There was even a lily pond inhabited by goldfish, koi and frogs. This was clearly more than just a business for selling irises and daylilies, I thought. This was Susan's vocation, and like all vocations, there was a subtle rightness to it, a rightness that was reflected in the symmetry and tranquility of her garden. I could easily have spent days there, rather than just one limited hour.
As if she were thinking along with me, Susan said, "I often get whole groups of people from senior centers, schools and nurseries who come and spend the day. I put so much time in these gardens. I love sharing them with people."
Though Susan grows everything from lilacs to crab apples, she sells only irises and daylilies. She told me that her grandmother got her started with the iris by sending her six introductions for her wedding.
"The daylilies," she said, "are just so easy to grow."
But, looking at the vibrant colors of Susan's hybrids, I thought that the ease she was referring to must be the ease of a master who has spent long years in the perfection of her art.
Contact Susan at 303-774-8527 or email@example.com.