The Greater Omaha Iris Society
Founded in 1950, GOIS is a group of iris enthusiasts in the greater
Omaha, Nebraska area who get together to learn and discuss all
aspects of growing irises. We welcome guests and new members.
Anyone can attend as a guest without being a member.
Contact: Linda Wilke at 402-493-3808
or Phyllis Randall 712-520-7754
Linda Wilkie, President
Phyllis Randall, Vice President
John Randall, Treasurer
Mary Schreiber, Secretary
Gary White, Co-Curator of Collections
Sass Memorial Iris Garden
Built and maintained by members of Greater Omaha Iris Society in the
1970's to show historic iris in a beautiful garden setting. This garden is
devoted to the pioneering iris hybridizing work done by Hans, Jacob,
and Henry Sass. The garden also includes modern reblooming
irises, as well as varieties which have won the American Iris
Society Dykes Medal or the Sass Medal.
Please see separate 'Sass Iris Garden page' on this web site
for additional information.
Note! Location for all meetings --
at St. Andrews Episcopal Church,
925 S. 84th Street Omaha, Nebraska
- Special Plant Seminars at Joslyn Castle for all plant lovers, located at
- 3902 Davenport Street in Omaha
- April 13: Native Plants by Bob Hendrickson from the
- Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
- April 20: Sun Plants by Addie Kinghorn
- April 27: Shade Plants by Jan Riggenbach
- All seminars begin at 6:30 PM .............No charge for admission Direct any questions to Ron Crampton at 402-669-2163
- May 09, 2016 / Special Guest Speaker Jim Locklear
- Please welcome a true plantsman, Jim Locklear. Jim will present the topic, "Lauritzen Gardens......Not Just a Pretty Place". You'll hear about the many programs and endeavors that you may not be aware of. Lauritzen Gardens is one of many of the Omaha area treasures. We are very fortunate to have Jim speak to our group. He has had a love of plants since childhood and has been fortunate to work in public gardens most of his career. Formerly director of the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Kansas and the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, he is currently director of conservation for Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska. Jim has worked with plants in the wild and in the garden. He received a B.S. in biology from the University of Central Missouri and an M.S. in plant and soil science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. As a botanist, he has conducted field studies of imperiled plants for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy and has published papers on taxonomy and nomenclature in the genus Phlox. As a public garden professional, he has experience in master planning, collection and exhibit development, and education, interpretation, and outreach programming. He has introduced several Great Plains native wildflowers into the nursery trade. He is the author of "Phlox: A Natural History and Gardeners Guide" published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. in addition to many other books and papers.
- May 13 - 14, 2016 / Spring Into Spring Festival at Lauritzen Gardens. Lots of treasures are available at a reasonable price. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to talk about your wonderful iris and maybe even find new ones! Many iris will be on exhibit and may be pre-ordered for delivery at the GOIS annual iris sale in August.
- Saturday May 14, 2016 is our Annual Iris Display, being held again at Lauritzen Gardens. Exhibition entries of any class single stalks will be accepted after 2:30 PM Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday morning before 10:30 AM. Iris entries must have the name of the cultivar and whether you are willing to donate any rhizomes for presale. Iris may be entered by anyone, not just GOIS members. Arrangements will be accepted throughout the weekend; the design theme will be very simple; "Iris Big and Small". Arrangements can be large, small, or anything in between and may use iris of any variety or size. Materials in the arrangement do not have to be grown by the exhibitor; containers are the exhibitor's choice. This is a chance to show off your creativity and all your beautiful iris to thousands of visitors to Lauritzen Gardens. This Exibition is a change in our usual practice of a juried show. No judging will take place and no trophies will be awarded.
- Friday, and Saturday May 13-14, 2016 at Lauritzen Gardens Spring Into Spring Festival We will be pre-selling iris rhizomes during the annual iris exhibition for late summer pick-up. There will be blooming iris to show you what your rhizome will look like when it blooms. It works like this: a limited number of rhizomes will be available. A buyer chooses what he/she wants, pays for the iris, gets a receipt, and can pick up their selections at our Annual Sale on August 19. This is a great way to expand your garden at a low cost. Rhizomes will sell for only $4.00 each or 3/for $10. There will also be garden themed jewelry and art by local artists Brenda Morsey and Linda Wilkie available. Stop by the GOIS Display area in the Great Floral Hall. Members will be on hand to answer your questions about growing or acquiring iris.
