When Wodonga couple Tim Taylor and Maria Rosa established Riversdale Irises, they had no idea where the ‘hobby’ would lead them.
Approached to open their garden to visitors as part of Wodonga’s Senior Celebrations five years ago, interest in their irises has snowballed.
“We opened the garden for two to three days and we had several people calling us saying ‘I’m not a senior, but if I bring my mother or friend, can I come and visit your garden?’ Maria said.
“Then we had people wanting to buy them, and it’s just taken off from there.”
This year Riversdale Irises opened up their garden for ten days, and had visitors from across the country.
With a background as a qualified nurseryman, Tim Taylor has been interested in irises most of his life.
He started with 150 irises, but now has around one thousand and in more recent years has focussed on hybridising.
“There’s about 14 irises that Tim has been analysing and is ready to register and release,” Maria said.
“So next season will be the introduction of the Tim Taylor Irises that we have been able to name and register as our own – with completely different colours and patterns, more substance, better structure and form.”
The pair says the humble iris offers plenty of qualities that makes it a garden lover’s favourite.
“The range of colours and variety is something I love,” Maria said.
“When it’s not flowering, the foliage is green, so you’ve still got the strappy grey/green foliage that looks good in the garden.
“It’s low maintenance, drought tolerant and also copes with a lot of rain.”
For more information on Riversdale Irises or to make an online purchase, visit their website www.riversdaleirises.com.au