We have gathered the 2020 annual reports on one page to make it easier to browse. We will add more reports as they are submitted.

North Central Region Director’s Report 2020

    Where to begin? It was an unprecedented year! Hate that phrase! Wonderful to be in the garden and thoroughly enjoyed this years iris bloom! Almost the only thing resembling normalcy this year.
      The big thing we did was an iris dispersion. Tammy Skahan (HIPS Preservation Chairperson) refereed Michele McElmeel from WI to us. She sent a good sized batch of historic iris as she downsized and we sold them off the HIPS Facebook pages. It was fast and furious. The bottom line was we netted $650 after shipping costs. We also had a batch of little rhizomes deemed to small for sale which were planted and will be inserted into a future (hopefully there will be more) sale to benefit HIPS. A great success!
        We also helped promote the Mahan book sales on various Facebook pages. That was fun sparking interest in our beloved old iris.
        At home in our Eagle Ridge Iris Garden’s we added 1346 varieties for a approximate total of 5,000 varieties grown. Who’s the iris craziest of all? We also have been very busy mapping and working on getting the historics reported to the Data Bank. We have crossed our list with the Guardian Gardens list to see what’s rare. We are increasing our iris for future sales back to the public at eagleridgeiris.com. Making sure that the old iris don’t disappear. We also anticipate receiving the start of one of the National Collections of MTBS from Nancy McDonald. If all that was not enough we have also begun to hybridize. We have quite a few bee pods from very fertile historics and are very anxious to see what comes from them. There will be Langton/Tibbs iris in your future.

Delane H. Langton, HIPS North Central Director

South Central Regional Director’s Report for 2020
As I became more acquainted with the HIPS website, the Guardian Garden pages and the GG Forum, I reached out to my ‘local’ iris club, the Benson Iris Society, Wichita Falls, TX.  They are 65 miles east of me. I started a Breeders Collection for Z.G.Benson varieties.  The club is named for him and his granddaughter is past president.  Sadly she only has a few but the search is on!     I made a request to the members to search their records and iris beds for his varieties and have been rewarded with 3 varieties so far.  I also obtained an additional Four GG varieties and six Historical varieties that I did not have previously. I expect more in 2021.
Another result of the request was learning of a second ‘local’ breeder, L. Brooks of Iowa Park, TX. The search is now on for his varieties. I have two ‘on order’ from members.
During my research into Z. Benson and L. Brooks varieties, I sent a message to Mr. Phil Edinger to see if he grew “My Lady” (he had the photo credit).  We discovered an error in the AIS WIKI database. The variety credited to Z. Benson was actually bred by E. P. McKinney 1924. Benson’s “My Lady” was never registered. Mr. Edinger and Mary Rhoades, granddaughter of Mr. Benson, both confirmed this. Unfortunately, Mr. Benson did not describe it either. So it is truly lost unless a local member finds it growing in her yard . The error was reported to AIS WIKI administrators.
Before the annual iris show was cancelled due to Covid 19 restrictions, I made two large display posters explaining and demonstrating Purple Base Foliage. 2021’s iris show is in the planning stage just in case restrictions are lifted. Hopefully the PBF demo will open another aspect of growing iris and encourage participation in the survey.
Last fall, heavy maintenance was made in the HIPS Display Garden, Chillicothe.  Beds were re-dug, amendments added, iris divided & replanted. Labels were re-glued or replaced. The iris were fertilized and pathways sprayed for fall weeds.  Many of the divisions were given away to local citizens. Grab-bags were placed at a couple of businesses as free gifts from “Chillicothe, The Iris Village” to tourists stopping in our town. I wrote a short article for ROOTS about the NOIDs in the HIPS Display Garden of Chillicothe, TX.
Suzanne Butler, HIPS South Central Director

Archives Committee Report for 2020
     In line with our mission of educating the public about irises and their history, HIPS has established a long-term goal of digitizing our archival materials and posting them online for the public to view. We accomplished a great deal during 2020. I sorted the HIPS catalog collection according to their need for scanning, based on the catalogs already available online in the AIS Encyclopedia. I also compared our catalogs to the master list held by the AIS Library, and identified the catalogs they needed to fill in gaps in their collection once they were scanned.
Approximately 100 catalogs were deemed too fragile or rare to be scanned in-house, based on their age and whether the AIS already had a copy (scanned or not).  These were sent to IMR Digital in Pennsylvania for professional flatbed scanning. The catalogs were shipped in February, but due to the COVID-19 shutdown, we did not get them back until summer.  Post-scanning, about 50 catalogs were sent to Dave Silverberg, the AIS Librarian, for placement in the AIS Library collection. More will be sent after they are uploaded into the Wiki.
HIPS members Sarah Cornwell, Mary Reis, and Linda Wilkie helped upload scanned catalogs unto the AIS Wiki. We also uploaded old issues of the Dwarf Iris Society ‘Portfolio’ and the Median Iris Society ‘Medianite’ bulletins, with the permission of those societies.  In all, over 400 catalogs and other documents were added to the Wiki in 2020.  The scanning and uploading will continue in 2021.  The rest of the HIPS catalog collection will be scanned in-house using a Fujitsu Scanjet duplex scanner.  Additional HIPS members are needed to help with uploading and volunteers are welcome! Please contact me at outreach@historiciris.org.
Cathy Egerer, HIPS Archives Committee Chair

