Woodland Iris Garden

irisawe(5b)August 7, 2008

I find that Woodland Iris Garden has a number of iris still available that I would like to order. I see on Dave's Garden that they have some negative comments as well as positive ones. Does anyone have recent experience with them that can help me make up my mind?

Irisawe

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carlos42180(Z5 Chicago)

I have purchased Iris from Woodland Iris for the past two years. If you are looking for the large, west coast lunker rhizomes, you're not going to get them from there. There rhizomes are comparable to the rhizomes from Blue J Iris, about golf ball sized rhizomes. Their irises are healthy and they have a ton more iris listed in their print catalog then on their website.

I think I made this comment last year, but I wouldn't really trust Dave's Garden for opinions about a garden. Most gardeners would be more inclinced to make negative comments, rather than positive ones, which can make a particular company look like they have a bad reputation when they are actually have a nice product.

As a person who has been growing Irises since he was 12, and after trying about 20 various Iris growers, I can honestly say that I was disappointed by only one company Iris company and I don't think they are even in business anymore.

Carlos

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 12:35PM
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irisawe(5b)

Thank you, Carlos. You dooo have the experience credentials I was looking for.

I didn't see a way of ordering the print catalog. I will ask them about that, too.

Thank you bunches,

Irisawe

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 2:49PM
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thurston(midTN)

But, Carlos, have all the iris you bought from Woodland bloomed and are accurate? I'm one of the negative posters on Davesgarden about Woodland because of the huge numbers of misfills I received from them over a three year period. With my growing conditions, sometimes I have to wait two or three years for a new iris to bloom. Admittedly, I haven't bought from them in at least four years, so they may have their problems worked out.

Neil

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 5:27PM
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carlos42180(Z5 Chicago)

Neil,

So far, yes, they have bloomed correctly. Any company can make mistakes filling an order, especially large ones. With the exception of companies that I've tried last year, since not all of them have bloomed, I can honestly say that there are only about 4 iris growers that have never sent me an incorrect rhizome,...ever, which is a very low amount. Whenever I place an order with a new company or one that is not of those four, I order realizing that I may get a couple of mislabelled iris. We are human and we make mistakes.

Carlos

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 12:06AM
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jain(n ca 9 sunset 9)

i like woodlands, they are an extremely nice couple... they have over 2000 varieties of iris, mistakes may happen, but their prices are extremely low for all the choices they offer and the work involved. i have had mislabeled iris from them, but, i have had that from all but one grower... i just placed my second order with them this week after i got my large box. they are not huge ca iris, but if you are looking for a great selection i always go back to them year after year.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 12:30AM
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thurston(midTN)

It sounds as if maybe they've fixed their problems. This is my record with them:

In 2002, I ordered 89 and 9 were misnamed
In 2003, I ordered 49 and 11 were misnamed
In 2004, I ordered 23 and 1 was misnamed and 1 was shorted from my order.

I agree they were very nice and would send replacements. Often the replacements were the same misnamed iris. I remember one - Autumn Years - that was obviously wrong and their response was "That's what we were sent for that one." I think any company has an ongoing responsibilty to double check their stock, especially when they hear that a particular iris was sent out misnamed. And since I was getting the same misnamed ones as replacements, that wasn't happening from year to year.

It sounds as if they are doing better now from the more recent experiences posted above.

Neil

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 8:15AM
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irisawe(5b)

Well, that got interesting. I will order the few I am wanting and will give feedback to the forum. I hope Woodland has straightened out their past problems and am ordering in that spirit of hope. They have been good about responding to emailed questions and I am ordering a catalog, too.

Feedback about sources is an important function of a forum.

Thank you sincerely,

Irisawe

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 10:56AM
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carlos42180(Z5 Chicago)

Hi Neil,

You made it sound as if almost everything you received from them was incorrect. If you ordered that many rhizomes from them and that's the amount of rhizomes that you received misnamed, I think that's fairly good.

Being a historic Iris collector, we run into these problems quite often. There is one grower in particular, who shall remain nameless, who has a worse track record than that, but when it comes to a certain company being the only one to carry a particular variety versus reputation, I would take my chances of getting that variety for the chance that it might be correct, at least that's how I think and I'm sure a few HIPS members would agree.

