The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum is partnering with iris societies throughout the state and growers throughout the country.
The process of planting about 175 different types of irises in the raised beds in front of the Museum’s Bruce King Building has begun. Led by the Mesilla Valley Iris Society, groups from throughout the state are planting the flowers in preparation for the National Iris Convention that will be in Las Cruces in 2021, and to help add some beauty to the Museum.
The plants should begin to flower this spring, and should be in full bloom for the national show in the spring of 2021.
“We are delighted to partner with the Mesilla Valley Iris Society and to serve as the location for one of their Convention Gardens for the 2021 National Iris Convention,” said Farm & Ranch Museum Director Mark Santiago. “Their efforts will not only help beautify the museum’s entryway during the convention, but will continue to serve as a stunning visual reminder of the wonderful variety of New Mexico’s agricultural communities.”
Working in conjunction with Farm & Ranch Museum landscaper Alfredo Hernandez and others on the staff, soil was brought in for the flowers and a watering system was installed. Members of the local iris society have worked for days preparing the beds and planting the flowers.
Farm & Ranch is one of six locations in Las Cruces the irises are being planted in preparation for the national convention. Irises have been sent to Las Cruces from as far away as Massachusetts and Washington.
“There’s such a huge variety and with so many colors and patterns,” said Scarlett Ayers, co-chair for the national show and regional vice-president. “They should begin blooming in mid-March.”
The Museum began planning the project with Howie Dash, president of the Mesilla Valley Iris Society, last spring when he approached the Museum about providing a location for some of the plants. Each plant at the Museum is labeled with the name of the flower and the name of the hybridizer.