Display Gardens Report for 2020
     I am still finding my way with this role.  I have gone thru the Display Garden listings from my spreadsheet and have found I have some listed that are not on the website – and the website has some listed that are no longer on my sheet. So my next ‘project’ is to contact each one individually to find out their status so our information can be updated.
Right now, I show 17 that are not listed on the website. 20 are listed on both the website and my spreadsheet, for a total of 37 ‘potential’ Display Gardens!We will order more Display Garden signs this year, as we are almost out of our supply.

2020 Membership Report as of January 2021
We have:

  • 668 Domestic
  • 26 Canadian
  • 27  International
  • 36 Emembers

For a total of 750 members, at the time of the Fall/Winter 2020 ROOTS mailing.

  • 4 Complimentary members
  • 246 Single annual
  • 18 Dual annual
  • 108 Life of which 4 are still unconfirmed
  • 286 Single triennial
  • 32 Dual triennial
  • 36 Ememberships

I have started the process of entering the members that have joined since the work began on the website update.  It will be a slow process, but a good opportunity to double check some addresses, etc.

Lori Vandette
Membership and Display Gardens Chair

Outreach Report for 2020
      Our Outreach program was severely curtailed in 2020 due to the COVID outbreak and the subsequent cancellation of iris meetings and events. Demand for HIPS materials dropped off as there was no place to distribute them, not even public libraries.  However, there were a few bright spots. We welcomed Ellen Rusten to our Outreach team, loaded her up with materials to send on request, and then everything shut down. Ellen took it in stride and is well-equipped to supply materials to HIPS members as spring approaches. You can contact her at elrusten@gmail.com to request what you need. She has sample copies of ROOTS, brochures and flyers describing our Guardian Gardens and Breeder Collections programs, and flyers with information on becoming a Display Garden.  We even have a HIPS banner we can send (you will need to send it back).
We arranged a shipment of irises to England, since the postal systems were running. We rounded up about 20 cultivars that were needed to fill holes in several collections held by our friends across the pond, and it was a satisfying feeling to help and do something positive.
Social media was our friend in 2020, and our HIPS Facebook page was active with postings of irises and discussion of various iris-related topics such as fertilization, dealing with problem soil, raising and overwintering irises in pots, upsizing and downsizing collections, and that evil iris fiend, the borer.  As of this writing, we have 4,850 followers.  Our HIPS Webmaster, Laetitia Munro, started a new Facebook page called “HIPS Iris ID Help” to assist those looking for hints on identity. It is very popular!  The British Iris Society partnered with us to cross-promote memberships in both organizations, and we welcomed several new members from Great Britain.
To cap off the year, we started using a new format for our member e-newsletter using MailChimp. We can now include photos and a one-click Unsubscribe for those who don’t wish to receive it. We plan to send it out 1-2 times per month as needed. If you want to get the newsletter and aren’t already seeing it, we don’t have your correct e-mail address. Contact Cathy Egerer at outreach@historiciris.org to get on the list.
Cathy Egerer, HIPS Outreach Chair

Preservation Projects Report for 2020
Having taken on the role in June of 2020, there have been 4 preservation opportunities that came in.  Out of the 4, only 1 became a project, which was a downsizing of a member’s historic collection in Wisconsin.  The irises went to the North Central regional lead and proceeds went to HIPS.  The details can be found in the 2020 annual report for that region.
Of the other 3 opportunities, two were not interested.  And the last one, in Arkansas, will have a follow-up in early Spring with the contact, with hopes to be able to report more on this in 2021.
With that said, there are a couple of proactive ideas to find projects that will start taking shape in 2021.  First, reaching out to HIPS members for downsizing opportunities and ensuring they know how to contact HIPS Preservation Projects for help.  The second idea is to reach out to Iris businesses and memorials to raise their awareness of HIPS Preservation Projects.  The idea here is to be top of mind when they decide to either reduce stock, split up clumps, or discontinue any Iris varieties.
Looking forward to the new year and more projects to preserve precious Irises!
Tammy Skahan, HIPS Preservation Projects Chair

Publication Sales Report for 2020
Orders received through the HIPS shop for 2020 showed activity in all categories.  The most orders were received for books listed on the site and by far the greatest number of book orders were for the new acquisition “Classic Irises” by Clarence Mahan.   Other requests were sparser, but similar to the last several years. For full details of our sales, please visit the complete report for 2020.

Website Report for 2020
Click here for the complete report.



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