I had order some more from them this year, we'll see what happens next year, if they bloom. Like you, it might take me a year or two to get bloom.

Sincerely,
Carlos

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 4:00PM
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hosta_miser(z6b PA)

" If you ordered that many rhizomes from them and that's the amount of rhizomes that you received misnamed, I think that's fairly good."

I would have to agree with Neil on this one. 20 wrong irises out of 160 received is less than 88% correctly identified. That is HORRIBLE! I have never received any misnamed irises from Mid-America or Schreiner's-granted, I have only ordered maybe 100 by mail. I would expect my irises to be the ones I ordered at least 99% of the time. A reputable company will make certain that their stock is properly labeled. In my opinion, anything less than 98% is totally unacceptable, and less than 95% is horrendous.

Joel

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 12:32AM
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jain(n ca 9 sunset 9)

"A reputable company will make certain that their stock is properly labeled. In my opinion, anything less than 98% is totally unacceptable, and less than 95% is horrendous"

i think you need to take into consideration the cost, the major growers charge at least 100-500% more then woodlands and they have a large staff, you get what you pay for. woodlands is not in that league, it is there home and during bloom season they are extremely busy with customers and i am sure find it difficult to monitor 1000s and 1000s of plants for correct blooms in their field and display gardens. personally, i think they are a lovely older couple that are doing the best they can, verses larger companies with full time help. if you are paying $2.50 for an iris that others sell for $15 you are taking a risk, just like you are at all the other inexpensive growers that make numerous mistakes too... to me its a small price to pay, if its wrong, que sera sera, i accept that risk when buying inexpensive plants. if i really want the perfect iris i know i will need to spend lots more money and get far less varieties. i should mention i have gotten gorgeous wrong iris and have the benefit of visiting their garden to id my missfills~ woodland is a great choice for variety, i personally don't like to spend more then $3 on their iris so i am not upset if the aren't true to name, but i gladly add 50-100 names yearly from them and take my chances.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 1:08AM
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thurston(midTN)

If it's your livelihood, then it's your responsibilty to sell accurate product. I don't accept mediocrity. There are too many excellent iris sellers out there that are also small family operations that get it right.

If you came into my store and each time you got home, you found out ten to 25 percent of your purchases were packaged wrong, would you keep coming back?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 8:12AM
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jain(n ca 9 sunset 9)

"If you came into my store and each time you got home, you found out ten to 25 percent of your purchases were packaged wrong, would you keep coming back? "

if you are a small store and can't get it right, no i would not... but when woodlands has around 2500 varieties of iris that all bloom in 4-5 weeks, with customers swarming the garden the entire time, i am willing to understand mistakes happen. most growers with a staff only have around 400 varieties. its all about risk and reward, to me, $2.50 is not going to break the bank if incorrect and i can live with that choice to get to try many names others don't offer. what i don't tolerate is higher prices, large staff and consistent incorrect iris, i no longer shop with that large grower... maybe its the personal touch, when you meet someone you feel much more comfortable with a slip up if you see them as people, not a business... i have bot 100s and 100s of iris from woodlands, i have had maybe 10 wrong over the years, its just not that upsetting to me... lorraine is funny, sharp, kind and loves her garden filled with roses, koi and even a xmas tree farm. i enjoy my annual visits and think for all the work it takes to dig and ship iris, $2.50 is a bargain!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:41AM
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hosta_miser(z6b PA)

Personally, I'd rather pay a little more and pretty much know what I am getting than to wait a year, maybe 2 years for an iris to bloom and find out it is not what I wanted. With only so much time and space available, you have to make the most of it. If I want to gamble, I'll take a trip to Vegas.

Joel

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 3:45PM
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carlos42180(Z5 Chicago)

Joel,

The problem with using all those "expensive" vendors, is that their listing is usually limited. I HAVE to order through a many smaller growers to get the varieties of Iris that I need for my collection.

If you are looking for popular varieties that everyone wants, then go ahead to those big time growers, but if you're searching for that elusive Iris, you're going to have to dig a bit deeper to find it. And that often means that means shooping at place that many people would deem "less than worthy."

Basically, it all boils down to opinion and how much a variety is worth to you.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 7:58PM
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