The American Iris Society Region 4

The Shenandoah and Potomac Iris Society History

The Shenandoah and Potomac Iris Society used to be named the Chesapeake and Potomac Iris Society, and their meetings were held in and around the northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. area. Their members had meetings and shows in various places including Fairfax, McLean, Merrifield and Reston, Virginia; the National Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C., and even at the Benkhe's Garden Center in Maryland.

I joined C&P in 1991, while they were hosting a National Convention with tours in Washington, D.C., Maryland and northern Virginia gardens. Several members were hybridizers including Dick Sparling, Charlie Nearpass, George Crossman, Clarence Mahan and Don Spoon. Don loved to teach the members to hybridize and several of them, including myself, became hybridizers and introduced their own irises.

In 1994, Don Spoon and I were married and moved our gardens to the Winchester, Virginia area. Several of our members were also nearby and as we met new people through our gardens and our club sales and shows, we added more members. We also have members in West Virginia and we now have our meetings and shows in the Winchester area including the State Arboretum in Boyce and the Bowman Library and also at various member's homes and gardens.

On September 5, 2015 we held a meeting of our members and voted to change our name to the Shenandoah and Potomac Iris Society since none of us live near the Chesapeake Bay, but near the Shenandoah River and the headwaters of the Potomac.