My love for Louisiana irises began in 1960 with tall bearded. In spite of all the "TLC" they need, my love has never ceased, so when in 1970 we started spending the winters in Florida, I started trying to grow them there. I had little success. We started going to the AIS Conventions in 1976. Either the Louisiana irises were never open at convention time or I was never interested and thus paid no attention. Either way, I never saw a Louisiana iris until 1980 at Charlotte Withers home at Lakeland, Florida. It was EOLIAN. It was, at least, growing and blooming and a beautiful flower, so I decided to try one. It did real well for me the first year. In the spring of 1982, Mr. Pat Irwin, a member of our Florida Iris Society, invited us to his home in Kissimmee, Florida for our April 
meeting to see his Louisiana irises blooming. It was there where another love of iris began.

Sidney Conger was very active in the Society for Louisiana Iries (SLI) in the 50's, 60's and 70's.  By profession he was the owner of Conger's Funeral Home in Arcadia, LA.  Sidney was the son of Inez Conger.  Inez was close friends with Caroline Dormon and the early organizers of SLI. Sidney registered 29 Louisiana irises and named several of them for his friends within SLI. At a SLI meeting in Lafayette he met Bette Lee Davis, the daughter of Claude Davis.  Sidney and Bette Lee later married and lived in Arcadia, LA, until Sidney died. Over the years, his registered irises won 9 Honorable Mentions. “Marie Caillet” won the Mary Swords DeBaillon Award in 1970. “Mulberry Mousse” (1957) is one of the early registered irises that showed “veining” and is one of my Conger favorites. “Caroginia” (1956) was obviously one of his favorites and is used in three of his registered irises as the “pod parent” and one other iris as the “pollen parent”.

Picture of M.D. Fiath who died in 2013The iris world lost a dedicated irisarian and hybridizer with the death of Marvin Dean Faith of Searcy, Arkansas on July 10, 2013. He left a relatively large volume of iris cultivars including many American Iris Society award winners including two Mary Sword Debaillon Medal winners.

M.D., as he was more commonly known, was born on November 5th, 1925 in Camden, Arkansas. Most of his life was spent in White County in and around Searcy where he made his last home and garden with his wife, June.

p>Picture of Melody WilhoitThe Iris World suffered a tremendous loss with the death of Melody Ruth Wilhoit of Kansas, Illinois. Melody died on June 21, 2014 at the age of 66. She leaves behind her husband Jerry their two sons, Justin and Jason and their extended families. She was born on July 14, 1947 in Paris, IL and lived her entire life in east central Illinois. She married Jerry on September 30, 1967 and built a house on 20 acres southeast of Kansas, Illinois where they would eventually establish Red Bud Lane Iris Garden.


Picture of Richard Morgan who died in 2013A major era in Louisiana iris hybridizing in Arkansas ended with the death of Richard Morgan on August 9, 2013. He was the last living Arkansas hybridizer that had worked in the Chowning tradition of producing cold hardy Louisiana irises by including Iris fulva species native to Arkansas and existing Chowning hybrids in the his hybridizing program.

Adell Rowell Tingle Remembered by Bobbie Ann Hutchins

Picture of Adell Rowell Tingle

We are very sad to report that our beloved "Auntie A," Adell Rowell Tingle, went to the great Louisiana Iris Fields in the sky on May 16, 2012, at the age of 91. She was born in Jamestown, La. on February 1, 1921. She was about the middle of a brood of 12 children who grew up on a self-sufficient cotton farm that was worked by all those kids!    She married James Junior Tingle when they were both 16, and they brought in their own cotton crop that year with the help of a borrowed mule. The next year, they brought in the crop with their firstborn, Jeanette, in a laundry basket at the end of the cotton rows, guarded by "Teddy Bear," the terrier mutt.

by Marie Caillet

 Photograph of Barbara F. NelsonBarbara F. Nelson died on Dec. 13,2010 in Collinsville, Ala. Mrs. Nelson was active in the Society for Louisiana Irises since its founding. She was the widow of a leading scientist who was also a pioneer in working with Louisiana irises. The daughter of Leah and James Furnas, Barbara was born Sept. 21, 1913 in Shawnee, OK. Reared in Wichita, Kan., she was a graduate of Friends University in that city. Prior to her marriage she was a secretary with Cessna Aviation and an all American basketball player.

Picture of Joyce B. Arny of Lafayette, LA, who died in 2011Joyce B. Amy, of Lafayette, LA, died August 19, 2011 at Cornerstone South after a long battle with Alzheirner 's. Many members of the Society for Louisiana Irises will recall Joyce and her late husband, Charles W. Amy.