On any other day, the CMS gym is filled with students practicing plays or running around during recess. However, on Wednesday, May 10, kids were swapped out with flowers to present CMS’ first ever Iris Show! With assistance from the American Iris Society and the Greater St. Louis Iris Society, over 70 Horticulture and 28 Designs were beautifully displayed in the gym for the school community to view.
Colorful irises were artfully placed on tables and pedestals all around the room, divided into Design and Horticulture Divisions. The theme, Greek Mythology, was split into four design categories: Gods and Goddesses, Heroes, Nature Spirits, and Monsters. Gods and Goddesses required a symbol of the deity the design represents, and Heroes should be brightly colored and suggest motion. Nature Spirits included branches or other natural materials, while Monsters needed an animal figurine.
Horticulture, where youth and adults alike could display their prized irises, had no design element, just a simple bottle to hold the iris. The irises were judged on bud count, damage to the flower, and the overall quality of the iris.
Whether a design gets first, second, or third place, or an honorable mention, the true purpose of an Iris Show, while debatable, is certainly not to win. For Mrs. Erin Chien it’s all about irises’ “different styles, colors, and patterns, I just love the diversity of the species.” Mrs. Jean Morris, Vice President of Greater St. Louis Iris Society, however, has another purpose, “to educate the public about the advancements of irises, and show them what’s really out there.” She added, “Lots of people think there are just white, purple, and yellow irises because those are all they’ve seen. But now you look around and see rebloomers, space agers, all these different patterns, and types.”
For those looking more at the scientific angle rather than showy, Jean provided some helpful evidence as to why irises should be the next addition to your garden. “Deer don’t eat them, and they bloom while school is still in session, so a school iris show is perfect. Irises also grow in every state (including Alaska) and every climate.”
If you are interested in participating with or just viewing future Iris Shows, the Adolescent Class will host another Iris Show later in the 2017-2018 school year, but for a more recent, upcoming one, the Missouri Botanical Garden is hosting a show on May 13. If you decide irises are your next hobby and are looking to start your own iris garden, the Greater St. Louis Iris Society is holding an iris sale August 5th, at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.
With Irises, Less Really Is More
Allison OverKamp, Student Reporter
CHESTERFIELD MONTESSORI — Designing a flower for the CMS iris show is tough. From meeting all of the specified requirements to gathering material to dreaming up a design for your flowers takes time, effort, and creativity. If flower arranging isn’t your thing, or you don’t have the time to make an iris design, or if you’re too old to compete in the design class, you’re in luck.
The horticulture section of the iris show is for people of all ages, there are little requirements, and minimal arranging involved.All you have to do is grow and bring to the show your iris, along with its correct name.There were over 60 Horticulture entries this year, in a range of different categories.: Historical, Novelty, Youth, Tall Bearded, beardless.
“Design is all about creativity, this is more about perfection,” said Erin Chien, a member of the Iris Society. “It creates a benchmark for breeders.”
If you want to be in the horticulture section next year talk to any of the iris show officials, but be sure to plant your iris by the coming fall.