Thursday, April 24, 2014

Garden Party

If winter was far too long for you,
and you still haven't gotten enough springtime to make you forget, 
have I got a treat for you.

A little north of the Dallas metroplex ... 
just outside of McKinney ...
near the town of Anna ...
on top of a hill ...
is a private iris garden that will melt all the ice
from your over-wintered, ready for spring heart.

 The garden is the labor of love of Martha McDowell, 
whose family has owned the property for over 100 years.
She'll meet you on her four-wheeler for a chat when you arrive, 
and encourage you to sign her guest book before you leave.

The iris garden is Mrs. Martha's yard ... and you're genuinely welcomed to meander all over it.
She's happy to just let you wander,
or tell you about her home and her garden,
and offer her wisdom about the beautiful things she grows here.
She's truly delighted to share her little piece of lovely with you.

When I thanked her for sharing her garden with us,
she mentioned that someone said to her recently,
 "You should charge admission for this!"
And her reply reflects her generous heart, "oh, no ... that would take all the joy out of it."

I asked her if she had a favorite iris, and it was clearly an impossible question to answer.
So many varieties and colors ... it's probably best just to love them all.

When my sister invited us to accompany her,
I counted this a field trip and brought the kids along, 
not sure if they would really appreciate it or if it would be one of those,
"Moooooooom, when are we leeeeeeeeaving?" experiences.

But even they were completely charmed by the garden,
and by Mrs. Martha herself and her joy in sharing her place.

We enjoyed the creative names for all the different iris varieties.  

But our favorite name was ...

I watched Nathan intent on photographing something ...

it was a bunny - with a garden address better than Peter Rabbit.

The view from the back of the property is beautiful -
you can see for miles over the rolling hills.

We love our bluebonnets in Texas, and they're in full bloom everywhere.

But the show stoppers in this garden are the irises ...

I tried to pretend I was an iris judge,
and pick the prettiest one.


This feat is not for the faint of heart.

Because each variety has its own special charm.

And you fall in love again with each one.

We spent about two hours just making our way
from beautiful flower to beautiful flower.

I loved this one, with its delicate coloring ...

But my personal favorite was called Beat the Heat;
it's drop dead gorgeous.

I wonder if irises are easy to grow?
Mrs. Martha sure makes it look easy.
If you'd like to visit Martha's Iris Garden at Luscombe Farm,
you're invited!
They'll be open for the 2014 season through April 29,
with over 750 varieties of iris in bloom.

The address is
1400 County Road 366
Anna, Texas

Martha's Iris Garden isn't the only thing on this hilltop -
across the road is Luscombe Farm Specialty Foods,
offering event hosting, gourmet gift baskets,
and delicious lunches by reservation.
We'll head over there next - it's a gorgeous event venue!

Find the Luscombe Farm Specialty Foods page on Facebook }here{

Shared joy is doubled joy ... let's double the joy for both of us - what are you most grateful for today? Click below to leave your comment. I'll go first :

  1. This is just wonderful! The comments and photos are a joy to read and see. I was there on the last day of Martha's Iris Garden, April 29th. I made many photos of the irises and the surrounding hillside, the old farm buildings and rusty farm implements.

    1. Thank you! I can only imagine it was even prettier on the 29th ... I think this will be a yearly trip for it, it was just a delightful afternoon. I'm glad you enjoyed it too!