Elisabeth C. Miller Library

Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Knowledgebase record #84

Holden Village Historic Iris by Roxanne Grinstad, 2008

Reviewed by: Brian Thompson
Review date: 2008-10-01

One of the most unique books in the Elisabeth C. Miller Library collections is "Holden Village Historic Iris," the accounting of the surviving garden iris from the village of a mining camp that operated near the upper end of Lake Chelan from 1937 - 1957. Now established at a nearby Lutheran ministry known as Holden Village, these irises are a living history. Grown by the wives of the miners, many survived untended for more than 40 years in abandoned gardens.

Newer varieties were added after the village was established in the early 1960's, but like the older varieties, the "real" names are mostly unknown. Instead, authors Roxanne Grinstad and Larry Howard (the latter a garden volunteer at the Center for Urban Horticulture) share the local names that reflect the flowers' place in the community, evocative of both the present day and the history of the area.

Excerpted from the Fall 2008 Arboretum Bulletin.

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