- May ??, 2016 TBD Iris garden tours at gardens to be selected. You can join other friends to ride together.
- May 14 , 2016 / Lincoln Iris Society Show. Entries will be received between 7:30 and 10:00 AM the day of the show. Horticultural rules are similar to those used by GOIS, although each exhibitor is limited to 35 total entries in the Division 1 Horticulture. There are classes for Seedlings, Artistic Arrangements, Youth and Educational Exhibits. The show will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, in the Church Fellowship Hall, 1015 Lancaster Lane, Lincoln, Nebraska.
- June 13, 2016 / Pot Luck & Picnic at Joslyn Castle and Plant Swap! Hosts: Ron & Meri Crampton. Rain or shine! Bring a friend, a dish to share, and enjoy the gardens. Beverages and utensils will be provided by the club. Of course, we'll talk about all the great (and maybe not-so-great) iris blooms this Spring. This is a great opportunity to commune with our interesting members and guests.
- Plant Swap!! Be sure to bring divisions of your favorite plants to share and swap with our members. Doesn't have to be iris..............these can be any garden plant. Bring as many as you like; bring two plants, go home with two plants. No money exchanged - just plants.
- August 13, 2016 / Digging Project at the Sass Memorial Garden, 8:30 AM. Get there early before the heat. We'll have cold water ready for you. This is the day we dig iris for sale to the public. Rain date is August 14 - just in case!
- August 15, 2016 / Meeting: Prepare Rhizomes for sale at Linda Wilkie's house at 6:30 PM. Bring sharp scissors, paper bags, black markers that will work on iris, and newspapers to work on preparing rhizomes. Great opportunity to get your hands dirty again! These iris are the ones we will sell on Friday, August 19.
- August 19, 2016 (Friday, 2:00 PM - 8:00 PM) / GOIS Annual Rhizome Sale at St. Andrews Episcopal Church. This is your opportunity to add irises to your gardens - and at a very reasonable rate. Don't forget to use your coupon for free iris . Coupon may be redeemed only at this August rhizome sale for any one iris. (Coupon may be found on "Buy Iris" page of this web site. All proceeds will benefit GOIS projects / expenses.)
- September 12, 2016 / American Iris Society Digital Program: Iris In The Garden. This program is 143 digital images showing how versatile iris can be in many different settings. It will get you thinking about new ways to use all types of iris in your landscape. It will be presented by one of our officers.
- October 10, 2016 To be determined
- November 14, 2016 / "Early Thanksgiving Pot Luck Dinner" 6:30 PM. Always a favorite activity. Bring your family and invite friends who may want to know more about iris for our annual festive dinner. The club will provide the Turkey and Gravy; please bring a salad, mashed potatoes, stuffing, a vegetable, dinner rolls and butter, a casserole or dessert to share. Best deal in town.................great friends, great food, great camaraderie
- November 19, 2016 Final work day at the Sass Memorial Garden at 9:00 AM. Bring scissors, rakes, and other garden tools and buckets for clean-up. Help put the gardens to bed for the winter. Lunch afterward at the restaurant at the park lodge.
Meetings already held during 2106
MARCH 14, 2016 This years kick off meeting will bring an exciting opportunity for our members to tour the Lauritzen Gardens conservatory and glass exhibit Monday evening, March 14th. Meet Monday evening at 6:30 PM at Lauritzen Gardens. Just let the volunteers at the check-in desk know that you are with the Iris Society and they will direct you to the Community Room where we will be gathering.
We will have a very brief meeting and then you will be free to tour the gardens and conservatory until 9 PM.
April 11, 2016 6:30 PM American Iris Society Digital Program: 2012 Iris Introductions Program presented by Phyllis and John Randall. A program that will generate lots of "Ooohs and Aaahs; it will whet your appetite to add new iris to your gardens. You will also learn where to buy these beauties and other sources for iris. (There are many sources!) Even if you don't want to add any more iris rhizomes, you'll still enjoy seeing the beautiful new iris.